Frequently Asked Questions
What is Orthodontics, anyway?!
Orthodontics is a specialized healthcare field in dentistry. Orthodontics, which is also called Dentofacial Orthopedics, is dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dento-facial disharmony.
Did you know?! Orthodontics is the first specialty in dentistry, and has been linked to Egyptian mummies!
Can I Still Take Care of My Teeth With Ortho Treatment?
Yes, 100% yes!
It is still extremely important that you brush AND floss your teeth, no matter what stage of orthodontic treatment you are in. There is just no substitute. Make sure you brush the whole tooth and stimulate the gums. Flossing can be tricky, especially with braces and an archwire, but floss threaders can come in handy for that!
What about if I have a retainer? Same thing goes, and make sure you clean your retainer too, with soap and water.
What are Braces?
Braces are little attachments to your teeth, that with the help of a wire are used to straighten your teeth. Braces come in many different forms nowadays - metal, ceramic, lingual (on the tongue-side), self-ligating.
There are also
aligners, like Invisalign, which use clear trays to do the same thing. Sometimes tooth colored buttons are used to assist in moving your teeth.
Do they hurt? Your teeth will probably feel a little sore, but you should NOT feel any sharp or excrutiating pain.
How long do I have to wear them? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. That will depend on your treatment needs as well as your cooperation! The average treatment time is about 22 months, but sometimes can be as short as six months or as long as 4 years!
What are those Rubber Bands All About?
Rubber bands can be a very useful tool to finish your treatment with perfect alignment. They can be worn in a variety of shapes and are used to bring the teeth together to a more ideal relationship. It is up to YOU to wear them though!
How Long Do I Have to Wear my Retainer?
To be honest, you're not going to love my answer. Technically your teeth, mouth, along with the rest of your body is continuously changing. So if you don't want your teeth to ever move, you have to keep on wearing that retainer.
I don't mean 24/7, but consistent wear over a lifetime is the best way to hold your teeth in the right position. We can't control growth, in the end, but it's the best we can do. Rarely, patients can continue growing into adult years, and may need a second round of correction or surgical intervention.
Remember to keep your retainer in your case, if it's not in your mouth!
How do I clean it again? Scrub with soap and water that is room temperature. Denture cleaners are okay to use sometimes, as well.
What if I lose my retainer? See your orthodontist ASAP to get a new one made. Fair warning, it will probably not be for free...
Do I Still Need to See my Dentist?
Absolutely, in fact I recommend you see them more often than the regular 6 month interval, if you can. We have to work as a team to make sure you don't develop any sorts of gum disease or dental decay throughout your orthodontic treatment.
What Can't I Eat?
Foods to Avoid: sticky, sugary foods will lead to dental decay. Meanwhile, tough and hard foods can break off your brackets (that glue is not too strong!).
Some examples: caramels, gummy bears, chewing gum, lollipops or any sucking candies, sodas or other sugary beverages. Hard foods can include bagels or toast, chips, nuts, apples, ribs, corn on the cob, ice cubes. You get my drift?
Can I Still Play Sports or Play a Musical Instrument?
I won't lie, when you first get your braces or get them tightened, things may feel a little funny in your mouth. It could take a few days to get used to it, but you should have no problem with continuing to play an instrument or participate in sports. A mouthguard may still be indicated for contact-sport activity, which can be made to fit over your braces.
What are Orthodontic Emergencies?
Try to be careful! Wax is your new best friend for any areas that are bothering you. But here are a few common emergencies we see:
Loose bracket, band, or button: Be careful not to swallow, or see if you can carefully remove. Otherwise, you can make an appointment with your orthodontist if your appointment is not soon.
Broken wire: This can commonly occur with the smaller and flexible wires, if you chew something hard and flex it. If a wire shifts or moves, see if you can gently reposition it so that you feel comfortable.
Poking wires: Try to make sure you feel completely comfortable before you leave the office. If you cannot adjust this yourself, make an appointment to have your wire repositioned.
Sharp pain: While being achy is normal, any sharp pain is not.
Allergic reaction (actually not common, but important to mention): Some orthodontic materials contain latex and nickel. Sometimes having treatment is the first time someone may realize they have an allergy: if you experience sores, rashing, fever, or anything that resembles an allergic reaction, please make an appointment immediately. If the reaction is severe (like you can't breathe), go to the ER.
Trauma or Accidents that involve your teeth/face: Once emergent medical attention is taken care of, be sure to let your orthodontist and dentist know and make an appointment.
How Much do Braces Cost?
Dr. Whitney's prides herself in offering orthodontic treatment that is high quality, affordable and she offers reasonable prices. Costs of treatment will vary based on treatment complexity. We recommend scheduling an in-person consultation to discuss a diagnosis and treatment plan along with treatment fee breakdown. Dr. Whitney offers payment plans so that treatment is affordable and workable for you.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
Similarly, Dr. Whitney offers customized treatment and costs will depend on complexity. We don't use a cookie cutter approach. Please schedule an in-office consulation with Dr. Whitney to review a treatment plan based on your needs. Dr. Whitney is proud to offer exceptional treatment with attention to detail while maintaining a fair and reasonable price-point. We offer payment plans that make treatment easy and affordable for you day-to-day.
Do You Offer Payment Plans?
Yes, for sure! We understand that orthodontic treatment is a significant investment in yourself - both in terms of your health as well financially. We offer customized payment plans that allow reasonable monthly payments that won't break the bank! We want your treatment experience to be smooth sailing throughout the entire process. Payments made in-full will be offered at an additional discount, as well.
What is the Main Difference Between Braces and Invisalign?
Braces are temporarily glued onto your teeth and the wires that adhere to the braces will do the work to align your teeth. Meanwhile, Invisalign is a system of a series of clear invsiable aligners that progressively work to straighten your teeth and bite. Invisalign is removable, and requires your dedication to wear them to have an outstanding result. Braces are a bit more high maintenance in regards to personal diet and hygiene, which may be slightly altered to decrease appliance breakage and risk of developing cavities or gum disease.
Dr. Whitney is more than happy to discuss with you the Pros and Cons to each treatment option and help you decide which modality makes the most sense for you!
Am I a Candidate for Invisalign Even if My Bite is Really Bad?
It is extremely important to schedule an in-office consultation with Dr. Whitney in order to properly evaluate your teeth, jaws and overall health before she can decide whether you are an Invisalign candidate. Dr. Whitney is very comfortable and experienced using Invisalign technology and is dedicated to offering you the best treatment possible to address your orthodontic concerns. She has treated conditions that include severe crowding, deep bites, open bites, crossbites, closed large spaces, opened spaces for cosmetic procedures such as veneers and has even combined Invisalign with surgical procedures.
Do You Options to Finish Ortho Treatment Faster?
Dr. Whitney offers accelerated orthodontic technologys using Propel Orthodontics. Please don't hesitate to bring this up at your consultation, especially if you have an important life event you'd like to have your smile ready for ;-)
Do You Have a Digital Scanner?
Yes! We use the Itero Element Intraoral Scanner in order to take orthodontic records. We take a 3D scan of your teeth in order to send out a digital impression whether it is for Invisalign, creating a palatal expander, retainer, or another device. It is simple and clean, and saves you lot's of time since a digital record is received almost instantly. A model of your teeth can be fabricated with a 3D printer, which is quite nifty.
Can I Get My Teeth Whitened?
Yes, Dr. Whitney uses the Glo Professional In-Office whitening kit. This 90-minute in-office procedure may be further amplified with the take-home kit that is included. Dr. Whitney recommends getting whitening done after orthontics is completed; however, it is possible to coimplete mid-treatment if you really wanted.
How Do I Get to Your Office?
Our office is centrally located at 121 E 60th Street, Suite 1C (lobby level and straight to the back), New York, NY 10022. We are also easily accessible by public transit - just a minute walk from the 59 street subway station (especially if you exit on 60th), and only 3 blocks from the 63/lex subway station. Please check the "contact us" section to see more public transit options.
Do You Accept Dental Insurance?
Dr. Whitney is an Out-of-Network provider for several major Dental PPO plans including MetLife, Delta Dental, Cigna, Aetna and Guardian. Many of these plans offer orthodontic benefits although some have age limitations. We are more than happy to look into these details for you with regards to your specific plan. Dr. Whitney offers payment plans and reasonable fees, and will work with you to come up with a financial plan that fits your needs.