Jeffery K. Machen, DDS Orthodontics


What Is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialty branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. An orthodontist receives an additional two years in graduate school beyond those required for general dentistry. Braces are the appliances that are generally used to correct these problems.

Why should I get braces?

Today orthodontic treatment is convenient and affordable for patients of all ages. An attractive smile is just one of the benefits. Orthodontic treatment results in correctly aligned teeth that provide ideal jaw function as well as a great smile. Additionally, teeth are easier to clean and thus, more resistant to gum disease. Perhaps most importantly, orthodontic treatment provides improved self-esteem and self-confidence.

What is the cost?

There is no fee for the initial consultation where we determine what type of treatment is needed. The actual cost of braces depends on the severity of the problem, the length of treatment necessary, and the treatment approach selected. You will be able to thoroughly discuss fees and payment plan options prior to beginning. We offer convenient payment plans, accept most major credit cards, and will file insurance for you.

Will Braces Hurt?

Putting on braces is surprisingly pain-free. Most patients experience some discomfort the next day or two after their braces are placed and sometimes after an adjustment. Any pain reliever normally taken for headaches can be used to ease the discomfort.

What Can I Eat with Braces?

You can enjoy most of the foods you ate before you got your braces. But avoid hard, crunchy and sticky foods that can damage braces and should be avoided. SUGARLESS GUM is highly recommended for its decay-fighting problems.

How Often Will I Need Office Visits?

Once your appliances are in place, routine office visits are at five- to six-week intervals.

How long will I be in braces?

Usually, treatment involves wearing braces fixed to your teeth between 16 to 24 months. Some cases, due to complexity, will take longer to be completed. Partial treatment cases may require only 6 months

Will I Still Be Able to Play Sports?

Yes, although we recommend that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are comfortable and inexpensive. We'll be happy to provide one for you.

Will Braces Interfere with Playing Musical Instruments?

They shouldn't at all, although there may be an initial period of adjustment. Let us know if you have any problems.

Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment?

Yes. After your braces are removed, your teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers provide that stabilization and minimize movements. It is the best insurance to protect your smile.

Can my appointments be after school?

We are aware and sympathetic to children's school schedules. Therefore, to minimize the number of times our patients have to miss any school we do schedule all regular checks after school. Sometimes, especially for procedures that require longer appointments, we need to schedule these appointments in the morning. Some of our patients prefer to come in early in the early morning and then go to school.

Do I see the Dr. at every appointment?

Yes, absolutely!

At What Age Should Orthodontic Treatment Occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist at age 7. Most cases are begun between the ages of 10-12 years, especially in those overbite cases where growth is a factor.

Can You Be Too Old for Braces?

Not at all! While there are advantages to treating young people while they are still growing, about 25% of orthodontic patients in the United States are adults. In addition to the tremendous strides that have been made in traditional orthodontic treatment, adults are sometimes great candidates for Invisalign© treatment.

What treatment is available for adults?

Braces aren't just for kids anymore. Teeth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. A new smile can begin today.

Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, even headaches and sometimes jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.

Good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options may include metal braces, translucent braces and even transparent aligners that can be worn at night to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth.

A large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it's never too late to improve their greatest asset - their smile!

What is a malocclusion?

Malocclusion literally means bad bite. Most malocclusions are inherited, but it is possible to acquire a bad bite from habits such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking.

What Are Some Early Warning Signs of a Bite Problem?

Any of the following conditions warrant a visit to an orthodontist: early or late loss of primary teeth, difficulty in chewing or biting, mouth breathing, finger sucking or other oral habits beyond age 5, overlapped, misplaced or blocked-out teeth, protruding teeth, biting the cheek or into the roof of the mouth, teeth that meet in an abnormal manner or do not meet at all, jaws that shift or make sounds, jaws that protrude, retrude or contribute to facial imbalance, speech difficulty.

Will I have to have teeth removed for braces?

Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary for an orthodontic correction. However, with today's techniques, the need for removing teeth is greatly reduced.

Can I still have braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes, you can still have braces with crowns. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth so the missing teeth can be properly replaced.

What About the Wisdom Teeth—Should They Be Removed?

In about three out of four cases where teeth have not been removed during orthodontic treatment, there are good reasons to have the wisdom teeth removed, usually when a person reaches his or her mid- to late-teen years. Your orthodontist, in consultation with your family dentist, can determine what is right for you.