Orthodontic Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning your straight smile journey is an exciting milestone for patients of any age, and we can’t wait to be right there with you when we reveal your results. Before you get started, however, it’s important to ask the right questions – so keep reading to get the scoop on these orthodontic FAQs from the Tilghman Orthodontics team!

How do I get started? 

We’re so glad you asked! At Tilghman Orthodontics, we make it easy to start your straight smile journey, and the first step is to schedule your FREE consultation with our team. During this first meeting, we’ll complete your patient intake paperwork, show you around the office, take X-rays and impressions as needed, and introduce you to Dr. Tilghman and Dr. Schwartz.

Feel free to ask as many questions as you need, discuss your goals with your orthodontist, and get excited about the possibilities! Once we’ve discussed all the details and reviewed your unique orthodontic condition, we’ll work with you to develop a customized treatment plan designed to give you the results you deserve. 

All that is left to do at that point is apply your braces or order your clear aligner trays! It’s that simple. 

What are my treatment options? 

Orthodontic treatment comes in many different forms. Some patients need rubber bands, and some need palatal expanders, but for the most part, you can think of orthodontic care in three distinct treatment pathways: metal braces, clear braces, or clear aligners. 

Metal Braces

As one of the most common and traditional treatment options on the table, metal braces are a timeless classic that gets the job done. By applying brackets to each tooth and securing a metal archwire to these brackets, Dr. Tilghman and Dr. Schwartz can gently shift your teeth in line over time. Patients of all ages and orthodontic conditions can benefit from metal braces, so be sure to ask your orthodontist if they’re suitable for your smile!

Clear Braces

Like metal braces, clear braces use brackets and wires to gently shift your teeth in line over the course of your treatment plan. Unlike metal braces, however, clear braces are made of a tooth-colored material that naturally blends into your teeth, making your treatment less noticeable. 

Clear Aligners

For patients who want to avoid brackets and wires at all costs, clear aligners offer a more discreet treatment option. These nearly invisible aligner trays keep your treatment a secret, but they work best for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic conditions. If you’re interested in getting the clear aligner treatment, be sure to ask Dr. Tilghman or Dr. Schwartz if this option would work for your unique needs and goals. 

How do I take care of my orthodontic appliance? 

Next to coming in for your free smile consultation, keeping your appliance clean and safe is the most important thing you can do for your treatment plan! Depending on which orthodontic appliance we recommend for you, you’ll need to adjust your oral hygiene routine to match. 

Clear & Metal Braces

With all that extra metal in your mouth, it’s that much easier for cavities to lurk within the nooks and crannies. To fight off harmful bacteria, you’ll need to equip yourself with a soft-bristled toothbrush, a proxabrush, and floss threaders. Each of these tools will help you brush around the brackets and between your teeth, making sure to get rid of the cavity-causing bacteria that you don’t want in your mouth. 

Clear Aligners

Because clear aligner trays are removable, you can brush your teeth like normal – no new routine, no new obstacles. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of your appliance. You should brush your trays with mild soap (NOT toothpaste) every day and soak them in a baking soda solution once per week. 

How long does orthodontic treatment take? 

No one treatment plan is the same as any other. After all, your smile is as unique as your fingerprints! While that does mean your grin is uniquely beautiful; it also means we can’t predict how long treatment will take without a thorough evaluation with one of our doctors. 

Depending on the complexity of your case, braces and clear aligners can take 8-12 months to straighten your smile on average. Many factors affect this number, however, which is why it’s so important to stick to your treatment plan – otherwise, you could unwittingly extend your treatment plan, and no one wants that!

Do you offer any payment plans? 

At Tilghman Orthodontics, we believe that every patient deserves the smile of their dreams, no matter the cost. We accept a wide range of insurance policies, and we offer flexible payment plans to accommodate any budget. You may also benefit from our interest-free, in-house financing! Whatever your needs, we’re here to help ensure you get the treatment you deserve. 

Discover Your Smile at Tilghman Orthodontics

Are you ready to get started on your straight smile journey? We are, too! This is an exciting time for the whole team, and we want to help you begin as soon as possible. Schedule your free consultation in Salisbury or Berlin today if you’re ready to get the results you deserve!