Here are some of the most common questions we get about orthodontic treatment. If you don't find the answers you're looking for here, please reach out to us directly.
A beautiful, healthy, confident smile and an improved self-image are just some of the benefits of orthodontics. Teeth have an important role in physical health, as well. Without treatment, orthodontic problems can lead to tooth decay, gum (periodontal) disease, bone loss, speech impairment, chewing and digestive disorders, unnecessary tooth loss, and other associated dental injuries.
No! While we frequently get referrals from dental offices across the Portland metropolitan area, you do not need a referral to make a consultation with Dr. Kuperstein.
The American Association of Orthodontists (www.braces.org) recommends that your child be evaluated by age 7. An early examination allows us to determine the best time to start treatment for the best results. Early intervention while the face and jaws are still growing can often achieve results that would be unattainable at a later stage.
Prolonged habits can affect the way the teeth grow in and will ultimately affect the bite. Habits such as open mouth breathing, finger sucking, or lip biting can also cause complications. Early examination by an orthodontist will determine if treatment can help put an end to these harmful habits.
At your consultation appointment, an estimate of total treatment time will be given. But remember, an estimate is only an estimate! Patients grow at different rates and respond in different ways to treatment. Dr. Kuperstein always has goals in mind, and will usually continue treatment until those goals are achieved.
The single best predictor of finishing orthodontics “on time” is patient cooperation and motivation. Patients who take care of their appliances, keep their teeth very clean, and who cooperate with instructions (such as for wearing rubber bands, etc.) will see the fastest results. In many instances, those patients who are great helpers find that their braces actually come off early!
Braces don't have to hurt! Some pressure is normal, because the teeth are slowly moving through bone to their new positions. The special miniature brackets and new “space-age” wire used by Parkside Orthodontics provide some of the most gentle forces available, so that soreness is minimized and you can forget you’re even wearing braces. Dr. Kuperstein has had orthodontic treatment herself, and can give you first-hand knowledge about what to expect during your treatment.
Yes! And you can change your colors each time you have an appointment. Many of our patients show school or holiday spirit with our wide selection of colors to choose from.
“Bad bites” can cause premature wear on the teeth, asymmetrical jaw growth, difficulty in brushing, or a malfunctioning bite. Orthodontics will align your teeth for better function, hygiene, and appearance.
Nope! There is, of course, an initial period of adjustment. After that, it's easy to go right back to playing any instrument, just as before. There is no guarantee, however, that braces will ensure that you play on-key!
Dr. Kuperstein uses some of the most technologically advanced braces in the world today! Because of this, routine office visits for “adjustments” are much less frequent, and there will be fewer total adjustments to be made.
The vast majority of visits will occur every 6-10 weeks. Invisalign patients will come in every 6-8 weeks to receive their next set of aligners and so that Dr. Kuperstein can closely monitor the treatment.
When treatment is complete, retainer adjustment visits are spaced further and further apart, until check-ups are no longer needed.
Absolutely! During orthodontic treatment, it’s more important than ever to continue to see your regular dentist for frequent cleanings, exams, and check-ups. Dr. Kuperstein will take great care in communicating effectively with your dentist about your progress, so your dentist will always know what is going on with your treatment. If you are currently looking for a regular dentist, ask us for a referral! We know many great dentists all over town, and will make sure you are taken good care of.
Teeth are in BONE, not in STONE! This means that teeth will always have a tendency to move, unless they are prevented from doing so. For this reason, each patient will usually be given a custom-designed retainer following their active orthodontic treatment. Retainers are specially-designed appliances that help prevent teeth from drifting or moving once the braces are removed. Like all parts of the body, teeth are constantly changing and adapting. Making sure to wear your retainer as directed will help keep movement to a minimum.
If retainers are not worn as directed, your teeth may begin to shift. This can lead to the same esthetic and functional problems you were having before you got braces! . Ask Dr. Kuperstein about her own experience with wearing retainers (or not wearing retainers, to be more accurate!).
Costs will vary depending on the type of treatment required. We think everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy smile, and we don't want financial concerns to be an obstacle to your treatment. Therefore, we offer a variety of payment and financing options, including no interest options As a courtesy, we also offer multiple family member discounts. All costs will be discussed up-front at your consultation.
Some dental insurance plans provide some type of orthodontic benefit. Medical flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts can also be used for orthodontic treatment. Our knowledgeable staff will work with you to maximize your benefits, so that financial concerns do not become a barrier to a healthy, lasting smile.
A malocclusion or “bad bite” is the term for teeth that do not fit together and function correctly. Most times, malocclusions are genetic. In some cases, they come from habits, like a tongue thrust. Cavities and early extractions of baby teeth can also lead to malocclusion problems. Whatever the cause, malocclusions are not good.
Most malocclusions do not hurt, and many people aren't aware that they have one until they start to have dental issues because it gone untreated.
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. By correcting malocclusions, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you!
YES! Dr. Kuperstein particularly enjoys treating adults. Nationally, nearly one-third (30%) of all orthodontic patients are adults, including those who are 60+ years of age. Oftentimes, adults can be treated much more quickly than children. In some instances, braces only need to be worn for 4-6 months to achieve a beautiful smile. Additionally, many families are deciding to seek treatment together! As a courtesy, we offer discounts and special payment arrangements for multiple family members.
In many cases, it's obvious when there is an orthodontic problem. Things like crowding, spacing, or an overbite are easy to detect. In other cases it may be difficult to tell if treatment is necessary, because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth appear straight. There are also many instances in which it appears that there is a problem, but the situation is normal and needs no treatment. At your initial consultation, we will perform a thorough examination so that all of your questions will be answered. We will fully explain your child’s orthodontic needs, make treatment recommendations, and suggest the best time to start.
Orthodontic treatment starts with a physical examination of the patient. Additionally, periodic appointments are needed to ensure that treatment is progressing well and that the teeth and gums are healthy. Dr. Kuperstein utilizes modern techniques to minimize office appointments without compromising treatment. You can be sure she has your best outcome in mind, while understanding your busy schedule.
No, braces do not cause cavities. Cavities are caused by plaque, or accumulations of bacteria that form around food that is left on teeth. Braces can sometimes make it more difficult to keep teeth clean, and it’s therefore important that extra special care be taken when brushing and flossing. With proper brushing, flossing, diet, and the use of special fluoride rinses, cavities can certainly be prevented!
We take great pride in our cavity prevention programs! When we first place braces, we thoroughly review exactly how to keep teeth clean. Hygiene is closely monitored at each appointment, and special instructions are given throughout treatment, so that all of our patients finish with not only straight teeth, but straight healthy teeth.
In order to ensure the health of your teeth and gums, it is important to see your family dentist for regular cleanings and exams.
Yes! Ask your child to open their mouth, and look at his/her teeth. If you see any signs of crooked teeth, spaces, or overlapping teeth, your child may need orthodontic treatment. Ask your child to bite all the way down, keeping the lips open so you can see the teeth. Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom? Do the top teeth protrude out away from the bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth? All these may indicate potential problems.
Look at the alignment of your child’s jaw. Does the jaw shift off center when your child bites down? If you see any misalignment or shifting of the jaw, your child may have a skeletal problem, which may require early orthodontic intervention.
You are welcome to bring your child in anytime for a complete, complimentary exam, so that all your questions may be answered.
Orthodontic treatment is not just for a better looking smile, it can also improve bad bites (malocclusions) that occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth, or feel about your smile.
Definitely! Braces can be a huge benefit to people with missing teeth. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will usually drift into the empty space. This will cause a functional, esthetic or periodontal (gum) problem. Orthodontic treatment can correct these problems so that proper alignment may be re-established. Because of this, the replacement of missing teeth can be done more easily, esthetically, and successfully.
Our patients’ health and peace of mind is our top priority. Therefore, we use state-of-the-art sterilization and disinfection procedures on every level. We ultrasonically clean and sterilize non-disposable instruments with procedures that are identical to those used in major hospitals. After each patient visit, the entire treatment area is thoroughly disinfected. Every team member wears new gloves and a mask during all procedures. Please feel free to ask us for more information on our health and safety measures. We will be happy to give you a tour of our sterilization area.