What do orthodontists do?

Orthodontists are dental specialists who have taken at least two years of university specialty training after they became a dentist and limit their practice to orthodontics. Dr. Lauson has continued his training beyond his specialty training in orthodontics with thousands of hours of post-orthodontic training. He has taken further training, even outside the field of orthodontics, in areas such as Otorhinolaryngology, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy and Craniosacral Therapy. This understanding has allowed him to provide treatment well beyond the scope of traditional orthodontics. He has lectured and published numerous articles in professional journals and is a best-selling author. Using Dr. Lauson’s unique approach we treat children as early as age 4 and adults into their 70s.

Why should I (or my loved ones) get orthodontic treatment?

There are many good reasons, but aesthetics and function are two of the main ones. Having an attractive smile not only changes the way people see you — it enhances your own self-image as well. Orthodontic treatment also allows your teeth to function better and makes it easier to keep them clean. In addition to a beautiful smile, our approach offers many health benefits that affect the whole body. Please read further.

When should orthodontic treatment be started?

You're never too old to begin orthodontic treatment — but if you start at an earlier age, your problems may be easier to treat. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child who may need orthodontic treatment should come in for a first visit around age 7. However, because of our unique approach to very early treatment, as early as age 4, we are able to help facial growth and in the majority of cases, even eliminate the need for braces later.

How can I recognize a potential bite problem?

Teeth that are protruding, crowded together or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed. Less obvious signs are mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that goes past 3-4 years of age. If teeth don't meet properly when the mouth closes, or if jaws make sounds or shift as they move, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem.

Does getting braces or palatal expanders hurt? What about wearing them?

Having braces or palatal expanders is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so as they adjust to wearing their appliances. Periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort.

How long will treatment take?

Overall, orthodontic treatment is meant to be a relatively short period of time, quite different from your family or personal general dentist, whom a person may see for a lifetime. Depending on the type of treatment, the active phase may take from 20-30 months. If braces are used, a retainer is worn, mostly when sleeping, for several years to prevent teeth from shifting back toward their original position, a bad deal for all involved. The message here is to follow our instructions post-treatment to prevent an unhappy long-term result.

How often will I come in for an appointment?

It depends on what's being done, but during active treatment you'll typically come in to our office every 4 to 10 weeks. For our many out of town or out of state patients, we work to arrange appointments as far apart as every 3 to 4 months.

Will I need to have any teeth extracted?

Because we use a system of treatment that Dr. Lauson has developed called Functional Facial Orthopedics, with proper cooperation, almost never will a patient need permanent teeth removed. This does not apply to wisdom teeth (3rd molars) as most people do not have enough room in their mouth to keep them.

Will I have to watch what I eat?

Yes — you should pass up the types of foods that could damage your teeth or treatment appliances, such as hard and sticky food. Some of these include raw vegetables, candy, caramel, taffy and ice cubes. We will give you a list of foods to avoid.

Will I be able to play sports/ play my instrument?

Yes. Of course, whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouth guard when playing most sports. Musicians are generally able to play their instruments just as they did before, but they may need a short adjustment period after beginning new appliances.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist while I'm getting orthodontic treatment?

You do — in fact, it's more important than ever! Keeping teeth free of plaque (and potentially, decay) can be challenging when you're having treatment. Your dentist can help you avoid these problems with frequent cleanings and exams.

Will I wear a retainer when my braces come off?

Much of our treatment may use braces. If so, the answer is yes: If you don't wear a retainer, your teeth can shift out of position — and then much of the effort put into your treatment can be lost! Your retainer helps you maintain that good-looking smile for a lifetime. Some of our early treatment using a night time Myobrace can help teeth come in naturally straight, eliminating the need for braces, and therefore no retainers would be needed.

Is orthodontic care very expensive?

Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Yet, because of advanced techniques we use, the cost can be reduced. Overall the cost hasn't increased as fast as many other consumer items. Many financing options are available that make care affordable. Weighed against the true cost of living with problem teeth and jaws, however, our treatment can be a very wise investment.