1. What is an orthodontist?

h-braces5.jpgAn orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

Orthodontists must first attend college and then complete a four-year graduate program at a dental school affiliated with a university accredited by the American Dental Association. They must then successfully complete an additional residency program in advanced education in orthodontics. This is typically 2 or 3  years in length .The advanced training includes such diverse studies as genetics, embryology, human growth and development, and biophysics. Only dentists with this advanced specialty education can present and call themselves orthodontists.

2. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our Calvert and St. Mary’s County patients are referred by their family dentist, but a great number are referred by patients in our practice or by taking the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

3. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

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

4. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

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.

5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

At the initial appointment, Dr. Krishnan will examine you or your child and determine the need for treatment. There is no charge for the examination.

If you are ready for treatment, the next step would be to take diagnostic records, which include two digital X-rays, photographs of the face and teeth and impressions. The records can be done at this appointment and there would be a charge for the diagnostic records..

6. 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.

7. How long does orthodontic treatment take?

No two smiles are exactly alike. No two orthodontic treatment programs are alike either. Some active treatment may take from 6-30 months or longer depending on the severity of the problem, the age of the patient and the degree of movement possible.

8. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our orthodontics office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you, then get you scheduled quickly and conveniently.

9. How much does orthodontic treatment cost?

While it is important to keep in mind the lifetime value that orthodontics offers, if you have questions don't be afraid to ask. You may discover that the price tag is lower than you thought. The cost of treatment will vary depending on the severity of the problem. Many orthodontic issues require only limited treatment. We will be happy to discuss fees with you before beginning treatment when you come into our office.

10. What forms of payment do you take?


11. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 6-12 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

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

Yes. We understand busy schedules, and we are happy to help accommodate our patients time. We ask that parents check in with our scheduling coordinators before dropping off their child. We will always speak to a parent when they return to update their child's progress.

13. 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!"

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

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

15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.


16. Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouthguard for any contact sports.

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

Absolutely! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy,  some 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.

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

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

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

22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

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.

23. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 12-21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

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

25. Will my child need an expander?

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

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

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

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

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.

Contact Your Calvert County Orthodontist Today!

We hope you were able to learn more about the orthodontic treatments we offer at our Calvert County office. If you have any remaining questions or concerns about our orthodontic practices, treatment options, orthodontist, or anything else, feel free to contact us today. Dr. Krishnan Orthodontics in Calvert County knows how important it is to choose an orthodontist that will help you get the smile of your dreams. So contact us and schedule a visit with us today!