Custom Smiles




Office Hours:
Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wed: 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thur: 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM



What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dental-facial orthopedics) is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. It is sometimes referred to help in the treatment of pain in the Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ), or aid in disordered breathing problems such as sleep apnea or snoring.

What are some signs that braces may be needed?

  • Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
  • Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
  • Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (under bite)
  • The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth
  • The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
  • Finger- or thumb-sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
  • Spaces between the teeth

Why do I need braces?

When you visit your dentist he will tell you the benefits of having healthy teeth or a correct jaw alignment. Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to keep clean and maintain oral hygiene. If these problems persist they may result in tooth decay, receding gums and even tooth bone loss. If you are experiencing headaches and face or neck pain you may have other skeletal abnormalities that need to be evaluated. Such as excessive wear on the tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, or misalignment of the joints in your jaw, called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). For most of our patients, a healthy happy smile is the main reason they want braces. When your braces are removed, you as an individual will feel more accepted socially and most of all have the self-confidence you've always wanted in your smile.

Generally, it is not uncommon to experience discomfort during any phase of orthodontic treatment. Your mouth may be sore for about a week after you first get braces. Also, you may experience some pressure when the braces are tightened each month. However, with modern braces, most of our patients adjust to the braces quickly and sometimes even forget they are there at all!

If you begin your orthodontic treatment as an adult, your teeth may be more sensitive because your bones are no longer growing and your teeth are in their more permanent positions. This discomfort is usually temporary and subsides as treatment progresses.

Will braces make my mouth sore?

Initially, your braces may cause some sores on the inside of your lips and cheeks. If you rinse your mouth regularly with warm salt water for a few days, the sores will heal rapidly. If you have an area in your mouth that is irritated during the first week, you can apply orthodontic wax directly to the braces to prevent the braces from rubbing against the sore area until it has a chance to heal. We also recommend over-the counter treatments, such as Baby Oralgel®, or Zilactin®.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Times may vary upon the age of the patient, skeletal structure, and class of the malocclusion. If you begin preventative treatment when you are age eight, it may take anywhere from three to six months to correct a bite abnormality and then another 6 months to stabilize the bones in their corrected alignment. If you begin Phase II treatment, you will probably where your braces for about one to two years, depending on your treatment plan and type of appliances that needed to achieve the best end result in the shortest amount of time possible.

Other determining factors to consider are patient compliance, keeping regular appointments (usually every 4-6 weeks), growth abnormalities, orthognatic surgery, loose or broken appliances, and following instructions on removable appliance wear.

How much will my braces cost?

Fees will vary based on which phase of treatment is needed and specified treatment plan. This will be determined after the patient’s diagnostic records have been reviewed by Dr. Smith.

Are there payment plans available?

Yes! We have several payment options available which will be personalized to your treatment needs. Most of our fees can be paid out by schedule throughout the course of treatment. We are currently on some dental plans and we’ll be happy to help you work with your insurance company. We also accept third party financing and all major credit cards.

At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

It is recommended for an orthodontic specialist to screen your child by the age of 7 to prevent or correct any developing skeletal growth problems. Some children’s incisors have already begun to erupt and complications such as crowding, deep or open bites, bad habits, and other orthodontic deficiencies may need a little guidance to prevent more difficult malocclusions an older age. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can regulate the width of the upper and lower arches of the mouth, avoid any permanent tooth extractions and reduce the number of impacted teeth, correct tongue thrusting and also correct thumb and finger sucking.

Can I still play sports if I have braces?

Yes. You can still play football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, or any other activities you enjoy. For some sports we do highly recommend removing removable appliances, such as retainers, and for those with braces to wear an orthodontic mouth gaurd. Some coaches will not let you play without this mouth piece, which can be purchased at a sporting goods store, so long as it does NOT have to be heated and molded to the teeth.

Can I still play in the band or orchestra if I have braces?

You can still play almost any musical instrument if you have braces, although it does take some time to readjust if you play a wind instrument.

What can I eat when I have braces?

Special care is needed when you have orthodontic appliances or braces on your teeth. You must avoid any hard, chewy, or sticky foods that may cause the brackets to come loose. It is also a great time to quit habits such as, nail biting, and chewing on ice and pencils. Loose and broken appliances mean more trips to the orthodontist and a delay in treatment progress only causing the braces to need to be worn longer than originally planned.

During your first month of treatment you will receive a light set of archwires which do not support the brackets as well as heavy wires. Because of this and also due to tooth sensitivity you will need a soft food diet. Some foods that our patients are comfortable eating include: mashed potatoes, pasta, Jello™, grits, smoothies, yogurt, and any other food that puts minimal pressure on your teeth.

Can I still chew gum with braces?

Gum is usually not recommended, even sugar-free gum. The gum can get caught on the braces and pull the braces off. Also, the sugar in the gum can get trapped behind the braces and cause cavities.

How do I take care of my appliances?

To be successful in your treatment you must be cooperative with the orthodontist to the fullest. What that means is that any other appliance that the doctor presents to you or prescribes to you at your appointment he expects results out of them. Such appliances are headgear, elastics, and any other appliances should be worn by the patients upon the date that it is prescribed until your doctor says otherwise. Any loose or broken appliances or brackets could lengthen the time of the treatment. When wearing braces you have to keep in mind to brush and floss daily. If you do so you will reduce the likelihood of cavities and unhealthy gums.

What should I do if I have a loose bracket or wire?

Please do not be alarmed if this is to happen! Simply get the end of an eraser head and push the wire back into place. After you have done that place some wax on the end of the wire so it does not become and annoyance to the patient or child. Then call our office as soon as possible so we can see him or her for an appointment. So we can fix whatever the problem might concern.

What if I am transferring from another Orthodontist?

*New patient appointments are scheduled in the mornings or as the first patients of the day.

In Active Treatment (Braces, Expanders, Aligners, etc.):
At your initial visit, Dr. Smith will give a preliminary estimate of how much time and work is left to complete the original treatment plan as established in another office. Please ask your previous orthodontist to forward all copies of your x-rays and treatment information to our office before your first appointment; or bring them with you if you have them in hand. This task will dramatically facilitate your transfer process. If required, our office can provide you with a "Request for Records" form to release your records to our office which will require the responsible party's signature. The other office may require payment of a duplication charge to make copies of the records if that is their office or insurance policy, and that will need to done before the first appointment. Normally, if records are more than six months old (especially in patients less than 16 years of age) that have been in active treatment, new records will be required to record a starting point of the new treatment in this office. Patients who cannot provide adequate transfer records or don't remember their health care provider cannot be evaluated for transfer of treatment. Please allow three to four weeks for the records to get successfully transferred. Starting early will allow continuity in treatment appointments.

In Passive Treatment: (Retainers):
Please bring all retainers with you to your first appointment and every appointment. Normally, transfer x-rays or other records are not necessary for the first appointment, unless your retainers are used as active appliances to move teeth or adjust the bite. Patient photographs and a panoramic x-ray are normally taken at the first appointment to document and evaluate the current state of the case. Wisdom teeth may be required to be removed at the first appointment and you may be referred to an oral surgeon for evaluation if the back molars are causing excessive pressure on the teeth causing crowding or relapse. If a fixed retainer is bonded (glued) to the back of the lower front teeth, the wire may need to be checked for adaptation and broken bonding material. This will be scheduled for a morning appointment. Retainers are normally worn at all times the first year braces are removed and then 14 hours a day indefinitely, or until your orthodontist instructs you otherwise. Bonded lower retainers are normally removed about age 23-24 years old. During the retention phase all patients are encouraged to have a dental checkup and have their teeth cleaned at least twice a year by a general dentist.