Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Braces

Do I have to be referred to see an orthodontist?

Great news! You don’t. In fact Dr. Jay Burton at SmileMaker Orthodontics in Hendersonville and Nashville provides a free orthodontic consult to you as a courtesy.

A lot of our patients were referred to us by general dentists and pediatric dentists. Dr. Burton has worked hard to develop a relationship with many professionals in the Hendersonville, Madison, Goodlettsville, and Nashville area. We appreciate the trust and confidence they place in Dr. Burton and SmileMaker Orthodontics.

We even have pediatricians, ENTs, allergists, and many others referring to Dr. Burton because of his expertise and experience with orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. So feel free to take the initiative and schedule an examination yourself. You’ll be glad you did!

How old should my child be to see an orthodontist?

The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) generally advises that an orthodontist do a screening around the age of 7.

The reason that this is a good time is because many permanent teeth in most children have started to erupt at this age and this allows a specialist to truly evaluate your child’s orthodontic condition. Orthodontists monitor the growth and development of not only your child’s teeth, but also their facial structure and jaw growth.

Can’t my dentist give me braces?

They legally can, but would you really want someone that hasn’t specialized in orthodontics to move your child’s teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, which will be permanently changed as a result of treatment. 

Dr. Burton is not only a specialist in orthodontics, but is also one of the few that are board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics.

He has specialized training and uses the most advanced technology available; this enables him to provide his patients with the best professional and personalized treatments in the Madison, Goodlettsville, Hendersonville and Nashville area. Come see us today at 200 Gleaves St. Suite C.

Will my kids’ teeth straighten out as they grow?

It is unlikely that teeth will get straighter as a child grows and develops. Most children now days receive braces at some point. In fact, for most individuals, teeth actually get more crooked and crowded as we age.

What do I have to do to get an appointment as a new patient for an initial exam/consult?

It’s easy to set an orthodontics appointment at SmileMaker Orthodontics! Click here and fill out the form. We will call you or email you to set up a time that works with your schedule. We at SmileMaker Orthodontics know how busy your life is and how difficult it can be to schedule an appointment with a doctor.

You could also email us or give us a call at 615-865-6551.

When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you to see Dr. Burton, he is so great and our patients just love him.

What happens at the free orthodontic consult/initial exam?

Great question! When you arrive at our office you will be greated by our guest relations coordinator, Sarah, who lives in East Nashville. Her primary job is making sure you are comfortable and have a great visit while you are here at our office. You’ll notice quickly that smiles are all around as we strive to make your experience a memorable one.

You’ll then meet our treatment coordinator, Jessica. She is from Hendersonville and loves helping people get a beautiful new smile. She will take some digital photos and x-rays and begin to talk with you about braces. She is an expert when it comes to helping patients as they go thru the process of getting braces.

At this point you’ll get to meet Dr. Burton, who truly cares about patients and knows the effect that a great smile can have on your life or your child’s. He will complete a thorough exam and explain everything to you so that you understand if and why you need orthodontic treatment.

At the initial exam/free consult, what will I learn?

During each orthodontic examination we strive to give you the following information.

  • Define the orthodontic problem, if there is one.
  • Decide how to correct the problem using braces and other appliances.
  • Determine how long your braces treatment will take to give you a great smile.
  • Discuss the cost of treatment and go over our options of affordable braces.

What about having teeth removed or extracted; will I need to do that to get braces?

To achieve the best result it is sometimes necessary to remove teeth. Dr. Burton is committed to being as conservative as possible and his goal is to get you a great smile with straight teeth and a nice profile.

How long does orthodontic treatment take? In other words how long will I have to wear braces?

Each person’s braces treatment plan is catered specifically to meet the orthodontic needs of that patient. For most patients, they will spend anywhere from 18-24 months in treatment. However, some minor cases can be finished in 3-6 months, with more complicated cases lasting around 30 months.

In general, treatment time lasts from 6 months to 30 months. If this is going to be your second time getting braces, then it is possible that your treatment time would be around the 6-9 month mark.

How much do braces cost in the Hendersonville, Madison, Goodlettsville, Nashville area?

The cost of braces is determined by the individual treatment plan that Dr. Burton develops for each patient. He will look at what you need to have done, the expected length of treatment and the complexity of treatment. At our orthodontic office we try to make sure that finances don’t stand in the way of anyone needing braces.

We work with our patients to make sure their payments are comfortable and easy. We will be able to determine the fee for your treatment once Dr. Burton has performed his examination and looked thru the completed diagnostic records.

For your convenience we will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit. As a courtesy to you, we try to make it as easy as possible for you and file your claims. Click here to find out more about insurance.

How often will I need to come to appointments to get my braces adjusted?

At our office we schedule appointments according to each patient’s needs. Most of our patients in braces are seen 6-8 weeks. This all depends on what type of orthodontic adjustment is made and what wires are being used with the braces.

Occasionally, there are times when more frequent appointments are needed. If so, we will work with you to schedule your appointments in most appropriate manner.

What if I need all my appointments to be after school? 

We do try to limit the number of appointments during school time and we make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs. We strive to do our best to minimize the number of times you will have to miss school.

Usually we try to schedule our normal adjustments during our after school times with longer appointments occurring during the day. We do this to try to limit the number of times our patients have to miss.

As a former college professor, Dr. Burton knows the importance being in the classroom and as a parent, he also shares your concerns about your child being absent.

Is it possible to drop off my child at your office for an appointment? 

Absolutely. Many parents will drop their children off and while we are working on them, they are usually able to take care of an errand or two. We understand how hectic a parent’s schedule can be and we want to help you as much as we can.

Most of the time we will ask to speak with a parent before your child leaves to explain what work has been done and give you any instructions that may be needed.

Do braces hurt? Does it hurt to have braces? 

After most visits, patients don’t have any pain at all and if they do have any it is minimal! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!” We use the most advanced technology and the lightest forces to attain the most effective and efficient results.

It is not uncommon to have some discomfort for a couple days or so after the appointment that the braces are placed. In situations where patients do have some soreness, medications such as Advil or Tylenol is all that is needed to alleviate the discomfort.

Can I go back to school the same day I get my braces? 

Absolutely! You can for sure go back to school. We orthodontists love school… after all we spent a lot of time there.

Does your orthodontic office use refurbished/recycled braces?

We use the most advanced brackets available. They are the most accurate braces you can get. In fact, the same machines used to make Swiss watches are the ones that are used to make our brackets.

Can I play sports with braces? 

For sure! Mouth guards are a necessity though. We recommend mouth guards for all athletes, regardless whether or not they are in braces.

Do I still have to see my dentist when I get my braces? 

Yes! Dr. Burton will work with your dentist to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy during your treatment. It is important that your 6-month checkups continue with your family/pediatric dentist while in braces.

What foods can I not eat when I have braces? 

The good news is that no one starves when they are in braces. It is important that you do avoid certain foods. 

Some of these foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and any sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). If you follow these instructions it is often possible to avoid most emergency appointments, as these are commonly needed to repair broken or damaged braces.

How many times a day do I need to brush my teeth when I have braces?

We encourage our patients to brush at least four times each day. Good hygiene is important and to best take care of your teeth while in braces you should after each meal and before going to bed.

Our orthodontic assistants spend a lot of time to teach each patient how to floss and brush with braces. We may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride toothpaste, if necessary.

What is an orthodontic emergency? How do you handle these in your office? 

Luckily, there are very few true orthodontic emergencies.

However, if your braces are causing you discomfort or if something breaks, you should give our office a call. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. 

 If you require a comfort appointment, we will set aside time for you to address your concerns.

Should I see an orthodontist if my child still has baby teeth? 

Yes. We recommend that you schedule your first orthodontist appointment at age 7. Sometimes problems are significant enough to early treatment.

If a patient is not ready for treatment, it is important that we closely follow and monitor their growth and development. This allows Dr. Burton to begin treatment at the most appropriate time.

What is early (phase one) treatment and when is it needed? 

If necessary, it is not uncommon to begin on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Most of the time treatment usually lasts around one year.

During this time, orthodontists usually address significant problems usually related to the patient’s growth and development. It is important to address these early to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.