Frequently Asked Questions


Dr. Chan and Dr. Curtis' comprehensive orthodontic treatment philosophy includes treatment at the appropriate time. If possible, for children, they try treating in one phase instead of two phases—which often means trying to delay treatment until all the permanent teeth erupt around age 12. This makes it less costly and means fewer office visits.

However, some orthodontic problems require early intervention such as extreme crowding, excessive overbites, cross bites and growth abnormalities. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children see an orthodontic specialist when a child is age 7.

To learn more about orthodontics and how we can help you, please give us a call to schedule a complimentary consultation appointment with Dr. Chan or Dr. Curtis.


- Parents -

Why is orthodontic treatment important?

While many people think that orthodontics is primarily a cosmetic treatment, it also has many oral health benefits. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, which lowers the risk of decay. Furthermore, orthodontics also helps to correct an improper bite, which can cause inefficient chewing, jaw misalignment, joint pain, excessive wear, and stress on the teeth and gums. Orthodontic treatment can help avoid problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Of course, straight teeth look better, which can contribute to higher self-esteem and self-confidence.

When should I see an orthodontist?

The American Board of Orthodontics recommends that all children see an orthodontist by age 7 since that is when the first few permanent teeth have erupted. However, orthodontic treatment can be done at any age and we will be glad to see you at any time to discuss the best age for your circumstances.

How long does treatment last?

Treatment time depends on each person's specific orthodontic problem, as well as patient cooperation. In general, active treatment lasts between 1-3 years, with the average treatment lasting around 2 years.

How much does it cost?

Since every person has a different situation, there is no standard cost for orthodontic treatment. The cost will depend on a number of factors such as the complexity of the case and the estimated length of treatment.

We offer many payment options at no additional cost.

Will my dental insurance pay for it?

Many dental insurance plans have orthodontic benefits. We will gladly check your eligibility and submit the claim for you.

How long and how often are appointments?

Typically we try to schedule appointments monthly. Most appointments are 30 minutes or less. There are a few appointments that take a little longer but they are never over one hour.

Can I get braces as an adult?

Yes! While orthodontic treatment is generally done in adolescent years, about 25% of our patients are adults.

Family orthodontics

- Patients -

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not generally "hurt", although you may feel that your teeth are sore after an adjustment appointment. In these situations, you may take a non-aspirin pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol while the teeth are still adjusting. Chewing sugarless gum makes the discomfort go away faster.

Can I choose any color for braces?

Braces Ties

Yes. Take your pick!

Do I have to wear headgear?

Not necessarily, it depends on your specific situation. Less than 2% of patients need to wear headgear. There are a number of new ways to handle situations where headgear was needed in the past - including rubber bands, functional appliances, and small bone anchors (also known as TADs or temporary anchorage devices).

Will braces prevent me from doing regular school activities?

Braces will not interfere with your regular activities, but if you play a sport where you already wear a mouth guard we can discuss what you should do.

If I get braces, do I still have to see my regular dentist for checkups?

Yes, please continue to see your regular dentist for cleaning and checkups.

Will I need to have teeth pulled out for braces?

Most people do not need to have tooth extraction but it is sometimes necessary for the best orthodontic result. Occasionally it is needed; sometimes it is done to get a nicer facial profile. However, the ultimate decision is up to you.

Are there foods that I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Hard crunchy foods and soft sticky foods can break or damage your braces, which could prolong treatment. Sticky foods also make it difficult to clean your teeth while wearing braces.