• Are Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Karras Board Certified?

    Yes! Read more about Dr. Gilbert's background and experience here and more about Dr. Karras here

  • What is a Board Certified orthodontist?

    A board certified orthodontist is an orthodontist who has voluntarily gone through the process of demonstrating their judgment, skills and knowledge to their orthodontic peers in order to ultimately provide the highest level of patient care. They have achieved board certification through the American Board of Orthodontics, the only orthodontic specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association and in affiliation with the American Association of Orthodontists.

    An orthodontist is a dentist who has not only completed a graduate program in dentistry to receive their DDS or DMD (Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine), but has also gone through a competitive residency at a CODA-accredited orthodontic program for an additional 2-3 years to be trained specifically in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

    Achieving board certification is the last step in a long and intensive educational experience to ultimately provide excellent patient care.

  • Why Choose a Board Certified orthodontist?

    Orthodontics is more than just straightening teeth. Orthodontists understand the complexity of growth development and facial form. Treatment plans include issues related to the jaw and bite, not just movement of teeth. There’s a reason orthodontists go to additional years of highly competitive orthodontic school – to learn and perfect their ability in the specialty. A general dentist is ideal for providing regular oral health check-ups, comparable to your family doctor. Many dentists offer orthodontic treatment plans, but have not been trained or educated in the area.

    A board certified orthodontist is committed to the highest level of patient care including a comprehensive treatment approach to ensure quality work. And board certified orthodontists must re-new their certification every 10 years to demonstrate their continuous commitment to excellence.

  • Why are braces a good idea?

    Braces result in a beautiful and healthy smile. Teeth that are not straight are harder to clean, which can lead to breakdown of your teeth. Braces are recommended to showcase your smile, develop your self-esteem, and keep your teeth as healthy as possible throughout your life.

  • When should I get braces?

    The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist at around age 7. Some problems can be prevented or improved at this stage of development and may need to receive treatment earlier. This is called Phase I treatment. The adolescent period (around 11-15 years old) is the ideal time to get braces, because that is when the permanent dentition has completed development and the child is still growing which can help if the position of the jaws need to be modified. However, braces aren’t just for children. Today, many adults are getting braces also. It’s a short amount of time for wonderfully lasting results

  • I'm unsure if I need braces, how much is a consultation?

    All of our initial consultations and preliminary examinations are completely free.

  • I have a busy schedule, how flexible can you be with appointments?

    Our goal is to make every effort to accommodate your schedule in setting up orthodontic appointments.

  • Is there maintenance with braces?

    Yes, it’s important to maintain your oral hygiene by bushing and flossing well when you have braces. Neglecting your oral health when you are wearing braces can lead to staining of your teeth, cavities, swelling of your gums or bone loss.

    Be sure to follow these guidelines for proper maintenance of your braces:

    1.  Brush your teeth and appliances after meals and snacks and before going to bed. Poor oral hygiene habits or improper brushing can result in decayed teeth and irritation and/or infection of the gums.

    2.  Please avoid hard foods, sticky foods, and foods high in sugar content. These foods can break the cement seal of the bands and distort the delicate orthodontic arch wires.

    3.  Use of a water irrigating device is very helpful in removing food particles before brushing.  We recommend incorporating this into your daily oral hygiene program, however it is not a substitute for brushing or flossing.

    4.  We recommend using a home flouride rinse or gel daily to fight against  decalcification, cavities, and control of plaque.

    5.  KEEP ALL APPOINTMENTS. Missed adjustments delay completion time. If for some reason you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify us as soon as this becomes apparent so we may reschedule an appointment for you.

    6.  If a band becomes loose, don't wait for your next appointment, but phone the office immediately and  arrange to have it recemented.  Unnecessary delay may cause gum irritation, slow progress, and invite decay. If a wire or part of the appliance becomes loose, do not discard it, place it in an envelope and bring it to the office with you.

    7.  Continue to see your family dentist for your six month prophylaxis (cleaning) of the teeth) and check up. If you have been seeing your dentist annually you will need to have more frequent cleanings due to the braces you are now wearing.

    8.  If the bands or wires bother your lips, gums, cheeks, or tongue place a small piece of soft wax or cotton over the offending wire, bracket, or tube. Such irritation will usually disappear after a day or two; but if it doesn't please call for an appointment.

    9.  Follow all instructions most carefully. Wear elastics (rubber bands), head devices or removable appliances as prescribed. Bring all appliances with you to the office to each appointment. After appliances are inserted, and in some cases, after periodic treatment visits, a patient may complain of a general soreness of the mouth or tenderness of the teeth. If you experience this normal discomfort, it can be relieved by rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water solution (one half teaspoonful of salt in a glass of water) before and after each meal.  Advil or Tylenol may be taken every four hours if the tenderness continues. There are also over the counter agents that can numb the gums temporarily that may provide help and are available at most drug stores (Brace-Aid, Ambesol, and Peroxyl are a few examples.). Although your teeth will be sensitive, do not favor your teeth! The best way to get rid of the soreness is to chew. If the soreness does not lessen after 3 to 5 days, you are advised to phone for an appointment so that an adjustment may be made.

    The length of time of treatment varies with the severity of the malocclusion, the interest and cooperation of the patient, and the response of the tissue to tooth movement. Every effort will be made to obtain the best results possible in the minimum amount of time.

  • How long will I have to wear braces?

    Each case is different and all depends on the difficulty of your case. The average time an adolescent wears braces is 18-22 months. Contact our office to set up a consultation appointment to find out about your particular needs.

  • Do I need to wear my retainers all the time?

    Wearing braces can easily be wasted if the patient does not wear their retainers as prescribed. Retainers are the final step to the perfect smile. Retainers ensure that the teeth do not move back to their original positions. Some tips: wear you retainers as prescribed, do not let your retainer get bent or damaged, always keep it in your case if it is not in your mouth, keep your retainer away from pets and heat, keep your retainer clean with brushing, white vinegar soaks may help remove deposits.

  • Are there different types of braces?

    YES. There are three types of braces: Metal braces - the most popular are made from stainless steel, a favorite with colors of the entire spectrum. Ceramic braces - a more esthetic bracket that is clear, nearly invisible. And Clear aligners - a series of clear tray aligners that you wear over time to straighten your teeth.

  • What foods do I have to avoid with braces?

    Anything that is hard, gummy, or makes a crunch when you bite into it can break a bracket or bend a wire. Examples of foods to avoid: hard or chewy candies, ice, and apples, carrots, corn on the cob (should be cut), sodas with sugar.

  • What should I expect when I get my braces?

    The first few days after getting your braces, you may experience some tenderness or soreness of your mouth and teeth.  This is completely normal.  To help alleviate the discomfort, we recommend that you eat softer foods for the first few meals.  You can rinse your mouth with cold water, and use the wax on any brackets that may be irritating you cheeks or lips.  If the discomfort is more severe, you may want to take a pain reliever such as Tylenol or swish with one teaspoon of salt in  8 ounces of lukewarm water. Always remember we are always here for you to make sure you have a great experience with your braces.

  • Why do I need to wear rubber bands?

    Rubber bands move the teeth in a direction that cannot be accomplished with braces alone.  Wearing your rubber band is the most important thing you can do to stay on track with your treatment.  Rubber band wear must be constant to be effective (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) unless otherwise indicated.  Your teeth and jaws may be tender the first few days of wearing them.  This is normal and should begin to disappear within a week.  Attaching your rubber bands may seem hard initially, however, with a little time and patience, you will be able to accomplish this task easily.  You may remove the rubber bands only when eating or brushing your teeth.  Be sure to replace the rubber bands immediately  following mealtime and brushing.  Change your rubber bands daily to new ones, after awhile they can lose their strength.  Carry extra rubber bands with you at all times so that you can replace lost or broken bands.  Rubber band wear is an important key to the speed of your treatment and the final results we can achieve..  Please call our office if you need more rubber bands before your next visit or if you need clarification on how they should be worn.

  • What if my wires or bands come loose?

    The wires and bands on your braces may come loose.  If this happens, please contactus as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance.  You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place.  If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax over the broken wire to relieve the discomfort.

  • How do I clean my clear retainer or invisible aligner?

    When you brush your teeth after every meal, brush your appliance with your toothbrush and soft soap (dish soap).  Avoid using very hot water and abrasive cleaners (tooth paste) when cleaning the appliance.  Very hot water will distort the plastic.  Hot drinks and colored beverages should be avoided to minimize distortion and discoloration.  If your appliance is out of your mouth for any reason even for a short period of time, put it in the plastic case provided and not in your pocket.  This prevents bending, breaking or loss.

  • How do I take care of my removable expander?

    WEAR: 24 hours a day unless instructed otherwise. Make sure to seat the expander fully, it should not rock or bounce. If the expander is in the mouth, but not seated fully, proper expansion will not occur.

    EATING: The Schwarz should  be worn while eating and should be removed to brush.

    CLEANING: The Schwarz should be brushed with a toothbrush and toothpaste.  It may also be soaked in any denture cleaning product such as Efferdent or Polident.

    STORAGE: While the Schwarz is not in your mouth it should ALWAYS be kept in its case. Never wrap your Schwarz in a napkin or leave it on a lunch tray.

    EXPANSION: Your Schwarz has an expansion screw and should be activated Once times per week.

    ULCERS OR PRESSURE POINTS: If you develop an ulcer or sore spot on your gums from the Schwartz, please call the office and we will be happy to adjust it for you.  If possible, please continue to wear the appliance until you arrive at the office – this will help in locating the problem area and prevent loss of progress.