Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Orthodontics

How can we help you?

Patient education is an important part of the services we provide at Temple Dental Trails. We are always here to talk to you about your concerns and explain certain treatments and how they benefit your oral health.

We encourage your questions because we believe that the more information you have, the better equipped you are to make important decisions about your dental care. We've shared some of the questions we hear most frequently, but we welcome you to contact us if yours isn't listed here.


image of an individual with newly fitted braces temple txNo! Many adults who missed out on getting braces as a child or had treatment and experienced a relapse are finding that it’s never too late for orthodontic treatment.

The same physiological process moves teeth whether your 8 or 80. It is true that adults have denser bone, which means treatment may take longer than it does for children. But age alone does not prevent teeth from moving.

Options for Adult Braces in 76504

Moving teeth into their ideal position requires the use of orthodontics, and recently there has been a revolution in the different types of appliances available. At Temple Dental Trails, we offer several treatment options that are perfect for adults who want a straighter smile.

  • Invisalign – The clear aligners used to move teeth with Invisalign are discreet, comfortable to wear, and you can remove them for meals and oral hygiene. Treatment times with Invisalign ranges from 12 to 18 months for adults.
  • Six Month Smiles – Do you want to straighten only the teeth that show when you smile? Six Month Smiles uses discreet brackets and wires to move your teeth, and many patients see results in as little as six months.
  • Traditional braces – For patients with more complex misalignment or who have bite issues to correct, conventional bracket and wire braces are still an excellent choice.

If you are an adult who’s considering orthodontics in Temple, TX, you should know that it’s never too late to have a smile you’re proud to show off. Please contact us for a consultation so we can explain all your treatment options. 

The recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is that children be evaluated for orthodontic treatment around age seven. Your child may not need early treatment, but the sooner some orthodontic problems are detected, the easier they will be to correct.

Braces at age seven?School kids | orthodontics for kids temple tx

By age seven, most children have entered what is called the mixed dentition stage when permanent teeth start erupting while baby teeth are still present. The first molar is typically the first permanent tooth to appear, and its positioning can tell Dr. Rich a lot about the future positioning of other permanent teeth.

How does Dr. Rich examine orthodontic patients?

He also checks for overbites, underbites, crossbites, etc. that he may need to address. Based on his exam, Dr. Rich may determine that early intervention with headgear or other appliance would be beneficial for your child’s future orthodontic treatment.

Worry-Free Orthodontics in 76504! 

But don’t be too concerned; we might find that your child’s dental development is on track and no early intervention is required. In either case, these visits have value because they allow you and your child to start to develop a relationship with Dr. Rich and our team.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or have other questions about orthodontics in Temple, please call us at (254) 206-3492.

image of a younger individuals teeth with newly fitted braces temple txFor children, we recommend an orthodontic evaluation at our Temple dental office around age seven. At this point, your son or daughter will likely have their first permanent molar. Noting the position of this tooth allows Dr. Rich to identify any existing bite problems and predict the future movement of their teeth.

Early Teeth Alignment 

Even if your child does not need braces right away, we may suggest treatments like space maintainers to ensure that there is enough room between teeth for them to erupt correctly. In some cases, early intervention eliminates the need for orthodontic treatment in the future.

If needed, we will begin orthodontic treatment for your child when most of their permanent teeth have emerged. The goal is to ensure the correct positioning of each tooth in the mouth and that they function together properly. Treatment with full upper and lower braces typically takes between 18 and 24 months.

Contact Our Office in the 76513 Area 

The best place to start is by contacting us to arrange a consultation with Dr. Rich. He will evaluate your child’s need for orthodontics in Temple and let you know if we think they will need treatment. If they do, you can count on our team to provide the gentle, comprehensive care your child needs throughout the entire process.

Big Smiles | Six month smiles temple tx For many years we really only had one option for straightening teeth – traditional braces. Today, we’re benefiting from some great advances in dental technology with new orthodontic treatments that can straighten your teeth quickly and easily.

Six Month Smiles answers the need for a short-term orthodontic treatment whose main purpose is to correct cosmetic misalignment. Treatment with traditional braces takes longer because they are used to correct dental bite and misalignment.

Six Month Smiles vs. Traditional Metal Braces 

Unlike traditional braces, Six Month Smiles clear braces address just the teeth that show when you smile. Many adults who have misaligned front teeth don’t have a problem with their bite, so treatment times are much shorter.

Six Month Smiles Lucid-Lok clear brackets and tooth-colored wires create force similar to traditional braces. This movement gently and gradually moves your teeth into the desired position.

Temple, TX Orthodontic Options

At Temple Dental Trails, we offer different types of orthodontics so we can address most alignment problems. Traditional braces are still the preferred treatment for children and young adults, and Invisalign is an option for adults who are looking for a convenient, discreet way to move teeth.

Please contact us for more information about our various orthodontic treatments in the 76504 area.

Woman putting on Invisalign | Temple TXThere are lots of advantages to choosing Invisalign adult orthodontics at Temple Dental Trails. The clear aligners are comfortable, discreet, and easy to wear.

What do patients enjoy most about Invisalign?

One of the main things our patients enjoy about Invisalign is the fact that they’re not fixed in the mouth. Since the aligners are removable, you can take a break once in a while when you brush and floss or during meals.

While this seems like a blessing, it can also be a curse; Invisalign aligners only work when you wear them. The recommended minimum wear time is 22 hours per day, but your goal should be to allow the aligners to do their job and remove them only for hygiene and meals.

How often do I wear Invisalign during the day?

Teeth move during orthodontic treatment because of the constant pressure placed on them. Since bracket and wire braces are affixed to your teeth, they work 24/7. While Invisalign aligners are a convenient and comfortable treatment alternative, you must be compliant and wear them for at least 22 hours per day to see results in the shortest amount of time.

If you are going to commit to the Invisalign process, you owe it to yourself to follow all instructions to the letter. If you are considering orthodontics in Temple but think you’ll have trouble with compliance, Dr. Rich would be happy to sit down with you to see if you’re a candidate for one of our other options including Six Month Smiles and traditional braces.

Orthodontics Temple TXThe length of treatment for any type of orthodontics at our Temple dental office varies widely from person to person, so we can’t say precisely how long your treatment will take until Dr. Rich evaluates your smile. However, some averages are:

  • Traditional bracket and wire braces: 24 to 30 months
  • Invisalign clear aligners: 12 to 15 months
  • Six Month Smiles: 6 to 9 months

Variables that Impact Braces Treatment Length 

  • Your current smile: Teeth that are severely misaligned have farther to travel and will take longer to reposition than teeth with minor misalignments.
  • Your age: While the method for moving teeth is the same for children and adults, children’s bones and tissue are still developing, so treatment times for them are often shorter.
  • Treatment method: We typically choose traditional braces for more complex bite problems, so treatment times will be longer than a method like Six Month Smiles that doesn’t address your bite.
  • Compliance: Orthodontics only work when you use them! Invisalign is an excellent option for older teens and adults, but since they’re removable, some patients don’t wear them for the prescribed 22 hours a day, so treatment takes longer.

At Temple Dental Trails, we want you to feel comfortable with whatever orthodontic treatment you choose for yourself or your child, so we are always happy to answer your questions. Please call our office at (254) 206-3492 to arrange an orthodontic consultation with Dr. Rich to learn more. 

image of a child getting braces placed on their teeth temple txBraces can be used to correct several orthodontic issues from crowding to the way teeth come together when you bite down.

Can Invisalign fix an underbite?

Common problems we can fix with orthodontics in Temple, TX are:

  • Crowding – Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space for all teeth to align correctly.
  • Spacing – Spacing problems are the opposite of crowding; there is so much room in the jaw that there are gaps and spaces between the teeth.
  • Overbite – An overbite is when you bite down and the upper front teeth extend past the lower front teeth.
  • Underbite – An underbite is the opposite of an overbite because the upper front teeth sit behind the lower front teeth.
  • Open bite – When you bite down, your upper and lower teeth don’t meet. This makes it more difficult to bite into foods and also causes excessive wear on your molars.
  • Crossbite – A crossbite is a misalignment of your upper and lower jaw.

Not only do all these issues affect the aesthetics of your smile, but they can also lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your teeth.

Contact our Temple, TX dental office

At Temple Dental Trails, we offer both Invisalign and traditional braces that will correct these alignment problems and leave you with a healthier smile as a result. If you would like to learn more about our orthodontic treatment options, please contact our Temple, TX dental office to arrange a consultation with Dr. Rich.

Orthodontics Temple TX If you’re an adult seeking orthodontic treatment, you have more options than ever before. At Temple Dental Trails, we will work with you to find the one that best fits all your needs.

  • Traditional braces – We typically recommend bracket and wire braces for children and adults who have severe misalignment or problems with their dental bite. Today, we can use clear brackets and tooth-colored wires for adults who would like a more discrete option.
  • Invisalign – This is a good option for busy adults who have mild to moderate tooth misalignments because the aligners are discreet, comfortable, and removable for oral hygiene and meals.
  • Six Month Smiles – If you don’t want to correct bite problems but only want to straighten the teeth that show when you smile, Six Month Smiles might be a good choice for you.

However, there are benefits to orthodontics that go beyond a straighter smile. Straightening your teeth with any of these orthodontic options will also benefit your oral health because crooked or crowded teeth can be a challenge to clean correctly, leading to problems like decay and gum disease.

Schedule an Orthodontic Evaluation in Temple, TX 

If you’re ready to take the first step to a straighter, healthier smile and would like to learn more about orthodontics in Temple, please call us at (254) 206-3492 to arrange an evaluation. Dr. Rich will listen to your concerns, make recommendations, and help you choose the treatment that is just right for you.

image of colored retainers used for orthodontics temple txYes, everyone who receives orthodontic treatment at our Temple, TX dental office needs to wear a retainer to maintain the corrected position of their teeth.

You will probably be instructed to wear your retainer while you sleep, which helps to maintain the alignment of your teeth after treatment. Without a retainer, your teeth will start to relapse back to their original position and undo all the time and effort you’ve invested in the process.

Wearing a retainer is necessary because your teeth are always moving. Many patients who resist wearing their retainer find this out the hard way when they see how quickly their teeth relapse.

Treatment options like Invisalign and Six Month Smiles are known for being efficient and comfortable, but it’s still an investment in time, money, and effort on your part. It makes sense that you should protect any investment, especially one that can have such a beautiful impact on your appearance.

Call Temple Dental Trails to Learn More 

We understand that wearing a retainer every night can seem like a chore, but there’s really no choice when you consider the alternative. Please contact Temple Dental Trails for more information or if you have questions about orthodontic treatment in Temple, TX.

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