Why Get Braces

Who Needs Braces?

Lots of people turn to orthodontic treatment as a means of achieving the confident smile they dream of. Teeth that are properly aligned help promote a healthy smile for a lifetime.By investing in orthodontic treatment today with Los Angeles Orthodontist Dr. David Alpan, you will enjoy a future involving a beautiful smile, increased confidence and improved self-esteem.

It’s important to note that orthodontic treatment is about more than just appearances. It also is a means of correcting bite issues that can have adverse effects to the way you talk or chew your food and can lead to other oral health problems.

Eight Signs That You May Need Braces

During your free orthodontic consultation with Dr. Alpan at his Los Angeles orthodontics office, we will look for the following malocclusions, which may indicate that orthodontic treatment is needed:

  1. brace-1Protruding upper teeth- Excessive protrusion of the upper front teeth, commonly referred to as an overbite or bucked teeth, is the most prevalent orthodontic problem. This can be tested by placing a Popsicle stick behind the upper front teeth when you bite down on your back teeth. If there is plenty of room for the stick, it is likely that you have more than two millimeters of space between the upper front teeth and the lower front teeth. In many patients, overbite is the result of a recessive lower jaw that gives a “weak chin” appearance. When patient records are taken, the X-ray side view shot taken of the head shows if the upper jawbone is protruding in front of the lower jawbone.
  2. brace-2Open bite- If you have this, you can stick your tongue between the upper and lower front teeth when the back teeth are together.
  3. brace-3Crossbite- The upper back teeth fit inside the lower teeth, instead of outside.
  4. barce-4Over-jet or a deep bite- This condition occurs when the upper teeth cover more than one millimeter of the lower teeth. In extreme cases, the lower front teeth are covered completely by the upper front teeth when you bite down on your back teeth.
  5. brace-5Underbite- The upper teeth fit inside the arch of the lower teeth and the lower jaw protrudes farther than the upper jaw, which gives one the “strong chin” appearance.
  6. brace-6Spacing- Also called gaps, these can occur between upper or lower teeth.
  7. brace-7Crowding- There is not enough room for the upper or lower teeth, which causes them to overlap each other or to just be too close together.
  8. barce-8Front teeth alignment- The space where the two upper front teeth and the two lower front teeth meet should line up with each other and both should align with the bridge of the nose. When they don’t, it typically is because the teeth have drifted or the lower jaw has shifted, which has resulted in an improper bite.

After you’ve read the above questions and match the pictures to your own teeth or jaws, you will be able to determine if you need braces.

Parents should seek treatment for their children before age 7 if their child has any of the following:

  • Open mouth breathing
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Speech problems
  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaws that pop or click
  • Thumb or finger sucking habits
  • Erupted permanent teeth that are crowded or overlap
  • Biting the cheek or into the roof of the mouth
  • Obvious abnormal bite development of any kind

When you and/or your child ask yourselves the question, “Do I like my smile and my profile?” and the answer is, “No,” then orthodontic treatment is a wise decision. If you are unsure, ask others you trust to give you an honest opinion of your smile and profile. If they see any of the conditions described above, you deserve to get orthodontic treatment.

It is a common misconception that braces are for children and teenagers, but anyone- regardless of age- can benefit from orthodontic treatment, whether it is catching developmental problems early in children or correcting a long-standing bite problem that did not get addressed in younger years.

To ensure the best overall facial and dental development, children should have an orthodontic consultation by the time they reach age 7, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. If a problem is evident at a younger age, then seek an orthodontic evaluation sooner. This evaluation typically is just for observation and we will continue to monitor progress at no charge. If a problem is evident, taking action early can spare a lot of treatment and expense in the future.

It is never too late to achieve a beautiful smile. If you’ve been been hiding your smile or living with a bite problem for a long time, it’s time you learned how adult orthodontics can transform your smile and your life.

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Who should get braces?

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Is it possible for teeth to straighten as my child grows?

The space available in the mouth for your teeth does not increase with age, so your child’s teeth won’t naturally straighten without orthodontic assistance as he or she grows. After the molars erupt, which usually happens in the sixth year, the space in the mouth actually decreases as the child grows older. If your child has crowded teeth, it’s best to come in for a free consultation by age 7- or earlier if a glaring problem is detected.

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Can my family dentist provide orthodontic treatment?

Some family general dentists choose to take a few additional weekend training seminars in order to provide orthodontic services. Your general dentist is obliged to assume professional dental care for all of his patients. Your dentist knows what he or she is adequately skilled to do. You can trust your general dentist to do what he or she does well, and more importantly perhaps, to refer you to a specialist for required treatment that beyond his or her scope of training.

Orthodontists are dentists who have completed at least an additional two years of comprehensive, full-time specialized university training. They handle everything from the simplest to the most complicated and intricate orthodontic problems, which most general dentists typically are not qualified to treat.

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Do I need a referral?

You do not need to be referred to schedule a consultation with Los Angeles invisible braces and traditional braces provider Dr. Alpan, but we have many family dentists who refer patients to us for orthodontic treatment and TMJ, TMD and MSD treatment. If you are concerned about the health or appearance of your teeth and smile, or that of your child’s, and wish to schedule a free orthodontic consultation, schedule an appointment now.

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Scheduling your first appointment

Scheduling an appointment with us is easy. Simply call us. Our phone numbers are conveniently located at the top or bottom of each of our web pages. If you prefer, you can click on the email links next to the phone numbers to send us an email instead.

We also offer the convenience of scheduling an appointment online. Our complete contact information is located on the Contact Us page, and there you will find the phone and fax numbers, our email address and a map of our three locations. If you have scheduled your first appointment with us, please click the Gold Star on the left menu bar to access and complete the new patient forms. You will need to bring these completed forms with you to your first appointment.

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What does the initial consultation cost?

Your initial orthodontic consultation is free. This consultation is what we consider to be an important first step in your orthodontic health, and a great opportunity to introduce and welcome you into our family

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Will I still need to see my family dentist?

Your general dentist still plays an important role in your overall oral health, so yes, you still need to maintain routine check-ups and professional cleanings at your general dentist’s office. Patients with braces or other orthodontic appliances can find it difficult to keep their teeth clean. Your family dentist will offer guidance regarding the frequency of check-ups.

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What are some alternatives to braces?

Dr. David Alpan, a Los Angeles Invisalign expert, and his team continue to gain knowledge through professional education courses to stay abreast of the latest advancements relative to orthodontic techniques and materials.

For many adults and teens, we can use Invisalign or Invisalign Teen. These products feature a series of aligners that are custom-made, removable, made of a medical grade clear plastic and virtually are invisible when worn. The aligners are worn in succession and are changed out every two to three weeks as they gradually move teeth into place.

Dr. Alpan became certified through Align Corporation, which makes Invisalign products, to provide Invisalign treatment to his patients in 1999. Because of the successful treatment he provided to patients using Invisalign, Align Corporation invited him in 2001 to teach other orthodontists and general dentists how to use Invisalign. During the next six years, Dr. Alpan trained more than 10,000 dentists to use the product. These dentists still invite him to teach them more about Invisalign in their Study Clubs after the two-day Invisalign seminars.

Dr. Alpan has treated more 1,200 patients with Invisalign. If you would like to learn whether you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment, please call us to schedule a free orthodontic consultation.

If we determine that you are not a good candidate for Invisalign, but you still want straight teeth, we have other aesthetic options available, which include lingual, hidden or invisible braces attached to the tongue side of your teeth. Dr. Alpan also is a certified Incognito invisible braces provider.

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What foods must I avoid while I have braces?

There is a handful of foods that you should avoid eating while you are wearing braces. Primarily, these are hard, sticky foods. Foods such as candied apples and peanut brittle can be difficult to remove from braces and they can loosen brackets and bands or break them. These foods also can break or bend arch wires. There are many more foods that you can eat than those you can’t.

Patients who are good candidates for Invisalign treatment do not have to avoid any foods because Invisalign does not use fixed brackets, bands or wires that can bend, loosen or break when eating some foods. However, you may feel more comfortable eating soft foods at times.

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How long does orthodontic treatment last?

A variety of factors determines how long you will wear braces, but in most cases you’ll be ready to show off your new smile in about 18 to 24 months. The modern orthodontic appliances and techniques in use today result in quicker, easier and more comfortable treatment for patients.

Damon Braces, which are attached to the fronts of the teeth, are the most comfortable to the lips, result in less tooth pain, require fewer and shorter appointments and typically involve about six months less total treatment time than traditional braces.

Incognito Braces, are lingual braces, meaning they are attached to the tongue side of the teeth. They also require fewer appointments and involve shorter total treatment time. Show off your beautiful smile in confidence while your teeth are being straightened, and no one will realize that you have braces.

Invisalign treatment requires fewer appointments and offers the added bonus of being removed to eat and for special occasions, such as public speaking engagements and wedding or graduation photos. Removing appliances also makes it easier to practice good oral hygiene. You can show off your beautiful smile while your teeth are being straightened without braces.

Invisalign and braces work to straighten your teeth gradually, not overnight. That means a little patience is necessary on the patient’s part. And remember this: any discomfort you may feel is brief. Your beautiful, healthy smile, however, will last a lifetime.

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Will I have to wear a retainer after my braces are removed?

Wearing a retainer after your braces have been removed is the next step in treatment. A retainer is important because it keeps the teeth stable after the active orthodontic appliance is removed at the end of treatment. Without retainers, your teeth gradually would return to their original position over time. To keep your teeth in their ideal positions for the rest of your life, it is best to wear a retainer that long. Some retainers can be put in permanently. The ideal retainer is one made of a clear, plastic removable material that fits on your teeth like a glove and can be worn at home and as you sleep.

Retainers are the cheapest form of insurance around. If you lose your retainer, it is cheaper to have it immediately replaced than to undergo orthodontic treatment again. We all are familiar with the old saying, “Use it or lose it.” Our corollary to this saying is, “If you lose it, you can’t use it.” That is why it is so important to replace lost retainers immediately, so you aren’t faced with repeating orthodontic treatment later in life.


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How much will I pay for braces?

This is one of the most common questions. Everyone who has received a free orthodontic consultation at any of our offices always has been able to afford to have Los Angeles Orthodontist Dr. Alpan treat them – without exception.

The total cost of braces depends upon the complexity of the orthodontic problem, so it varies from person to person. Because our modern materials and techniques often require fewer visits, you might be surprised how affordable your orthodontic treatment can be. A healthy, beautiful smile is one of the best investments you can make in your future or in that of your child’s. We offer a variety of payment methods in our effort to help you fit this worthy investment into your budget:

  • In-house, interest-free financing, an appropriate down payment and the remaining balance paid over the period of treatment.
  • utside financing that offers no down payment and low monthly fees paid throughout the course of treatment.
  • Discounts for paying for treatment in full.
  • We accept all major credit cards for automatic credit card payments.
  • Most major insurance plans. We will complete the necessary paperwork for you.
  • Medi-Cal patients are examined. Medi-Cal decides for whom they will pay.

During your initial free orthodontic consultation, our treatment coordinator will go over all of the financial options available to you. She also will help you customize a payment plan that fits your specific needs.

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