Win a $1,000 Educational Scholarship
From Silver Smiles Orthodontics!
Click Here for More Details.
FAQ's about Orthodontics and Silver Smiles

We answer all kinds of questions.

Big. Silly. Weird. Strange.

We totally get it if you have questions regarding your treatment. Almost everybody does! See what most people ask before, during, and after treatment.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specially trained dentist who has attended an advanced education program for a continual training period of 2 to 3 years. All orthodontists are members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and have received the appropriate training.

How do you know if a person needs orthodontic treatment?

It is usually difficult to know if orthodontic treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though a patient’s front teeth appear to be straight. Asking your general dentist if you need orthodontic treatment is a good start, but Silver Smiles is the best resource since orthodontics or braces are all we do. Your initial exam is complementary so there’s no reason not to find out more if you’re curious about how we may be able to transform your smile.

People of all ages are eligible for orthodontic treatment if deemed necessary. The AAO recommends that children visit an orthodontist at the first sign of orthodontic problems or by the age of 7. Interceptive treatment at a young age can prevent the need for teeth extraction and can help you avoid more difficult treatment later on in life.

We are proud to offer various types of braces to fit all needs and lifestyles. The most common type of braces are metal braces. The most advanced type of treatment is Invisalign. Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses a series of custom clear aligners to gradually move your teeth into their ideal position.

What are the signs or symptoms of orthodontic problems?

Determining if you need braces or other orthodontic treatment can sometimes be difficult for you to assess on your own, the following information may help you in determining if you should seek orthodontic advice or not. In our opinion, since the consultation is free, just come in for a visit so that we can assess your smile and determine what treatment options are right for your smile goals.

  1. If you see any signs of crooked teeth, gaps between your teeth or overlapping teeth, orthodontic treatment is indicated.
  2. Bite all the way down, keeping your lips open so you can see your teeth, do the front top teeth line up with your front bottom teeth? Do your top teeth protrude out away from your bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of your bottom teeth? And lastly, do your top teeth go behind your bottom teeth? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a potential candidate for orthodontic treatment.
  3. Look at the alignment of your jaws. Does your jaw shift off center when you bite down on anything? If you see any misalignment or shifting of your jaw when you bite down this may suggest a skeletal or jaw bone problem which may require early orthodontic treatment.
Who should wear braces?

Braces may be worn by both children and adults, not only to improve the way their smile looks,  but also because braces correct improper alignment of teeth which can lead to gum disease and even early tooth loss. Left untreated, crooked teeth with irregular spacing can also make cleaning your teeth harder, which can give cavities the perfect place to wreak havoc on your smile. Properly aligned teeth make it easier to chew all types of foods, and can even eliminate headaches and pain caused by uneven chewing. Uneven teeth can result in weak enamel, gum problems and jaw misalignment. To solve these issues, modern technology has come to the rescue again, providing us with numerous treatment options to help alleviate some of these concerns while still keeping in line with your lifestyle and your smile goals.

At what age should an orthodontist see my child?
And, do all baby teeth have to fall before initiating orthodontic treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child be evaluated by an orthodontist by the time they are 7 years old. So, to answer one of your questions, not all of your child’s baby teeth need to have fallen out by the time they see us. In fact, early detection of some orthodontic problems and early treatment of those concerns can not only lead to a prettier smile down the road but a healthier smile, too. Early intervention can also help prevent any need for extracting a tooth when teeth are so crowded there’s no other choice. So, if you’re on the fence about whether or not to take your child in for a consultation, just schedule it. The consultation is absolutely free, and there’s no obligation to start treatment.

How long will my orthodontic treatment last?

Treatment may last from anywhere between 18 to 36 months. Of course, this may vary depending on your individual case and smile goals. To make the process move as quickly as possible, we recommend that you keep all scheduled orthodontic appointments, and keep your teeth as clean as possible while going through treatment.

What is extraction and nonextraction therapy?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Extraction therapy is a technique where some teeth are removed to make room for the other teeth in your child’s mouth. This is in contrast to non-extraction therapy where our orthodontist will expand a patients’ jaw and/or shave some teeth in order to reduce their width so that more room can be made for other teeth. Dr. Silver and Dr. Strum will make a thorough evaluation at the time of your child’s initial consultation to determine which therapy – if any – is right for your child.

What are the different types of braces?

Metal braces are the most popular with kids and teenagers. They love using different colored ligature ties (rubber bands) to show off their personality and their school spirit. These braces are much smaller and more comfortable than ever.

Translucent clear ceramic braces are the most popular with our adult patients. The reason is that with these braces, you have to be super close to someone in order to really see them. Yet, because they are a ceramic material, this makes them more fragile and therefore have some limitations. When you come in for your free initial consultation we can talk to you about your options and the pros and cons of each one.

How do braces work?

Braces can be beneficial to both children and adults. They work by providing a specific amount of pressure to your teeth in order to move them gradually to their ideal position. Overall, orthodontic treatment uses braces, retainers, and other appliances to correct any dentofacial abnormalities. We recommend that while you’re seeing us for treatment, you continue to see your regular dentist for checkups, and cleanings.

How will braces straighten my teeth?

Brackets are specifically-shaped metal or ceramic structures that are affixed to each tooth. The brackets are then connected to each other by a thin metal wire. The wire exerts gentle pressure on the teeth over time to straighten the teeth and move them to their ideal position.

What will my braces look like?

Braces are lighter, more comfortable, and more technologically advanced than ever before. They come in clear, and a variety of color and material choices – even gold. Ask our office staff about what options are available. Plus, with some braces, you can even have the option of choosing different color rubber bands at each appointment, too.

Are braces uncomfortable?

We’re going to be honest, there is some minor discomfort after your braces are first placed. This can be minimized by drinking cold ice water and reducing the temperature of your mouth when your braces are first placed. The wires used at Silver Smiles are very sophisticated and are only active at body temperature. Keeping the temperature of your mouth below body temperature relaxes the wires and minimizes the amount of pressure put on your teeth. If this does not reduce the soreness you’re experiencing, feel free to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen, and stick to soft foods to alleviate the temporary discomfort. Typically pain associated with getting your braces put on only lasts for about 24-72 hours.

Will orthodontic treatment hurt?

New high tech wires, smaller braces, innovative accessories, and the stress of preventive/interceptive treatments make today’s orthodontic options way more comfortable. In fact, we don’t need to use any anesthetic injections for any of our procedures. As a rule, braces can cause a little discomfort initially, but then the pain is gone once your teeth get used to them. Teeth can also get a little sore the day after each adjustment appointment. This annoyance can also be easily relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers, if needed. Yet, most of our patients don’t need to take any pain relievers.

Will braces affect playing sports or musical instruments?

You should be able to play any sport while you have braces on your teeth. It is recommended that you wear a mouthguard while participating in certain sports. You will need a special mouthguard specifically for braces which you can buy at Silver Smiles.

You can generally play any instrument while you have braces on your teeth. We have treated several professional musicians and thousands of children and teen musicians. All of these people have been able to play their instrument without any trouble. So, keep on playing!

Can I still have braces if I have missing teeth?

You bet! When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space. This will cause a functional, aesthetic, or periodontal problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems from happening and will also provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth.

Why are retainers so important?

Retainers keep your teeth aligned at the completion of treatment. As the teeth move during orthodontic treatment, the bone around each tooth temporarily softens. A retainer holds your teeth in their new position so that the bone can re-harden around each tooth. Wearing retainers after treatment is critical to keep your teeth in the position achieved. If retainers are not worn as instructed, your teeth can return to the position they were in prior to treatment.

When should I visit a dentist?

You should continue to see your dentist every 6 months or as directed by your dentist during orthodontic treatment for routine dental check ups and cleanings.

How much does orthodontic treatment cost?

We’ll always tell it to you straight. Orthodontic fees depend on the complexity of the orthodontic problem, the age of the patient, and the estimated length of treatment to achieve your desired results. Since each patient is different, a visit to the office for a complimentary examination will allow you to get a better idea of the treatment, how long it may take, and the fee. We offer a variety of payment options with low down payments, 0% interest, and affordable monthly payments. To sum it up, if you want a great smile, we will work with you so that you can afford it.

How does insurance work?

All you need to do is provide us with your insurance information at your first appointment. From there, we’ll accept and file most insurance. It’s that easy.

Can you be too old for braces?

Nope! Age isn’t a factor. As long as your gums and the bones which support your teeth are healthy, you can absolutely get orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign. In fact, about 30% of our orthodontic patients are adults and that number is still growing every day!

What is Phase 1 (Early Interceptive Treatment) and Phase II treatment?

Phase I or Early Interceptive Treatment usually starts while the child has most of their baby teeth with only few of their permanent teeth. The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept moderate or severe orthodontic problems early in order to reduce or eliminate them. These problems include jaw bone problems, crossbites, and teeth that are starting to crowd your child’s other teeth.

This phase does not use full braces. Generally, we use expanders, removable appliances, and retainers during this phase. These treatment approaches take advantage of the active growth to change the jaw bone structure, either making extra room for teeth or addressing jaw bone discrepancies. This helps reduce the need for extractions or jaw surgery, and delivers better long term results and treatment options. Most Phase I patients require a Phase II treatment in order to achieve an ideal bite.

Phase II treatment involves the use of full braces with a goal to finish the occlusion or bite ideally. This usually occurs when all of your child’s permanent teeth are present. Many times there is a gap of some time between Phase I and start of Phase II treatment. This phase most commonly occurs around the age of 12 or 13.

How long does Phase I Treatment & Phase II Treatment last?

In our office, Phase I treatment usually lasts between 12 and 14 months. Phase II treatment (or full braces) can last from 18 to 36 months. In both situations, we generally see patients every 1 to 3 months for their adjustment appointment.

Treatment time and its success depends on multiple factors such as, the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation, and the natural speed at which your teeth move.

Does everyone need a Phase 1 treatment?

Absolutely not! But in many cases early intervention helps a lot. We will offer Phase I treatment only if it makes a difference in future.

What is full or comprehensive orthodontic treatment?

This is another name for orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition at any age. It is more commonly used when a Phase I treatment is not performed.

Is orthodontic care expensive? Do you have a payment plan?

Our innovative business model is very unique which makes braces or orthodontic treatment affordable.

We offer financial payment plans to our entire patient base with the option of affordable monthly payments. We don’t charge any interest either. We have found that the initial down payment charged by traditional orthodontists is prohibitive to many hard working families – especially with multiple family members who could benefit from orthodontic treatment.

If you’re interested in scheduling a free consultation, call our office today at 770.972.6000  or email us at to learn more.


Feeling a little foggy on Clear Aligners?

We can clear that up.

How much do Clear Aligners cost?

As with other types of orthodontic treatment, the cost of Invisalign® or 3M Clear Aligners depends on the complexity of a patient’s case. The cost is generally slightly more expensive than traditional braces. If you’re curious as to how much clear aligners may cost for you, schedule your free consultation – there’s no charge and no obligation, either. And if you’re worried about cost, don’t stress. We have a number payment plans that will make your budget smile, too.

Do Invisalign and 3M Clear Aligners really work?

Oh,yeah! Clear Aligners really do work. In fact, in both clinical research and in orthodontic and dental practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth. The key is to make sure that you wear your clear aligners for at least 20 hours a day and only take them out when you’re eating, drinking, or brushing and flossing your teeth. If you don’t wear your aligners as recommended, your treatment will take a lot longer.

Does insurance cover clear aligners?

Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign® and 3M Clear Aligners should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.

What are aligners made for?

Aligners are made of clear, h5 medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.

What do aligners look like?

Aligners are nearly invisible and look similar to clear tooth-whitening trays, but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have referred to them as “contact lenses for teeth.”

How does Invisalign effectively move teeth?

Like brackets and archwires, Invisalign® Aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign® not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.

What is the minimum age of a patient that a doctor can treat with Clear Aligners?

Doctors can use Invisalign® or 3M Clear Aligners to treat a vast majority of patients with fully-erupted molars.

Interested in seeing if clear aligners are right for you or your child? Schedule your free consultation today by calling 770.972.6000.


Your smile’s waited long enough.

No one knows smiles like the orthodontists at Silver Smiles. If you’re ready to get a smile that makes you want to smile, you’ve found the right solution at Silver Smiles Orthodontics.

If you’re in need of general dental work like cavity repair, teeth cleaning, caps, crowns or veneers, give us a call and we’ll be happy to refer you to an outstanding general dentist in your area.