•    707 5th St., Suite 101
    Ames, Iowa 50010

  • 1400 Fawcett Pkwy., Suite A
    Nevada, lowa 50201

Orthodontics FAQ

We want to make sure you have all the information you need to make your orthodontic treatment as easy and successful as possible. Read through the our orthodontics FAQ, and if you still have questions, feel free to contact our office and we will answer your questions to the best of our abilities!

general faq

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, 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.

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.

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

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because you have had an orthodontic appointment

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. Because most appointments are scheduled 5 to 8 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatment. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs

Can I still play sports?

Yes. We do recommend a mouth guard for all contact sports.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 months to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18-24 months. SureSmile Technology offered by Dr. Wass can reduce treatment time by up to 30% to 40%.

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

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

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 special fluoride rinse, if necessary.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

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 important at all ages. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!

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 at 515-232-3357. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.

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 usually lasts about 12-15 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.

For more information on Phase One Treatment, please visit our Early Treatment page.

Why should you 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 treatment.

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. Following Phase One treatment, your child’s growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

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