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Early Treatment

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces

Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

Why should malocclusions be treated?

According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:

  • Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
  • Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
  • Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
  • Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.

Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you!

Adolescent Treatment

Each patient’s orthodontic condition requires a treatment plan based on a specialized diagnosis of the case. The treatment process involves X-rays, photographs, and occasionally dental impressions. Orthodontics has one aim: to use gentle pressure to move teeth into proper alignment. Treatment time varies depending on age, patient compliance and the severity of the condition. Generally, treatment lasts 18-24 months and is facilitated by ideal patient cooperation.


Adult Treatment

Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. A new smile can begin today.

Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.

Good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options may include metal braces, translucent braces, or transparent aligners worn daily.

During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected and the approximate cost.

A large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset – their smile.



















Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene

  • Brushing should be done at least 2-3 times per day
  • It should take no less than 3 minutes each time you brush, but it might take more because it is harder to clean around and under each and every bracket
  • Be sure to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as the inside of your teeth


  • Flossing should be done 1 time per day
  • When flossing be sure to floss around each individual tooth at least 3-4 times, with an up and down motion, not back and forth
  • We also recommend threading the floss AWAY from the tissue, not towards the tissue

Oral Hygiene

Proxy Brush

  • Use of the proxy brush should be done before brushing
  • It should be used between all teeth underneath the arch wire and around all brackets and bands
  • We recommend using the proxy brush AWAY from the tissue, not towards as the end can be sharp to the gum tissue
  • You should rinse the proxy brush if plaque starts to accumulate on during use
  • Proxy brushes are one time use only

Foods to Avoid-Loose Bracket


  • Loose brackets do not need immediate attention, it can go 1-2 weeks without being a setback to treatment
  • If loose brackets are bothering you, be sure to use wax for comfort

Wax Replacement

  • Be sure that when placing wax the area that you are placing is free of food or plaque buildup and is dry




Common Problems

What to Do in Case of Repair

Sometimes parts of your appliances may become loose or cause irritations to your gums, lips or cheeks. Many of these situations you can take care of yourself, while others need to be addressed in our office. Calling will help us determine how urgently the repair needs to take place. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you.

Loose Brackets or Bands

Call our office for advice if a brace or wire is loosened. The brace may need to be re-fitted within a week. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day so that we may schedule an appointment for you. Please remember to bring any broken parts to the office when you come in for the repair.

Wire Irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with a nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment the next business day.

Herbst Appliance

If the arms on the Herbst appliance come loose, you may put them back on with the Allen wrench which was provided to you at the cementing of the appliance. The small screw goes into the hole of the band that is around the tooth. Take the arm and attach the Allen wrench in the screw, place in the hole and screw in the arm; it is similar to an everyday screw. If the arms seem to be sticking you can use olive oil and rub it on the arms of the Herbst.

Other Appliances

Sometimes a band on one side of appliances can come loose or both of them could come loose and the appliance may come off the teeth. Please keep all parts of the appliance and call us on the next business day to have it repaired. If it is poking, use wax on the area bothering you until an appointment can be scheduled on a regular business day.

Hooks for Elastics

If a hook should come off, please give our office a call and we can replace it for you. If this is on a non-business day, stop wearing elastics and call our office on the next business day.

Lost Separators

Sometimes a separator will come out before your next appointment. This usually means that it has done its job and enough space has been created. A call to our office on a business day can be made to determine whether it needs to be replaced or not.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

During the first week after your braces are placed, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take Ibuprofen, or what you normally take for pain, while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws. Warm salt water rinses can be done 3 times per day to help with canker sore prevention and healing.

Please be advised our team will assist you over the phone with most repairs, as needed. It is highly unlikely that a visit in the evening or over a weekend will be required. If you need assistance please call the general office number, 608.783.8333.


Now that your braces are off, you need to keep your teeth from moving. This process involves thewearing of removable retainers. In most cases we will bond (glue) a lingual wire behind the lower front six teeth and occasionally behind the upper front four teeth.

Maxillary DBLR_pop

You will also receive a clear removable retainer for the upper and lower teeth. You will wear it as instructed. Retainers are a lifetime commitment, to be worn nightly, indefinitely!

Lexan Retainer

Lexan Retainer

Hawley Retainer

Hawley Retainer


Care of your Retainers is very vital to ensure long lasting retainers. Make sure you brush and floss around your bonded retainers. The adhesive (glue) on your bonded wire can come loose, especially if you bite directly into hard foods. It does need to be fixed in a timely manner to ensure your teeth not move.

When brushing your removable retainer you are to only use cold water and hand soap. Do not use toothpaste as it is abrasive and will scratch and make the retainer cloudy. Always keep your retainer in the case when you are not wearing it; pets, especially dogs, will eat it. Please be very careful with the care of your retainers, as they are an important aspect to orthodontic treatment.

Like other personal items, retainers may also wear over time. Replacing a worn retainer is a wise investment in caring for your smile!


Take-Home Whitening Kit

With our take-home whitening kit, you can get the smile of your dreams without the office visits! Whiten at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home, reaching the look you’ve been waiting for!