Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on treating irregularities in alignment and occlusion (bite) of the teeth and jaws, often incorporating appliances such as braces to shift them into a more ideal position.
What Is An Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has gone through additional schooling on helping patients with dental alignment and bite problems, as well as training on fitting patients with corrective braces and other orthodontic appliances. If you need orthodontic treatment, you should always choose an orthodontist, not a general dentist.
Why Should I Choose An Orthodontic Specialist?
Orthodontic treatment makes permanent changes to your teeth and sometimes even the shape of your face, so it’s crucial that only an orthodontist addresses these changes. They have the education, training, and experience to provide their patients with the right results.
Do I Have To Schedule My First Orthodontic Appointment Through My Dentist?
While general dentists often refer their patients to a trusted orthodontist, you do not need a dentist referral in order to schedule your initial consultation with us.
How Do I Schedule A Complimentary Consultation At Holmes & Palmer Orthodontics
If you are interested in orthodontic treatment for yourself or your teenager, give us a call at Charleston Office – (304) 343-3672 Hurricane Office – (304) 201-3672 Huntington Office – (304) 781-8600 or email us to set one up. Our front office staff will be happy to schedule one for you and they will request some basic information from you.
What Happens At An Initial Consultation?
An initial orthodontic consultation is a fact-finding appointment. You will fill out some light paperwork to help Drs. Holmes & Palmer understand your oral health history and get a good idea of your treatment goals. Drs. Holmes & Palmer will take x-rays to get a complete picture of what’s going on in the patient’s mouth unless the patient can provide recent x-rays from the general dentist. Drs. Holmes & Palmer will then perform an examination of the mouth to see how the teeth align and perform.
Once all the information has been gathered, it will be time to start discussing treatment options, including an estimation of how long the treatment will take and a quote of the cost of treatment. If the appointment is for a minor child, a parent or legal guardian must be present.
Won’t My Teeth Straighten Out Over Time?
Unfortunately, no. In fact, teeth tend to grow more crooked with age, not less. Biting down with poorly aligned teeth can encourage them to shift even farther from their ideal position.
How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Last?
The length of treatment depends on each patient’s orthodontic problems, but it will typically range from eight months to two and a half years. The best way to have the shortest possible treatment time is to follow Drs. Holmes & Palmer’s instructions exactly.
How Often Will I Have Appointments?
Appointments vary depending on the patient’s needs, but most patients with braces will come in every eight to ten weeks.
Do Braces Hurt?
After orthodontic visits, particularly ones involving adjustments to braces, your teeth may be sore for a few days as they get used to the change. Advil or Tylenol can ease the discomfort. Wires and brackets may sometimes rub against the inside of the cheeks and create soreness, but we can trim wires when necessary, and orthodontic wax is a great solution as well.
Are 2 Phases of Orthodontic Treatment Always Necessary?
At Holmes & Palmer Orthodontics, we base treatment for children on the simple but important philosophy of what is best for the child? Unfortunately, many practices consistently treat orthodontic issues with two phase treatment when one phase would suffice.
At times, two phase treatment can be detrimental to the patient. Detriments include:
- Extended treatment time
- No different results compared to single phase
- Doesn’t prevent the need for future extractions or surgery
- Greater risk of tooth decay, decalcification, and root resorption
Our years of experience and training show:
- 90% of cases can be treated effectively in one phase
- 84% of crowding cases resolve with one treatment phase or space maintenance
- Some early treatment can totally relapse making phase two a duplication of treatment
There are times when early treatment or two phase treatment is necessary. Schedule a consultation with us so we can develop the appropriate treatment option for your child.
Am I Too Old To Have Orthodontics?
No patient is too old to wear braces! In fact, a quarter of all orthodontic patients are out of their teens, so don’t feel like you missed your chance for straight teeth just because you didn’t get braces in high school!
How Will I Brush My Teeth With Braces?
The only difference between brushing with braces and without is that there are a lot more nooks and crannies for food to get stuck and plaque to build up. Be very thorough as you brush and don’t forget to floss!
When should your child be seen by an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends a child’s first orthodontist appointment should be at the age of 7. For a vast majority of patients, this isn’t the beginning of treatment but it does allow Drs. Holmes & Palmer and their team to set a baseline to monitor growth and development and plan for the absolute best time to begin treatment (if needed). Drs. Holmes & Palmer believe in a conservative approach to treatment and maintains his Age Appropriate Treatment philosophy that most patients’ orthodontic care can be completed in one stage at adolescence. Our 7andUp Kids Club allows our younger patients a chance to participate in all the special events, prize giveaways, and promotions being offered. Our doctors are able to monitor the development and growth of the child while providing a fun and comfortable environment for each patient. The best part of our 7andUp Kids Club is that each appointment for monitoring their development is completely complimentary! Costs are only incurred when orthodontic treatment begins.
What Happens If A Bracket Breaks?
If a bracket breaks, you should call our office right away to schedule an emergency appointment. We can usually find time to reattach or replace the bracket quickly. Do not wait until your next regular appointment to do something about a broken bracket, as this could have a negative effect on your treatment.
What Foods Should I Not Eat With Braces?
Some of the foods you should avoid while your braces are on include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables, and all sticky foods (such as caramel and taffy). Instead of eating apples and corn on the cob, you’ll have to stick to apple slices and kernel corn. Eating banned foods is the easiest way to break a bracket, but it can also harm your teeth.
Does Dr. Holmes travel to our Charleston office?
Dr. Holmes, Dr. Palmer, and Dr. Signorelli see patients in all three of our locations: Charleston, Teays Valley, and Huntington. Our doctors rotate to each location on a daily basis every week to provide each and every patient with the best care we can offer!
Do I Need To See My Dentist While I Have Braces?
Absolutely! Regular dental checkups are always important, especially while you have braces. Your dentist will let you know how often to come in during your orthodontic treatment.
Does Holmes & Palmer Orthodontics accept Delta Dental?
Holmes & Palmer Orthodontics accepts all insurance including Delta Dental, Medical Card, and CHIP program.