Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral to see an orthodontist?
You do not need a referral to see an orthodontist, and there is no charge for your first
consultation with us.

At what age should a child first be seen by an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontics has recommended that a child be seen by age 7. At this age, permanent teeth are beginning to erupt and the orthodontist can begin to evaluate how the teeth are growing in, and how the jaw is growing.

Can a child have braces when they still have baby teeth?
In certain situations, such as crossbite or too little space available for permanent teeth to erupt, early treatment with braces or appliances may be recommended. This is referred to as “Phase I treatment” click here.

What is a palate expander?
A palate expander can be used prior to braces, or in conjunction with braces, to expand an upper jaw that is too narrow to properly align with the lower jaw.
Click here to learn more.

Will braces hurt?
Most patients experience some degree of discomfort or soreness with braces. This can include tooth pain from orthodontic movement, or mechanical irritation of cheeks or gums from the actual braces themselves. Aspirin or Tylenol is recommended for tooth pain, and wax (given at the braces appointment) placed on the irritating brace or wire can help to keep it away from the mouth.
Click here to read more about emergencies.

How do I brush with braces?
It is harder to brush and floss with braces. A rotary brush, a waterpik and superfloss often help to get into hard to reach places We will show you how to brush and floss, and will let you know right away if you are missing any spots, so that brushing can improve before cavities or permanent stains occur.

What foods should I avoid with braces?
Braces are “glued” onto your teeth with strong dental bonding adhesive. However, they are not indestructible. Sticky, chewy foods such as gum or candy must be avoided, as well as hard foods, which can be cut into pieces and chewed on the back teeth click here.

Can I come for appointments after school?
Once your braces are placed, you are welcome to come after school for regular appointments. Appointments that require more time, such as records, braces, or replacing broken braces, may need to be scheduled earlier in the day, so that we may devote the proper time and attention to the patient. Please know that we value your time and will do our best to accommodate your needs, but some appointment cannot be completed as effectively during our busiest times.

What do I do if I have an emergency?
Sometimes, patients may have a long wire or a loose band that is bothering them (click here).We provide wax at your banding appointment, which can be placed on any braces that are irritating, for immediate relief. Please call our office for any concerns, and we will be happy to either address your emergency with instructions over the phone, or set time aside to see you.

For how long do I need to wear braces?
The answer depends on the individual case. For the average young teenager, 2 years can
be anticipated.

How often do I need cleanings with braces?
It is very important that a patient with braces see their regular dentist for cleanings every 6 months. Dr. Steinle may recommend more frequent cleanings for patients who are having difficulty
brushing well.

How long do I need to wear my retainers?
After braces are removed, teeth can shift at any time. We give two sets of retainers for full-time wear immediately after braces are removed. After that, you will continue to see Dr. Steinle for retainer checks, and will be instructed on how much to wear them. In general, full-time wear for 6 months, followed by home and nights and nights only, every-other night, etc., is recommended.

Give Us a Call

Call us now with your questions and to schedule your consultation.


Siri C. Steinle, DMD
1058 North Main St.
Brockton, MA 02301


Fax: 508-583-3180



American Dental Association||||
American Association of Orthodontics||||