FAQ’s

 

1. If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. At Fusion Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry you can easily schedule your appointments for orthodontics with Dr. Rahimi and pediatric dental appointments with Dr. Niloo in the same place!

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.

3. Will teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

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 or appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.

6. What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:
Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
What must be done to correct the problem?
Will any teeth need to be removed?
How long will the treatment take to complete?
How much will the treatment cost?

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

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is frequently not necessary for orthodontic treatment.

8. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 months to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 12-18 months.

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

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have several financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

10. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 6 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

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

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 6 to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

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 their patient manager before dropping off their child.

13. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”

3. Will teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

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

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

16. Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports and we can assist you with that as well.

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 intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

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 (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

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

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

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

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.

22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. 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.

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 usually lasts about 16-21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

24. Will my child need full braces 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.

25. Will my child need an expander?

The use of expanders in Dr. Rahimi’s practice is limited to a very small percentage young children. Following the initial exam, the need for an expander, if any, will be discussed.

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

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

27. Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have years of extensive and specialized training beyond dental school that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.

Pediatric Dentistry FAQ’s

Below are common questions and our answers about the best way to care for children’s teeth.

1. When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

We recommend you make an appointment to see the Dr. Niloo as soon as your child gets his or her first tooth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child is seen by six months after the first tooth erupts or by one year of age, whichever is first.

2. How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?

All dental specialists (pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and others) begin by completing dental school, then continue their education with several years of additional specialized training. During training in the field of pediatric dentistry, Dr. Niloo gained extensive knowledge and experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents.Pediatric dentists enjoy working with children, and bring to each patient our expertise in childhood development and behavior.

3. What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?

The first visit is usually short and simple. In most cases, we focus on getting to know your child and giving you some basic information about dental care. Dr. Niloo will check your child’s teeth for placement and health, and look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw.

If necessary, we may do a bit of cleaning. We will also answer any questions you have about how to care for your child’s teeth as they develop, and provide you with materials containing helpful tips you can refer to at home.

4. How can I prepare my child for the first dental appointment?

The best preparation for your child’s first visit to our office is to maintain a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults’ apprehensions, and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist you can be sure that your child will fear an unpleasant experience and act accordingly.

Show your child the pictures of the office and staff on the website. Let your son or daughter know it’s important to keep teeth and gums healthy, and that the doctor will help to do that. Remember that your dentist is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety, and our staff excels at putting children at ease during treatment.

5. How often should my child visit the dentist?

We generally recommend scheduling checkups every six months. Depending on the circumstances of your child’s oral health, we may recommend more frequent visits.

6. Baby teeth aren’t permanent; why do they need special care?

Although they don’t last as long as permanent teeth, your child’s first teeth play an important role in development. While they’re in place, the primary teeth help your little one speak, smile, and chew properly. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth.

If a child loses a tooth too early (due to damage or decay), nearby teeth may encroach on that space, which can result in crooked or misplaced permanent teeth. Also, your child’s general health is affected by the oral health of the teeth and gums.

7. What’s the best way to clean my baby’s teeth?

Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, we recommend you clean his or her gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. As soon as the first tooth appears, you can start using a toothbrush. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. You most likely can find a toothbrush designed for infants at your local drugstore.

8. At what age is it appropriate to use toothpaste to clean my child’s teeth?

Once your child has a few teeth, you can start using toothpaste on the brush. Use only a tiny amount for each cleaning, and be sure to choose toothpaste without fluoride for children under two, because too much fluoride can be dangerous for very young children.
Always have your child rinse and spit out toothpaste after brushing, to begin a lifelong habit he or she will need when graduating to fluoride toothpaste. Children naturally want to swallow toothpaste after brushing, and swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can cause teeth to stain.

You should brush your child’s teeth until he or she is ready to take on that responsibility, which usually happens by age six or seven.

9. What causes cavities?

Certain types of bacteria live in our mouths. When they come into contact with sugary foods left behind on our teeth after eating, acids are produced. These acids attack the enamel on the exterior of the teeth, eventually eating through the enamel and creating holes in the teeth, which we call cavities.

10. How can I help my child avoid cavities?

Be sure that your child brushes the teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing daily is also important, because flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can’t.

Check with your pediatric dentist about a fluoride supplement which helps tooth enamel become harder and more resistant to decay. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, limit snacking, and maintain a healthy diet. And finally, make regular appointments so we can check the health of your child’s teeth and provide professional cleanings.

11. Does my child need dental sealants?

Sealants cover the pits and fissures in teeth that are difficult to brush and therefore susceptible to decay. We recommend sealants as a safe, simple way to help your child avoid cavities, especially for molars, which are hardest to reach.

12. My child plays sports; how can I protect the teeth?

Even children’s sports involve contact, and we recommend mouthguards for children active in sports. If your little one plays baseball, soccer, or other sports, ask us about having a custom-fitted mouthguard made to protect his or her teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums.

13. What should I do if my child sucks a thumb?

The large majority of children suck their thumbs or fingers as infants, and most grow out of it by the age of four, without causing any permanent damage to their teeth. If your child continues to suck after permanent teeth erupt, or if he or she sucks aggressively, let us know and we can check to see if any problems may arise from the habit.

14. When should my child have dental X-rays taken?

We recommend taking X-rays around the age of two or three. The first set consists of simple pictures of the front upper and lower teeth, which familiarizes your child with the process. Once the baby teeth in back are touching one another, then regular (at least yearly) X-rays are recommended.

Permanent teeth start coming in around age six, and X-rays help us make sure your child’s teeth and jaw are healthy and properly aligned. If your child is at a high risk of dental problems, we may suggest having X-rays taken at an earlier age.