FAQ at Plymouth Orthodontics

 

 

 

 

Braces in Plymouth, Massachusetts

FAQ

Helpful questions and answers about care at Plymouth Orthodontics!

Questions about: Plymouth Orthodontics

At Plymouth Orthdontics, we make all of your appointments stress free and fun – from the first visit to the last. Come visit us for your free consultation! We look forward to welcoming you to our office and answering any questions you may have in person, as well as discussing you or your child’s smile goals and personalized treatment options.

Where is the Plymouth Orthodontics office located?
We’re conveniently located at 51 Long Pond Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360
What hours is Plymouth Orthodontics open?
We’re available by appointment Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM!
Do you take insurance?
Yes! At your consultation, we’ll review your insurance and let you know exactly what to expect before we get started.
What types of braces does Plymouth Orthodontics offer?
We focus on traditional metal braces, clear braces and Invisalign!
What can I expect at my first appointment?
At your first (free!) visit to our office, you’ll meet the team and our doctor, Dr. Karla Alvarado. We’ll discuss you or your child’s smile goals and personalized treatment options. We look forward to welcoming you to our office and answering any questions you may have! Then, we’ll check with your insurance and talk about your treatment financials.
You or your child will get:

  • Exam, digital X-Rays and personalized treatment plan
  • Welcome packet with a letter from the doctor, patient testimonials, before & after photos and insider information about your first treatment appointment
  • A certificate for $200.00 off orthodontic treatment
  • Cool gifts!

It’s our goal to make all of your Plymouth Orthodontic appointments stress free and fun – from the first visit to the last!

What is the wait time for new patients?
Our free consultations fill up fast! However, we usually see new patients within one week of their appointment request, depending on their schedule!
Do you have testimonials from patients?
We sure do, our patients love Plymouth Orthodontics as much as we love them! We have a 5 star Google rating, and tons of smiling patients on our Facebook page. Here are a few:

“Dr. Alvarado is an awesome orthodontist. She is very thorough and knowledgeable. Both of my kids have orthodontic treatment with her and we are very pleased with the experiences. Highly recommend Dr Alvarado if you want a beautiful smile!”
– Ioan

“As a fellow orthodontist, I have known and worked with Dr. Alvarado for over 5 years. She is a phenomenally talented orthodontist. Additionally, she is smart, caring, thoughtful, and generous. I trust her to take care of my own friends and family. You couldn’t find a better orthodontist in Plymouth!”
– Dr. Luke Roberts

“Dr. Alvarado and her staff are phenomenal. The office is clean and organized. My son was very comfortable during his visit while having his braces put on. The staff was very nice and patient with all his questions and guiding him on proper braces care. I received all call the day after his braces were put on to see how my son was feeling, so far Dr. Alvarado has 5 stars from our family. I would definitely recommend her.”
– Melissa

Questions about: Visiting an Orthodontist

What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has not only completed a graduate program in dentistry to receive their DDS or DMD (Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine), but has also gone through a competitive residency at a CODA-accredited orthodontic program for an additional 2-3 years to be trained specifically in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.Out of 100 dental school graduates, only six go on to become orthodontists.
For more information, click here.
Why should you see an orthodontist?
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities. They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those who successfully complete this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Why is straightening my or my child’s teeth important?
There are many reasons why a straight smile is important, beyond cosmetic reasons! Crooked teeth can damage confidence, but they can also cause cavities, issues swallowing, trouble speaking, decreased oral health and other issues. A misaligned bite can cause jaw pain, and lead to cracked or worn down teeth and exposed nerves in the mouth.
What is the right time for my child to have an orthodontic check up?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. The check up may reveal that everything is developing normally in which case we would recommend periodic check ups with our office to continue monitoring growth. If the check up reveals that there is a problem we will guide you through the process and how to manage it. This may involve early orthodontic treatment or waiting until most or all of the permanent teeth transition and starting orthodontic treatment as an adolescent. For more information, click here.
What type of orthodontic treatment is right for me (or my child)?
Early (or Phase I) Treatment occurs while at an early age, anywhere from 7-10 years old. During this time of the child’s development there are still baby teeth remaining. The goal of this treatment is to create adequate room for permanent teeth, achieve well-oriented jaws and eliminate any interferences that can affect the bite and/or development of the jaws. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of tooth alignment and/or jaw problems as they grow and develop.Examples of dental problems that can benefit from early orthodontics treatment:

  • Upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough
  • Crowded or blocked permanent teeth
  • Crossbite of front or back teeth causing a shift in the bite

Early correction can prevent the removal of permanent teeth and make future correction more straightforward. If you believe a problem exists contact our office for a complimentary consultation and assessment. The average treatment length for early treatment is 8-12 months.

Adolescent (Phase II) Treatment is the most common phase of treatment. Most children undergo orthodontic treatment during this time in their development because most or all of their permanent teeth have come in and we are able to address most or all of their needs at this time. The goal is to ideally position all of the permanent teeth and jaws to maximize their appearance and function. The treatment length for Phase II is generally 18-24 months.

Adult Treatment is an important phase of treatment! Just because you are not a child or an adolescent does not mean that it’s too late to improve your smile! Many adults are seeking out orthodontic treatment either for the first time or because they stopped wearing their retainers and have experienced shifting. Either way, we are able to address your orthodontic needs as an adult to help you achieve the beautiful smile you want and deserve!

Surgical Orthodontics is a helpful option for some patients, because sometimes braces alone cannot fix all of the bite issues especially after growth has stopped. There are situations where teeth get stuck or your jaw can grow too much or not enough and it is beyond what conventional orthodontics alone can fix. In these situations, your orthodontist will work together with an Oral Surgeon to plan out your treatment and surgery will be combined with your orthodontic treatment to achieve the maximum benefit to improve your smile, facial esthetics and function. This type of treatment is reserved for severe cases or when a patient has a desire to significantly change their facial appearance.

What does an orthodontist do besides braces?
Orthodontists do so much more than just braces! We use many different techniques to improve patients’ smiles, bites and oral health. This can include Invisalign, orthodontic appliances, and different types of braces. We also stay up to date on the latest technological developments to improve our patients’ smiles more quickly and comfortably!
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
Not at all! You’re never too old to improve your smile. Whether you are a young professional wishing you had braces as a teen, an adult looking to gain confidence from a more beautiful smile or a senior who wants to protect your dental health, we’d love to help you achieve your goals at Plymouth Orthodontics!

Questions about: Braces

If you’re looking for a straighter smile, braces remain one of the most effective ways to straighten your teeth and improve your oral health! Many children and adults feel excited to get braces and start improving their smile, but some feel nervous or unsure of what to expect. At Plymouth Orthdontics, we’re here for you! For more information on braces at Plymouth Orthodontics, check out our Braces Guide!

Why do people get braces?
Straightening their Teeth – Crooked teeth can hurt your confidence, but they can also cause many physical issues. Beyond appearance, crooked teeth can cause cavities, issues swallowing, trouble speaking, decreased oral health and other issues.

Improving their Bite – Jaw pain is a common sign of a malocclusion, or bad bite. A misaligned bite can lead to worn and cracked teeth, and even exposed nerves in the mouth. Braces align the jaw to improve bite as well as straighten teeth.

Improving their Oral Health – Crooked teeth can make keeping your teeth clean very difficult! Bad breath, cavities and gingivitis are just the beginning of oral health issues, but correcting crooked teeth makes it a lot easier to brush and floss every part of your mouth.

What are traditional metal braces?
Traditional metal braces are what comes to mind when you hear “braces,” but modern braces are more comfortable and less noticeable than ever. First, small metal brackets are attached to the front of each tooth. Then, your orthodontist runs a thin wire through each bracket. Rubber bands are added last, in personalized colors. Patients come back to the office every 4 – 10 weeks for wire adjustments. This process applies a gentle pressure that moves the teeth into alignment.
What are the benefits of traditional metal braces?
If you’re looking for a straighter smile, braces remain one of the most effective ways to straighten your teeth and improve your oral health! With advances in technology, metal braces are much smaller and more comfortable than they were in years past. Braces are also cost effective, powerful and durable. In cases of extreme overcrowding, overbite or underbite, braces remain the most effective and powerful method of orthodontic treatment.
What are clear braces?
Clear or ceramic braces work the same as traditional metal braces. The difference is that these braces are much less noticeable. Instead of silver metal, clear/tooth colored brackets are placed on your teeth to hold the wires in place. Even though they’re barely noticeable, clear braces offer many of the same benefits as traditional metal braces – cost, durability, and 24/7 treatment.
What’s it like to get braces?
Everyone wonders what to expect when they get their braces on! Getting braces put on your teeth doesn’t hurt. It usually only takes less than an hour and a half. For traditional metal braces, the process goes like this:

  • Your orthodontic assistant will clean and dry your teeth.
  • Bonding glue will be applied to your teeth and brackets will be carefully placed and expertly positioned by your orthodontist. The glue will be hardened by a blue light.
  • An archwire will be run through the brackets and secured with your choice of colored (or clear!) elastic bands.
  • That’s it!
Will braces hurt?
You can expect some soreness during your first couple days of having braces. This is perfectly normal as your teeth, gums and mouth get used to braces — and should only last a few days.
How long will I need to wear braces?
It depends! At Plymouth Orthodontic, we make a personalized treatment plan that’s perfect for you. Standard treatment takes around 24 months, but can range from 6 months to 3 years.
How much will braces cost?
Without looking at you or your child’s x-rays and bite, we can’t give a good estimate. Each patient’s treatment plan (and cost!) is unique. At your free consultation, we’ll discuss treatment options, exact costs and financial arrangements. Schedule your consultation now to get started!
How often should I brush my teeth with braces?
It’s important to brush your teeth at least three times a day if you have braces. This keeps your teeth, gums and mouth healthy and removes food that gets caught between your braces. You also should floss daily to clean where your brush can’t. We’ll show you how to properly brush and floss with braces when you’re in the office!
How can I keep my teeth clean while wearing braces?
Keeping your teeth clean with braces isn’t that much different than without braces. With braces, you’ll want to avoid sugary and sticky foods that can get stuck in your braces or cause bacterial growth in your mouth. Instead of twice a day, it’s important to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day when you have braces. Using a fluoride toothpaste and rinse, may be recommended to avoid cavities. It’s also important to keep seeing your dentist every six months to avoid developing cavities.
Do I still need to see my dentist?
Yes! Seeing your regular dentist for a check-up every six months is even more important when you have braces. Since it’s easier for food to get stuck in braces, regular cleanings and exams help reduce your risk of cavities, gingivitis or gum disease.
How often will I come in for appointments?
Once your braces are on, we will need to continue to follow up for adjustments, adjustment intervals can range from 4-10 weeks depending on your particular case.
What if part of my braces comes loose?
If you have a loose wire or band, contact Plymouth Orthodontics as soon as possible, and we’ll schedule an appointment to check and repair your appliance. If a piece of your appliance comes off, save it and bring it with you.
Loose wires can be gently pushed back into place until your appointment. You can also put wax over a broken wire to stop it from irritating your cheek or lip.
Will braces interfere with sports, singing or playing an instrument?
Wearing braces won’t stop you from enjoying any activities or hobbies. We do recommend wearing a mouthguard during sports. Wind instrument players or other performers may prefer Invisalign to traditional braces. When you come in for your consultation, we’ll chat about any concerns you have!

Questions about: Invisalign

Invisalign is a convenient, comfortable and virtually invisible way to straighten your smile! Whether you’re a busy student or professional, you can benefit from the reduced limitations of Invisalign treatment. Invisalign treatment is a great solution to many of the commonly heard complaints about braces. Discreetly align your teeth while you work, learn, play and sleep. For more information on Invisalign at Plymouth Orthodontics, check out our Invisalign Guide!

What is Invisalign, and how does it work?
Invisalign uses clear aligner trays to gradually move your teeth into place. Using 3D imaging, we use the Invisalign system to design your entire treatment plan. Then, a series of aligners are custom-made for you according to the treatment plan. Each set of aligners is worn for one to two weeks before you switch to the next set.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
  • Invisalign is removable – No need to change your diet or routine! Just take your aligners out to eat, drink, brush and floss.
  • Invisalign is convenient – Are you busy? Fewer and shorter appointments are needed with Invisalign than traditional braces.
  • Invisalign is easy – No special equipment or attention is required for sports, musical instruments or other activities!
  • Invisalign is discreet & comfortable – No one will notice your aligners, including you! Closely fitted aligners won’t irritate your mouth and gums like wires and brackets.
  • Invisalign lets you see the difference now! At your initial consultation, we’ll show you what your teeth will look like after treatment!
  • Invisalign has shorter treatment times – The average Invisalign treatment takes only 15 months!
Do I have to limit what I eat with Invisalign?
Nope! Since the aligners are removable, you can eat and drink whatever you want. However, you should brush your teeth after each meal and before you reinsert your aligners to maintain good hygiene.
How much does Invisalign cost?
The cost of Invisalign is comparable to braces, but is generally a little more expensive. Cost depends on you or your child’s personalized treatment plan. Dental insurance policies usually cover both braces and Invisalign equally. When you come in for your free consultation, we’ll go over all the details to verify insurance benefits and discuss payment arrangements.
How often will come in for an appointment?
With Invisalign, we schedule appointments every 8 to 12 weeks to monitor your progress. However, Invisalign patients seldom come in for an emergency or comfort related issue, and their appointments are generally shorter since no wires need to be adjusted.

Ready to get started?

 

Kick your smile journey off right now! Let us know the most convenient time for your free consultation, and next thing you know, you’ll be seeing changes and feeling the confidence that comes with a beautiful new smile by Plymouth Orthodontics!