Orthodontic FAQs

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has gone through an additional 2-3 years of training after dental school in an accredited orthodontic residency program. Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth and orthopedic treatment to help with skeletal (jaw) discrepancies all while obtaining proper skeletal health. Check out the American Association of Orthodontists website for more interesting information about orthodontics!

Why choose a board-certified orthodontist?

Only one in three orthodontists is board certified. “A board-certified orthodontist is committed to the highest level of patient care including a comprehensive treatment approach to ensure quality work.  And board-certified orthodontists must re-new their certification every 10 years to demonstrate their continuous commitment to excellence.” Find out more here.

What is the best age to see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends seeing an orthodontist at age 7. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re detected early before jaw growth has slowed. Earlier treatment could help avoid surgery and more serious complications down the line. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone needs treatment at this age, however. Check here for more information about early or Two-Phase Treatment.

Am I too old to get braces?

No! If you didn’t get the opportunity to have braces as a child, or maybe you have had braces already and the results aren’t what you desired, you can still get orthodontic treatment as an adult. Clear invisible braces and Invisalign are all great options if you want to avoid the look of traditional metal braces.

What should I expect at my first visit?

Relax – your first appointment is just a consultation, so it’s an easy one. We will discuss what you’d like to achieve through teeth straightening, thoroughly examine your mouth, measure your bite, and possibly take x-rays. Once we have a good picture of your teeth and mouth, we can answer questions regarding the best treatment for you, what to expect, and also payment plans and financing options.

How long will I have braces?

Depending on the study cited, orthodontics may take an average of 20-22 months. At B-town Orthodontics, we try to be better than average. By using careful treatment planning and the latest technologies, Dr. Baron is able to give you the best quality treatment as efficiently as possible. Our average treatment time is 18 months, but the best way to determine your needs is to schedule a free consultation.

What’s the difference between metal and clear braces?

Check out our treatments page for more information about metal vs. ceramic (clear) braces and Invisalign!

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not hurt, but you should expect a mild amount of discomfort in the days after having braces placed.

What should I know about eating common foods with braces?

For the first couple of days in your new braces, you will most likely want to stick to softer, easy-to-chew foods. In order to decrease the chances of a broken bracket, you will want to stay away from chewy and sticky foods like licorice and caramel, hard nuts or things you have to bite into like corn on the cob and apples. If any of these foods MUST be eaten, it is critical that they be cut into small pieces and chewed carefully!

How much do braces cost, and what are my payment options?

Every patient and smile is completely different, which is why we are unable to give a cost for treatment without a thorough examination. We do realize that orthodontic treatment is an investment and we will assist you in maximizing your insurance benefits as well as offer additional payment and financing options. Every patient has specific needs, so we will do our best to tailor a payment plan that works best for you and your family.

If I don’t get braces, will my teeth get straighter on their own?

Although the mouth and jaws with grow and change throughout life, the chances of your teeth becoming “straighter” are very minimal.

Do I still need to see my dentist if I have braces?

Yes! It is very important for you to see your dentist and hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings while in braces. In some cases, we will highly recommend that you see your dental hygienist every 3 months throughout treatment!

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments will be made on an individual basis, but are typically every 4-8 weeks. It is very important that you maintain your regular appointments in order to keep your treatment on track. Missing appointments can significantly compromise your oral health and treatment progress.

Will I still be able to play an instrument/play sports/etc with braces?

Playing an instrument may require an adjustment period after first receiving braces, but this should not prevent you from playing an instrument, sports, etc. If you play a contact sport, please discuss mouthguard options with Dr. Baron so that he may recommend the best mouthguard for you.

Must parents be present for appointments?

We understand that many people have busy schedules, so it is fine to drop your child off for appointments. Please keep in mind, however, that Dr. Baron enjoys speaking with parents regularly to discuss treatment progress!

A friend of mine had braces when they still had baby teeth. Is that normal?

There are some orthodontic problems that are easier to treat when a child still has baby teeth. This does not necessarily mean they will NOT need braces again in the future, but it could reduce the difficulty of treatment and the need for future surgery. Check here for more information about early or Two-Phase Treatment.

What to do in case of an emergency?

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but please call our office any time that you have a concern. Most aggravations from broken wires or brackets can be solved by placing dental wax over the broken wire or bracket. If you’re experiencing extreme pain or have an appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself, please call the office immediately and we will schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Do I need a retainer after the braces are removed?

Orthodontics is a lifelong process. Although it varies from person to person, the best option is to wear a retainer indefinitely after completing orthodontics treatment to ensure your teeth remain straight.

To learn more, check out the American Association of Orthodontists 

1320 W Bloomfield Rd. Suite B
Bloomington, IN 47403
(812) 287-8851
Tue - Thu:
8:30am to 4:30pm

Mon & Fri:
By appointment only