When should an orthodontist see my child?

Children should receive their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven, or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child’s physician. An early evaluation enables us to determine when a child’s particular problem should be treated. In many patients, early treatment provides results that are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Can you be too old for braces?

Absolutely not. Age is not a factor! We love our adult patients!

Will it hurt?

Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically over the years.You can expect braces to make your teeth sore for a day or two after they are placed or adjusted, but it won’t be “painful”. Today’s braces are smaller and more comfortable. High tech wires move the teeth more efficiently and with less discomfort.

Can I still have braces if I have missing teeth?

Yes. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space. This often causes functional, esthetic, or periodontal problems. Orthodontic treatment can close the space or provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth.

What are the benefits of braces?

  • Having straight teeth that fit together properly improves function. Your teeth and jaw joints can work more efficiently.
  • Straight teeth are easier to clean.
  • The appearance of the smile and face are improved. Having a pleasing smile can improve self-esteem, confidence, and a feeling of acceptance in daily life.

What types of braces are available?

Metal braces are the most popular with our young patients. They love using different colors on the metal braces! We also have gold and clear ceramic braces available at additional cost.

Are braces expensive?

When you consider that the benefits last a lifetime, the cost is really quite reasonable. Financing options are available, and our office offers payment programs that will likely meet your needs. In addition, we file insurance claims for you!

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

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

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.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

CALL or TEXT (515) 225-9245 to make an appointment. Or fill out our Free Online Smile Assessment.

What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare the patient for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam. Read More

What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination: 
“Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?” 
“What must be done to correct the problem?” 
“Will any teeth need to be removed?” 
“How long will the treatment take to complete?” 
“How much will the treatment cost?”

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 goals of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time a person will need to be in braces is approximately 22 months.

How often will I need appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot always schedule appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled five to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school time due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

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

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

Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

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.

Can I still play sports?

Yes. But we do recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

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

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Are there foods I should not 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 are 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.

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 that have braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

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.

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.

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 to 21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe, as well as to improve the child’s self-esteem and self-image.

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.

Will my child need an expander?

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

Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.


105 Valley West Dr,
West Des Moines 50265

Office Hours

MON - WED7:30 am - 4:30 pm

THU7:30 am - 3:30 pm

FRI - SUNClosed


530 39th St,
Des Moines 50312

Office Hours

MON - WED7:30 am - 4:30 pm

THU7:30 am - 3:30 pm

FRI - SUNClosed