Douglas Peyton, DDS, MS | Des Moines Orthodontics  
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Frequent Questions


At what age should a child first be seen for an evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get an evaluation by an orthodontist no later than age 7. Although only a few orthodontic problems need to be corrected at that age, early identification of problems allows us to offer advice and guidance as to when the appropriate age would be to start orthodontic treatment. Children that are not ready for orthodontic treatment will be seen every 6 months to re-evaluate growth and development. This service is free of charge.

What are some signs that braces might be needed?

  • Jaws that are too far back or too far forward
  • Upper front teeth that protrude excessively over the lower teeth (overbite)
  • Upper front teeth that are behind the lower front teeth (underbite)
  • Crowded or spaced teeth
  • Upper and lower front teeth that do not touch when biting together(open bite)
  • Upper front teeth that cover most of the lower front teeth when biting (deep bite)
  • Thumb or finger sucking that continues after 6 or 7 years old
  • Uneven or excessive tooth wear
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth

How long does the initial evaluation take?

The initial evaluation will usually last between 30 minutes and one hour. Dr. Peyton will spend as much time as is needed to thoroughly explain the problems and treatment options, as well as, answer any questions you might have. The initial evaluation is a complimentary service that we provide so that you can receive the information you need to determine if orthodontic treatment is right for you.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

The benefits of orthodontic treatment may include better function, improved cleaning, reduced wear, increased longevity of natural teeth, and improved esthetics. Crowded, crooked teeth are more prone to injury and can trap food and make it harder to clean and maintain them. Finally, don't underestimate the value of an attractive smile. Not only can it improve one's self-esteem and self-confidence, but can also benefit social and career success.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Although every case is different, patients usually wear braces from 1-3 years. Treatment times vary with several factors. This includes the severity of the problem, how well the patient follows the orthodontists instructions for wearing appliances, and how good the patient's oral hygiene is throughout treatment.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces apply steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their desired positions. The main parts of braces are the brackets that are placed on the teeth and the archwire that connects them. It is the archwire that guides the teeth to their new positions.

How much do braces usually cost?

Due to the many different orthodontic problems that exist and the many treatment options we have, it is impossible to give an estimated cost without having seen the patient first. After it has been determined what treatment is appropriate, Dr. Peyton will inform you as to what your investment for treatment would be and the flexible financing options that are available. Patients today are finding braces more affordable than ever. When you consider the lifetime benefits of orthodontic treatment, it is truly a great value.

Will wearing braces interfere with playing sports or a musical instrument?

No. We do recommend using a mouth guard to protect your smile while participating in sporting activities. Mouth guards come in a variety of colors and are inexpensive and comfortable.

Brace covers or soft wax can be used while playing a musical instrument. There also may be a short initial period of adjustment if you play certain instruments.

Should I still see my general dentist while I have braces?

Yes. To keep the teeth and gums healthy, regular visits to the family dentist must continue during orthodontic treatment. Generally, this is at least every 6 months. Adults that have some forms of periodontal disease should be seen more often. To assist the dentist and dental hygienists, we can easily arrange to have the archwires removed before your appointments with them.

If something breaks or comes loose what should I do?

Don't be alarmed if something breaks or comes loose during orthodontic treatment. This does occasionally happen. If a wire is sharp or protruding, try to bend it out of the way with a blunt instrument or pencil eraser. If the irritation continues, place a small ball of soft wax over the area to reduce the irritation. Please call our office as soon as possible for any problems you are having.

What should I do if there is a traumatic injury to my teeth?

These types of injuries include knocking out, displacing, or fracturing teeth. You should be seen by your family dentist first since we may not have the necessary materials to adequately treat these injuries. If the braces are broken or displaced we will need to repair the appliance after you have seen your family dentist. If you are unable to contact your dentist or an alternate facility, please call our office and we will try to assist you.

oines Orthodontics
  Des Moines Orthodontics
22221 7th Avenue South, Des Moines WA 98198
p: 206.824.8288
f: 206.824.3859
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