Orthodontics FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

PDG is here to help you maintain a healthy smile for life!  Have questions about orthodontics you would like answers to? Do you love info and looking to learn more? Here is our handy FAQ list assist you!

Appointment Details

Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with orthodontist?

While many of our patients are referred by their family dentist it is not a requirement and we are able to schedule an orthodontic consultation for your child at any time.

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. Most children by this age have had their adult molars erupt; establishing the start of their adult bite, examining this allows us to effectively evaluate the orthodontic condition.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

Call one of PDG offices in Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, or Coquitlam. Our staff will request some basic information from you and set up an appointment that is convenient to you.

How often will I have orthodontic appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients with braces will be seen every 4 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Can I schedule all of my child’s orthodontic appointments for after school?

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee all orthodontic appointments for students will be during after-school hours, however, we will make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.


What will happen at the initial orthodontic examination appointment?

You will be asked to fill out the new patient forms and insurance card. The doctor will then complete a thorough clinical exam. Additional procedures such as: X-rays, photographs, and orthodontic study models may be needed for proper diagnosis. It may even be possible to start treatment the same day!

What will I learn from the initial orthodontic examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  1. Is orthodontic treatment necessary?
  2. What type of treatment is recommended?
  3. Will any teeth need to be removed for orthodontic purposes?
  4. How long will the treatment take to complete?
  5. How much will the treatment cost?


Treatment Details


Is orthodontic treatment really necessary? Won’t my teeth straighten out as they grow?

Unfortunately, teeth do not straighten themselves naturally. Teeth naturally shift if there is room, however, the way they shift and the impact on how efficient the bite is, as a result of a shift, is not predictable.

Can my teeth be straightened without braces?

Yes, we offer Invisalign aligners as an orthodontic treatment option that will straighten teeth similarly to braces.

Will teeth need to be extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required prior to orthodontic treatment to achieve straight teeth and a balanced facial profile. Our orthodontic experts will advise you if it is necessary for your child.

How long will it take to complete orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment time depends on each patient’s specific situation. In general, treatment time lasts from 9 months to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18-24 months.

How much will braces cost?

We will determine the cost of treatment upon examination. We will also go over financial options during the initial examination. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

Braces 101


Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes, but not in all cases. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

What is Phase One (early) Treatment?

This addresses significant orthodontic problems early on, often to prevent these problems impacting self-esteem and self-image. If deemed necessary, this stage is usually initiated with children between the ages of 7 and 10. It usually lasts about 6-18 months.

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

Do braces hurt?

After visits where we do orthodontic adjustments, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all!

Can my child return to school the day they receive braces?

Certainly! There is no reason you cannot return to school the same day.

Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! Each patient receives their own set of braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

Can someone with braces still play sports?

Yes you can play sports while having braces.  We recommend using an orthodontic mouth guard for all sport activities and we can provide this for you.

Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. This would include foods like hard candy, ice, and sticky foods.  Once treatment begins, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of foods to avoid and instructions on how to eat during treatment. You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary. Here are some helpful cleaning tips!

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