Frequently Asked Questions

Does my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, he or she does not have to. Many patients are referred to our office by their dentist, but many others schedule an evaluation themselves.

At what age should my child be seen for an initial orthodontic evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children be seen by age 7. This is the age that the permanent first molars are erupted, establishing the back bite or occlusion.

What will I learn from the initial evaluation?

You will be informed if there is an orthodontic problem, options for correcting any problems including possible tooth removal, duration of treatment and cost.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to individual patient needs. Most patients in braces or Invisalign are seen every six to eight weeks.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, everyone cannot get an after school appointment every time to keep it fair to all our patients. We do our best to work around your obligations and are open during school vacations. Given the nature of scheduling requirements every six to eight weeks, time out of school is minimized, and after school appointments are given whenever possible.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We ask that you come in with your child for their initial evaluation and initial placing of orthodontic appliances. If any need for your presence at other visits arises, we will let you know.

Do braces hurt?

Braces can cause a bit of discomfort from time to time, but generally do not “hurt”. If soreness occurs after braces placement or a wire change, pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil can be used at your discretion.

Can I return to school the day my braces are placed?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school after any orthodontic procedure.

Do you give shots?

No. We do not have any needles in the office as shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

Can I still play sports?

Yes. We will give you a special mouthguard for braces. When your treatment is complete, we can fabricate a custom mouthguard for you.

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

Yes. You will continue to see your family dentist every 6 months or more often if necessary for regular checkups and dental cleanings.

Are there foods I need to avoid while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, foods which are overly hard, chewy or sticky need to be avoided. This includes ice, popcorn, hard candy, beef jerky, raw uncut vegetables, taffy, and caramel, for example.

Can I chew gum while I have braces?

Yes, if it is sugar free and not more than one piece at a time.

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day but preferably four times a day, after each meal and before bedtime. Either a manual or electric toothbrush can be used as long as proper brushing technique is utilized.

What is an emergency appointment? How are emergencies handled?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks or becomes loose, you should call our office. In most cases, the problem can be addressed over the phone. In some cases, a trip to our office is necessary, and we do our best to accommodate you as quickly and conveniently as possible.

Can orthodontic treatment be rendered while baby teeth are present?

Yes. Some orthodontic issues require early intervention and baby teeth may still be present.

What is Phase One treatment?

Phase One or early treatment is not always needed but is sometimes necessary. This phase of treatment typically occurs between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. Some orthodontic problems which warrant early treatment include: severe crowding, deep overbite, openbite associated with a habit such as thumb sucking or tongue thrust, crossbite, underbite, or upper jaw protrusion. Addressing these issues early can lessen the duration of braces in the future.

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

It is never too late for braces. Actually, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. There are less noticeable alternatives to traditional metal braces including ceramic braces and Invisalign. If you have crowns or missing teeth, this will not inhibit you from being a candidate for treatment. Teeth with crowns move just like regular teeth. In the case of missing teeth, orthodontic treatment can help to align teeth adjacent to the area so that your dentist can recommend a suitable replacement.

Office Hours
Monday8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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What People Say

Positive experience

My daughter and I have always had a positive experience with Dr. Griffin. She and her staff have always been very polite. When my daughter was nervous about a certain procedure, she took the time to explain everything and was very reassuring.

Jennifer • Ellington, CT
Deborah S. Griffin DMD, LLC, 351 Merline Road, Vernon, CT 06066 - Phone: 860-875-1886