At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office at 713-436-8877, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

What will happen at the initial appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. Dr. Kudchadker will complete a thorough clinical exam to determine if you are a candidate of orthodontic treatment. Clinical records will be taken which consist of photos, x-rays and impressions of the teeth. These records are then studied and analyzed by Dr. Kudchadker to determine the type of treatment that will be needed to achieve a stable healthy smile.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Each patient is different. The length of treatment would be determined after an in depth clinical examination is conducted and diagnostic records are studied by Dr. Kudchadker. The amount of time spent in braces can vary depending on the individual patient's malocclusion. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 to 30 months; however, most standard treatments take about 18-20 months.

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

The cost of braces depends on the length and type of treatment needed. We have many 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. We accept most PPO's and are in-network providers for various plans.

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." Once your braces are placed, your 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!

Can I still play sports or play an instrument?

Yes. While there will be a period of adjustment, you will be able to participate with sports or play an instrument. For sports, we recommend wearing a mouth guard to protect your braces and mouth.

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

Yes, you should see your regular dentist every 4 to 6 months for your regular cleaning and check-ups. In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist more frequently as food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with Dr. Kudchadker to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

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.

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 prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

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 6-12 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.

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.