1. Is my dentist supposed to schedule my appointment with the orthodontist or can I?

Either way works. Many of Dr. Ronald Champion’s patients are referred by their dentist, while others schedule a consultation themselves.

2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for my child’s orthodontic consultation?

We recommend an orthodontic screening at age 7. Because many permanent teeth have erupted by this age, our team at Dr. Ronald L. Champion, DDS can effectively evaluate your child’s orthodontic condition.

3. Will my child’s teeth straighten as they grow?

No, they generally do not. The space available for the front teeth does not grow as your child does. In fact, this space decreases with age after you permanent molars have erupted.

4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial consultation and exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment in Modesto, California, simply call our office or fill out or appointment request form online. When you call to schedule your appointment, we will request some basic information from you.

5. What will happen at the initial consultation and exam?

Each patient and parent will be seen by the team and doctor who will show you our office and prepare you for the initial consultation. We will take photographs and X-rays so we can make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete an exam of your teeth and bite. To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit page under the Patient Resources section.

6. What will I learn from the initial consultation with our orthodontist?

There are a few questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem and what is it?
  • What treatment can correct the problem?
  • Will any teeth require removal?
  • How long will the orthodontic treatment take?
  • How much will the orthodontic treatment cost?

7. Will I need to have some teeth extracted in order to have braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. However, because modern technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, tooth extractions are not always necessary for orthodontic treatment. But because each patient is different, extraction of one or more adult teeth is the best and most conservative option to achieve optimum orthodontic results.

No dentist or orthodontist wants to remove perfectly healthy teeth. However, after conducting an exam, our orthodontist will look at important factors in establishing a treatment plan such as the amount of crowding. This is determined by measuring the jaw length in comparison to tooth mass. We also check to see if the patient can close their lips over their teeth. If comfortable lip closure is not achieved, the odds are increased for unnecessary tooth exposure, tooth injury, and a smile that may not fit the face. Our orthodontist will also look at the overall physical make up of the patient to determine whether tooth removal is needed. The final decision to extract is delayed until it is absolutely certain that it is the best course for treatment. Our orthodontist will communicate this information to the patient (or responsible party) so they will be on the same page when the time comes for a decision to be made.

Some people have been informed that expansion will resolve all levels of crowding, but this is not true. There are physical limits to how much we can expand safely and effectively. For patients who have mild to moderate crowding and a certain facial type, expansion can be helpful, but it is not a perfect solution in every case. Whether the patient has teeth extracted or not, a good bite and a balanced smile that fits the face should be the goal.

8. How long will it take to complete orthodontic treatment?

The length of treatment will depend on the severity of the patient’s orthodontic problem. Treatment generally lasts from 12 to 30 months with an average time frame of 22 months.

9. How much do braces cost? What financing options and insurances are available?

We will give you an exact cost of treatment after we have examined you. We have several financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you as well as your insurance policy.

10. How often will I have appointments?

Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 10 weeks depending on their orthodontic needs.

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

Though we try to work with our patients’ schedules, we cannot always set up an appointment for students during after-school hours. However, most patients will miss very little school because orthodontic treatments are scheduled 5 to 10 weeks apart.

12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes, you may. Our orthodontist and team understand that you have a busy schedule and we are willing to help you out. We may need to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with our patient manager at this time.

13. Do braces hurt?

Braces generally do not hurt. After some visits with our orthodontist, your teeth may feel sore for a few days, but pain relievers can ease this discomfort. However, most patients do not feel any soreness at all.

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

Yes, you can. Orthodontic treatment shouldn’t impede your ability to attend classes.

15. Do you give shots?

No. Local anesthetics are usually not needed for orthodontic treatment.

16. Do you use recycled braces for new patients?

We do not. Our team believes that when patients have the best materials and their own braces, they will achieve the most optimal results.

17. Can I still play sports while wearing braces?

Yes. However, we highly recommend wearing a mouth guard, especially when playing contact sports.

18. Do I need to see my dentist while wearing braces?

Yes. Regular check-ups with your dentist are imperative for maintaining dental health while wearing braces. Your dentist will determine the intervals between professional cleaning appointments while you receive orthodontic treatment.

19. Are there foods that I cannot eat while wearing braces?

Yes. Some of the foods you should avoid include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables, and sticky foods (e.g. caramel and taffy). These foods can become trapped in your braces and may even damage them. We will provide a complete list of foods to avoid once you begin orthodontic treatment.

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

We recommend brushing your teeth at least four times a day after meals and before going to bed. You should also continue to floss between your teeth and we will show you how to do so while wearing braces.

21. How do I handle an orthodontic emergency?

If your braces break or cause severe pain then you should call our office immediately. We are on-call 24/7 for emergency care, though in most cases we can address problems with braces over the phone.

22. Can children wear braces while they have baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are severe enough to require early intervention. But generally we will follow that patient’s tooth development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

23. What is early orthodontic treatment?

Early orthodontic treatment is usually initiated on children between 7 and 10 years of age. This treatment usually lasts about 16-21 months and it addresses significant problems in order to prevent them from becoming too severe.

24. Will my child need full braces if they have early orthodontic treatment?

It is always best to assume that your child will need full braces even after early orthodontic treatment. They will have a resting period after the initial treatment where we will monitor the growth and eruption of their teeth. Parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations during this time.

25. Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial consultation and examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander to improve their bite.

26. Is it too late to have braces if I am an adult?

Nobody is too old to wear braces. Though orthodontic treatment is more effective for children and teenagers, adults can still have their smile straightened with it. Many of our patients are adults and they benefit from a healthier smile and increased self-esteem through braces treatments.

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

Yes. A crown will move just like a tooth. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will simply align the remaining teeth.

28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist to straighten my smile?

Orthodontic specialists have advanced training that enables them to provide patients with professional, personalized treatments to improve the health and appearance of their smile. Because orthodontic treatment will change your teeth and facial structure permanently, you will want to trust a specialist.