FAQ

Are braces necessary?

Some people need braces more than others, depending on the malocclusion (poor positioning of the teeth or bad bite). There are dental problems and skeletal problems. Skeletal problems (a problem in the growth of one or both jaws), alone or in combination with dental problems, can be more complicated to treat.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Cross bites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Open bites result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.

Braces are elective, but people seldom grow out of orthodontic problems, in fact, most orthodontic problems get worse with age! Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you!

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic evaluation at the first sign of an orthodontic problem or no later than age 7. Many people are under the mistaken impression that you should wait until all the permanent teeth are in - this is not so! Many problems can be addressed at this age in order to avoid more serious problems at a later age. When in doubt, just ask.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation and treatment?

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Am I too old for braces?

No! If the bone and gum tissue around the teeth are healthy, age is not a factor. About 20% of orthodontic patients are adults.

Why should I have my teeth straightened?

Poorly arranged teeth can break easily and can trap food particles that cause tooth decay and gum disease. They can also lead to poor chewing and digestion, which can be bad for your overall health. Finally, and probably most importantly to you, poorly arranged teeth detract from your smile which is one of the more important features of your face!

Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth and sometimes faces are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment; therefore, it is very important that the treatment be done properly. A licensed orthodontic specialist is an expert at moving teeth, helping jaws develop properly and working with you to help make sure the teeth stay in their new positions. Dr. Pisklak has an Undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and her Doctorate degree from U.T. Health Science Center in San Antonio. In addition to her training in General Dentistry, she graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston Graduate Orthodontic Program with a specialty degree in Orthodontics. Dr. Pisklak also has a Masters of Science degree in Orthodontics.

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 not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

How long do you have to wear braces?

That depends a lot on you and how bad your bite is to begin with. The better you are about wearing and taking care of your braces, the sooner your teeth will improve. Cooperation is key!

How often will I have appointments?

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

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!”

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.

Do you need a referral from your family dentist to see an orthodontist?

Usually you don't need a referral from your family dentist unless you have an insurance company that requires it. However, we get patient referrals from local family dentists daily. In the Missouri City/Sugar Land area we are blessed with many fine and knowledgeable family dentists and Pediatric Specialists. If you have any questions about your orthodontic needs they will send you to us. On the other hand, word of mouth recommendations from friends and families of existing patients are often the primary way an orthodontist sees new patients. We are always proud and thankful that you allow us to treat you and your family. We treat your family the way we treat our own. So, spread the word if you like your orthodontist!