Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Your Orthodontic Journey: FAQs Uncovered

Navigating through orthodontic care can spark a variety of questions, and at Chartrand Orthodontics, we’re here to provide clarity and confidence as you begin your journey towards a beautiful smile. Whether you’re curious about preparing for your first visit, the types of treatments available, or how to maximize the benefits of our orthodontic products, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to guide you. Our goal is to ensure your experience in Omaha, Nebraska, is seamless and positive. For any inquiries not covered here or to book an appointment with Dr. Chartrand, please reach out to us at (402) 330-1152. Our team is eager to assist you every step of the way.

Free consultations can be requested in one of two ways — call our office at (402) 330-1152 to schedule an appointment or submit an online Patient History/Health Information Form.

The American Association of Orthodontists® recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth have erupted in most children, allowing us to effectively evaluate their orthodontic condition.

Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide you with professional, personalized treatments. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment.

Your first visit will include a thorough oral examination that includes a 3D image of your jaws and head as well as digital images of your face and teeth. We will discuss your customized treatment plan as well as financial and insurance (if applicable) considerations.

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial consultation:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • How non-extraction therapy can prevent future airway issues, if at all possible?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

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

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

 

Yes. We are happy to help you make the most of your time. We ask that you let us know how to contact you while you’re away so we can reach you if we have any questions. We do request to speak with a parent after each appointment, so we ask that parents check in with a member of our team before picking up their child.

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

Dr. Chartrand and Dr. Tussing will do everything in their power to avoid extractions that could restrict a patient’s airway. However, removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. Because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic needs. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months.

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 consultation. We have financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also help you maximize your insurance benefits and file your claims.

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.

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil will ease the discomfort.

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

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports. If you need one, our orthodontists will provide one for you when you get your braces.

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while wearing braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are wearing braces. However, we recommend cleanings every three to six months while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will review care instructions and provide a comprehensive list of braces friendly foods. Some foods to avoid include: gum, 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.

Patients should brush their teeth at least three to four times each day — preferably after each meal and before going to bed.  Chartrand Orthodontics will provide each patient with an Oral-B electric toothbrush at the start of orthodontic treatment to promote great oral hygiene and show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces.

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.

Phase 1 treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase 1 treatment lasts about 12 to 21 months. The primary objective for Phase 1 treatment is to open the airway and facilitate proper growth by making room for the permanent teeth. Early treatment can prevent numerous problems. Waiting for all the teeth to come in first can be very problematic. Early treatment can also improve self-esteem and self-image.

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase 1 treatment. The period following Phase 1 treatment is called Phase 1 Retention (or 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.

At the completion of the initial consultation, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

A surprising number of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!

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.

No. Veneers, caps and other quick-fix solutions are designed to simply cover misaligned teeth. Often, to place these restorations the dentist must grind your teeth, removing healthy tooth structure. Orthodontic treatment correctly aligns teeth to improve the look, function and health of your smile for life.

You must wear your aligners for a minimum of 22 hours daily. You may remove them for eating, drinking and regular oral hygiene.

 

No. Unlike braces, you may eat whatever you like as long as you remove the aligners before eating. Prior to placing the aligners back on, it is important to brush your teeth and the aligners.

Like any orthodontic treatment, there is a short adjustment period. The more you speak with the aligners on, the quicker you will adjust.

There will be some pressure and minor discomfort with each new set of aligners for a day or two. This is a sign that your teeth are moving into their final positions.

It is recommended that you remove your aligners prior to chewing gum, as the gum will stick to the aligners.

We discourage smoking with aligners, as the cigarette smoke will tend to discolor them.

Brushing them with cold water and soap will keep them fresh and clean.

Regular office visits are every eight to 12 weeks. This will ensure that your Invisalign treatment is progressing as planned.

Yes.  All orthodontic patients are instructed to wear their retainers at night, indefinitely. Sleeping with your retainers in at night will ensure a healthy bite and maintain the new position of your teeth.

Treatment time varies depending on the severity of the misaligned teeth. Treatment time can generally take about the same amount of time as when conventional braces (brackets and wires) are used. Some published reports suggest that the time needed may be less.

Yes, if their teeth, including second molars, have grown in completely.

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