We strive to offer the highest quality of orthodontic treatments, such as braces and Invisalign® aligners, for our patients in and around Boynton Beach, Wellington and West Palm Beach, Florida. We do not just aim for effective treatment; we want to provide our patients with a comfortable office environment and the understanding of orthodontics to allow them to proceed through the orthodontic process with the most confidence. Our orthodontist and team always want to keep our patients informed and able to make knowledgeable decisions, so in order to help, we have provided you with a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.
Your Orthodontist in Boynton Beach Answers Your Questions
- Is it required that my dentist schedule an appointment with an orthodontist?
No. While many patients will be referred from their dentist, some patients and their families will schedule an appointment to visit our West Palm Beach office by themselves.
- At what age should my child receive an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists® recommends that a child undergoes an orthodontic screening by the age of seven. By this age, most of a child’s permanent teeth have erupted, allowing us to more effectively evaluate the orthodontic condition to determine if early orthodontic treatment is needed.
- Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
No, they will not. The space available for front teeth does not increase as you grow and, in some cases, it will even shrink.
- How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
You can schedule an appointment with us online, by phone or by email. We are always happy to schedule an appointment for you.
- What will happen at the initial exam appointment?
On your first visit, you will be seen by the staff and orthodontist who will help you acclimate to the office. We will take the necessary photos and X-rays to help us make a proper diagnosis of your orthodontic situation. Dr. Kevin McCaffrey will then complete a thorough exam.
- What will I learn from the initial exam?
At your initial exam, you will learn:
- If you have an orthodontic problem and what it is.
- What must be done to correct the problem.
- If you need to have any teeth removed.
- How long the treatment will take to be completed.
- How much the treatment will cost.
- Will I need to have any teeth extracted for braces?
Removing teeth is sometimes necessary to achieve the best treatment results possible. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, sometimes it is not necessary to remove teeth.
- How long will it take to complete treatment?
The treatment time will vary depending on each patient’s situation and complexity of their case. In general, a patient’s treatment will last from 12 to 30 months with the average time being around 18 to 22 months.
- How much will braces cost, and are any financing options available?
It is impossible for us to give you an estimate of the cost of treatment until we have examined you or your child. We will cover the financial options and your insurance policy during our initial exam. We have many financing options available and we will do our best to pick the best plan for you and help save you the most money.
- How often will the appointments be?
Appointments will be scheduled depending on the patient’s needs. These appointments will usually be between five and ten weeks apart. If there are certain situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
- Can I schedule all my appointments after school?
Unfortunately, we are not able to schedule all a student’s appointments during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled five to ten weeks apart, patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatment. We will make a sincere effort to best accommodate your schedule.
- Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
We understand that you may have a busy schedule, so we want to help you make the most of your valuable time. While this is okay with us, we ask that parents check in with their patient manager first to see if we may need to speak to them when they return.
- Do braces hurt?
While braces should not hurt, your teeth and gums may be sore for a few days after your visits. In these situations, we recommend pain medications such as Tylenol or Advil to relieve the discomfort.
- Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes, there is no reason to miss school after you receive your braces.
- Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
- Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
- Can I still play sports?
Yes, however, we recommend wearing a mouthguard to prevent damage to your braces and mouth. If needed, we can provide you with one.
- Do I still need to see my dentist while in braces?
Yes, regular check-ups with your dentist are vital while you are wearing braces. Your dentist will determine the appropriate intervals for you to come in while you are wearing braces.
- Are there foods I cannot eat while wearing braces?
Yes, there are certain foods to avoid. Once your treatment begins, we will thoroughly explain what you can and cannot eat and give you a comprehensive list of the foods you should avoid. Generally, the foods you need to avoid are foods that are hard or sticky.
- How often should I brush my teeth while wearing braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times a day – once after each meal and again before going to bed.
- What is an emergency appointment, and how is it handled?
If a part of your braces breaks or is causing you extreme pain, please call our office immediately. In most cases, we will be able to handle the situation over the telephone, but if you require an emergency appointment, we will make time to see you.
- Can orthodontic treatment occur even with baby teeth?
Yes, some orthodontic problems are serious enough that they require early intervention. However, in some cases, we will just simply monitor the patient’s growth and development until we determine the appropriate time to begin orthodontic treatment.
- What is Phase One (early) treatment?
Phase One treatment, or early treatment, is orthodontic treatment that is conducted on children between the ages of seven and ten. Phase One treatment will usually last from 12 to 15 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to keep them from becoming more severe.
- Will my child need full braces if he or she has Phase One treatment?
It is usually best to assume that your child will still need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is known as the resting period; throughout this time, a child’s parents will be kept informed about our recommendations for orthodontic treatment.
- Will my child need an expander?
This will be determined after the completion of the initial examination.
- Can I still wear braces even as an adult?
Absolutely! In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. You are never too old to benefit from the health, happiness and self-esteem boosts that braces can grant you.
- Can I wear braces even though I have crowns or missing teeth?
Yes, on both accounts. A tooth with a crown moves in the same way as any other tooth. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will still aid in the alignment of the other remaining teeth.
- Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
You should choose an orthodontic specialist because teeth, and occasionally entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. Because this is such an important process, it is vital to make sure that the treatment is properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have the extensive and specialized training that allows them to give their patients professional and proficient treatment.
Contact Your Orthodontist near Boynton Beach Today
If you have any further questions about orthodontic care or Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics, please feel free to contact us. If you are interested in beginning orthodontic treatment with us, give us a call at 561-964-5200 or fill out our online appointment request form to schedule your first visit with Dr. McCaffrey. We look forward to seeing you and helping you achieve the smile you deserve!