Orthodontic FAQs

Dr. Kent Phillips and his friendly staff at Legendary Smiles – your leading Reno and Sparks, NV orthodontic office – aim to make your orthodontic experience convenient, affordable and pleasant.

Our patients and parents often have many questions regarding braces and orthodontic treatment. Below are ten of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) about orthodontics. If you still have unanswered questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us as we’re always happy to speak with you!

Do I need to get a referral from my dentist to make an orthodontic appointment?

No, you don’t. While many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, many of our patients take the initiative to contact us to schedule appointments for themselves or their children.

At what age should I schedule the first orthodontic evaluation for my child?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. By the time your child reaches the age of 7, many of the permanent teeth are in, allowing us to identify any possible orthodontic problems that many exist.

My teeth have been crooked for years. Can I still get braces?

Yes, healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can create or restore good function and teeth that work better usually look better too. When you have your smile improved as an adult, you will feel good about your appearance regardless of your age.

What types of braces are available for adults?

As an adult in need of orthodontic treatment, you may be allowed to choose from several options including metal braces which are lightweight and smaller & more comfortable than metal braces used a few years ago. For more discreet treatment, you may be a candidate for translucent braces or clear aligners that offer a discreet way to improve your smile.

Will I need to have teeth extracted in order to wear braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes necessary in order to achieve the optimal orthodontic result. The goal of orthodontics is a balanced facial profile and straight teeth. However, it’s not always necessary to extract teeth prior to braces due to the advanced orthodontic procedures used by our Reno, orthodontics practice.

Can I play sports while wearing braces?

Yes, but it’s important that you wear a protective mouth guard when playing sports or while participating in any activity which poses a risk for injury to the head, mouth or face.

Is it painful to wear braces?

Generally speaking, braces do not cause pain. However, you may experience some discomfort for a few days wherein your teeth will feel sore. If you feel uncomfortable, over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Advil can ease the discomfort. Most of our patients don’t feel any soreness. We often tell our patients that “it doesn’t have to hurt to work!”.

Do I still have to see my family dentist when wearing braces?

Yes. It’s important to see your family dentist as usual when wearing braces for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist will determine how often you need to visit his or her office while you’re in braces.

Are there foods I should avoid while wearing braces?

Yes. We will provide you with full instructions regarding what you foods you should avoid while you’re wearing braces. To avoid having to make emergency appointments to have your broken or damaged braces repaired, you should avoid eating hard foods like raw vegetables, chewy foods like pizza crust & hard-crusted breads and sticky foods like caramel & taffy.

Can I schedule all of my child’s orthodontic appointments after school hours?

Because many of our patients are school-aged youngsters, we cannot schedule all appointments for students after school. We do however, try to schedule your child’s appointments so they fit into your schedule. And, because your child’s appointments are scheduled 5 to 10 weeks apart, he or she will miss minimal school time.