Frequently Asked Questions


What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

Any age is right if you want to improve your smile. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends the first visit be around age 7, but orthodontic treatment isn’t just for children and teens. One out of every five Rockwall Crossing Orthodontics patients is an adult, taking advantage of new products like clear brackets or Invisalign.

How do braces work?

Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets.

Will it hurt?

Braces do not generally hurt, but you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks and mouth get used to your new braces.

What will it cost?

Total cost depends on the length of time that you’re in your braces, and is determined up front when your treatment plan is created. Most insurance plans are accepted. Financing is available with no interest charge. Patients are billed monthly.

Will braces interfere with sports or playing an instrument?

Playing a contact sport or musical instrument may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in your regular activities. Wearing a mouthguard will protect your teeth and your appliance during sports.

What should I expect at my first visit?

Dr. Bart will sit down with you, discuss your concerns, and do a simple exam. With that information they can answer many questions about possible treatment options, if needed, and timing. They will also be able to determine if further x-rays or other diagnostic aids are needed.

When is the best time to refer a child with a skeletal disproportion or oral habit (i.e. thumb habit)?

Because some problems respond best to early correction, children should be referred as soon as the problem is recognized. Dr. Bart will determine the best time to pursue any needed treatment following an accurate differential diagnosis considering the exact nature of the problem and the growth and development of the individual patient.

Why are some children treated before all of the permanent teeth erupt?

In most cases where early orthodontic treatment is recommended, the objective of interceptive treatment will be one or more of the following:

  • to correct jaw disproportions before aligning the teeth
  • to correct jaw disproportions before aligning the teeth
  • to manage crowding
  • to eliminate damaging habits

With these problems, correction at a younger age may provide for better or faster results. In other cases it may allow for more normal later development and eruption of permanent teeth. After all the permanent teeth erupt, the treatment objective is to achieve optimal alignment, esthetics, function, and stability.

Do all children with orthodontic problems require interceptive (early) treatment?

No. The need for interceptive orthodontics must be determined on an individual basis. After a thorough diagnosis, Dr. Bart will determine if the benefits of early treatment significantly outweigh the time and effort involved in two phases of treatment. In gerneral, we feel that for most patients, a single phase of treatment once all the permanent teeth have erupted is the best approach.

Why are serial or selective extractions recommended for some young patients?

In some situations early removal of selected primary teeth can greatly aid the eruption of the permanent teeth. Carefully-timed extractions may prevent a variety of problems including:

misplaced eruption or failed eruption of some permanent teeth.
root resorption, especially on permanent upper front teeth (laterals incisors).
severe crowding in the permanent dentition requiring more involved future treatment (such as removing permanent teeth).

Why is age seven an ideal time for screening by an orthodontist?

With the presence of permanent incisors and the first molars, Dr. Bart can evaluate the fit of the jaws and teeth as well as any present or future crowding problems. Habit patterns, facial asymmetries and fracture-prone incisors are also likely to be apparent by age seven.