Confident Smile


Frequently Asked Questions

Treatment time with orthodontic appliances can range from one to three years. The actual time depends on the severity of the problem, the cooperation of the patient, and the growth of the patient’s mouth and face. Some individuals respond faster to treatment than others, and minor problems may require less time. After the braces are removed, Dr. Shaikh recommends her patients to wear retainers to help keep the teeth in their new positions. Retainers are to be worn full time for one year, after which the amount of time worn each day can be gradually reduced until eventually worn just at night for as long as possible.

No, it is not. Most of our patients are referred by their family dentist, however many patients are concerned about their health and appearance, and take the initiative to schedule themselves for an examination to have their need for orthodontic care evaluated. 

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, the six-year molars and several permanent teeth in most children have erupted allowing the doctors to effectively evaluate most developing orthodontic problems.

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as a child grows. In most people, after the permanent 6-year molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth actually decreases with age. 

If you think you or your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some very basic information concerning you and your child.

Upon arriving each patient and parent will be seen and will be acclimated to our clinic and prepare for the initial exam. Necessary photographs and impressions for moulds will be taken and radiographs (x-rays) will be requested to allow the orthodontist to make a proper diagnosis.

A brief but thorough exam will then be completed by the orthodontist. Building a comfortable and trusting relationship with the orthodontist and staff is a significant goal of our initial exam.

There are five important questions that will be answered during the initial  examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem and if so, what is it?

  • What must be done to correct the problem?

  • Will any teeth need to be removed?

  • How long will the treatment take to complete?

  • How much will the treatment cost?

In addition to these, Dr. Shaikh will take the time to answer any other questions a patient or parent may have. 


Removing teeth is sometimes needed to get the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are always the goal.

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. An “average” time a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until the doctor has actually examined you or your child. The exact cost and financial options will be discussed at the initial examination. We have many financing options available to meet most needs and we will be happy to review them with you. We also offer a discount for fees paid in full at the beginning of treatment. Proper orthodontic treatment to correct a problem is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop in later years.

Appointments are scheduled according to each individual patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 4 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, appointments will be scheduled accordingly.

We reference all area school calendars, and try very hard to meet the scheduling needs of our patients.
Fortunately, we most of our appointments for student patients are scheduled after school hours. Additionally, because most appointments are scheduled 4 to 8 weeks apart, very little time is compromised due to their orthodontic treatments. 

We are very understanding of busy schedules and working parents’ desires to run errands while their child is at our office. On some occasions the doctor may want to speak with parents when they return, so we request that parents check in with the staff before dropping off their child.

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After some visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Panado or Tylenol can be used to ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, it does not have to hurt to work!

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

No. No injections are necessary in orthodontic treatment.

Yes. We can recommend a mouth guard for all sports. Custom made mouth guards are available upon request.

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are very important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine how often you should be seen for cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day: after breakfast, lunch (or as soon as they get home from school), supper, and before going to bed. Your dental hygienist will show you how to floss your teeth with braces on, and will also advise you to use topical fluoride to help protect teeth.

If something happens and your braces are causing pain or if something is broken, you should call our office. In most cases we can address these issues over the telephone. If an emergency appointment is needed, daily time is available for timely attention.

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child still has some baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

Phase One treatment, when needed, is usually initiated on children between the ages of seven and 10. Phase One treatment usually takes about 12 months.
There are several primary objectives for Phase One treatment.

  • To address significant problems early to prevent them from becoming severe corrections later.

  • To develop jaws for crowding concerns and modify jaw growth for an improved jaw relationship.

Finally, to improve self-esteem and self-image, both very important during their formative years.

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period of time following Phase One treatment is called the “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed as to any future treatment recommendations.

At the completion of the initial examination, the doctor will determine whether a patient will need an expander or not.

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth so that the space where the teeth are missing can be properly restored.

Teeth and sometimes entire facial structures are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is very important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists, like Dr. Shaikh, have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide all types of orthodontic patients with professional and state of the art treatments.