FAQS

  1. Is it required that my family dentist refer me to Rice Orthodontics?
  2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
  3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
  4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
  5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment at Rice Orthodontics?
  6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
  7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
  8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
  9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
  10. How often will I have appointments?
  11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
  12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
  13. Do braces hurt?
  14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
  15. Do you give shots?
  16. Do you use recycled braces?
  17. Can I still play sports?
  18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
  19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
  20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
  21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
  22. Can orthodontic treatment be needed while a child has baby teeth?
  23. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
  24. Will my child need comprehensive treatment if he/she has Phase One treatment?
  25. Will my child need an expander?
  26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
  27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
  28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

1. Is it required that my family dentist refer me to Rice Orthodontics?

No, while many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, many other patients identify Rice Orthodontics on their own. We welcome new patients from all sources and we’ll partner with your family dentist, as needed, to ensure coordinated care.

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2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

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3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, the space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In fact, in most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age. Rice Orthodontics can evaluate your condition and help you understand how it may change over time with and without treatment.

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4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail, or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.

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5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment at Rice Orthodontics?

Each patient and parent will meet the staff and Dr. Rice, who will acclimate you to our office and prepare you for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. Dr. Rice will complete an exam, followed by discussion of your condition and recommended treatment plan. Our staff will ensure that you understand the plan, the cost, and the next steps if you decide to have Rice Orthodontics perform your orthodontic treatment.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

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6. What will I learn from the initial examination?

You will learn answers to some key questions you may have about your orthodontic condition:

  • Is there an orthodontic condition, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the condition?
  • Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?
  • What kind of experience can I expect at Rice Orthodontics?

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7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic results and ensure that there is enough space for the remaining teeth to move into place with treatment. However, because new technology has enabled advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the end goal of your treatment at Rice Orthodontics and we will review your recommended options to achieve this goal.

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8. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic condition. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The average time-frame a person is in braces is approximately 24 months.

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9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

We cannot give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the the cost of your recommended treatment during the initial examination. We have many payment and financing options available to accommodate your needs, and accept many forms of insurance. We will review these options and go over your insurance policy, if applicable, during your consultation.

To read more about our financing options and insurance information, see our Financial & Insurance Information Page.

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10. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. However, most patients in braces will visit our office on a monthly basis.

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11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

We will do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs and preferences. We have after school hours available and the further in advance you schedule, the more likely it is that you can get the time you’re looking for.

To read more about scheduling and appointments, see our Appointments Page.

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12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with the office staff before dropping off their child.

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13. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt”. After most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all, yet you will see that your treatment is working. After certain visits (e.g. when braces are put on or wires are adjusted), teeth may be mildly sore for a few days. In these situations, pain relievers, such as Advil® or Tylenol®, will ease discomfort. We do our best to minimize soreness and maximize your treatment outcomes.

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14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes! Rice Orthodontics is committed to running on time, so you can return to school or work quickly on appointment days. Your appointment on the day you get braces is a bit longer than the regular monthly appointments, so plan accordingly, but there is no health reason why you can’t continue with your planned day after getting braces.

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15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

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16. Do you use recycled braces?

No, we use brand new supplies and fully sterilized equipment on all patients.

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17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend that patients wear a mouth guard when playing sports.

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18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the appropriate interval between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

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19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (e.g. caramel and taffy). By avoiding these foods, it is less likely that you’ll break brackets, extend treatment duration, or require emergency appointments.

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20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth in the morning, at night, and after each meal while in braces. We will show each patient how to floss his/her teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary, to avoid white spots on the teeth.

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21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing unexpected pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can help you address the issue over the telephone. If we determine that you need to visit the office, we will work with you to get you in as quickly as possible.

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22. Can orthodontic treatment be needed while a child has baby teeth?

Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention while the child still has baby teeth. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

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23. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 8-15 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address specific issues that would adversely affect a child’s physical growth and development in the facial/jaw/mouth areas.

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24. Will my child need comprehensive treatment if he/she has Phase One treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

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25. Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will benefit from the use of an expander.

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26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

No! A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces. Rice Orthodontics can help patients of all ages achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Click here to view all of our adult treatments including virtually invisible options such as Incognito®.

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27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like an unrestored tooth. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will coincide with a restorative plan from the general dentist and aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

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28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments. Dr. Rice works collaboratively with you and your general dentist to ensure the best orthodontic outcomes and overall oral health. Rice Orthodontics is committed to a positive patient experience and we welcome you to get to know our office for your orthodontic treatment.

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