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Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

Before you or your child commits to orthodontic treatment, it’s understandable that you might have some questions for our team. Thankfully, we have answers here at Cartwright Orthodontics! Click on the questions below to view more information; if you don’t see your question, you’re always welcome to contact either of our locations in McMurray or Bethel Park and ask us directly. We look forward to hearing from you!

When should I take my child to the orthodontist for the first time?

We typically recommend that children should undergo their first orthodontic evaluation when they reach seven years old. During this time, our team can gain a full understanding of your son or daughter’s developing smile, the orthodontic concerns they may face over time, and whether early intervention is necessary.

Do braces hurt?

In the days immediately following the placement of new braces over the teeth, it is likely that the patient will experience some discomfort and soreness as their mouth adjusts to the addition. However, once this short period is over, braces should NOT hurt. If you or your child is continuing to experience excessive pain, please let Cartwright Orthodontics know right away so we can help.

After getting braces, how often do I need to visit the orthodontist?

In most cases, we will ask that you return to one of our two office locations (either in McMurray or Bethel Park) every four to six weeks on average. Dr. Cartwright or Dr. Palmer will gauge your progress, correct any problems, and provide an adjustment and/or change your wires.

How long will I need to wear my braces?

Every case is different, and our team can’t provide a confident estimate until we’ve fully reviewed your unique smile’s needs. Typical treatment times will depend on the type of braces or aligners used and the severity of the misalignments. Most cases will fall somewhere between 6 months and 30 months of use.

Are there options besides traditional metal braces? I want my smile to still look natural.

Yes! Ceramic braces are designed to provide the same effective benefits as metal braces while helping patients maintain a more subtle and attractive appearance. If your orthodontic problems are relatively minor, aligners can also help you achieve the corrections you want in a virtually seamless fashion!

If I have an emergency with my braces (injury, severe pain, etc), will you see me?

Definitely. Please contact either our McMurray location or our Bethel Park location right away if you’re in need of urgent assistance. Dr. Cartwright or Dr. Palmer will make time to see you and provide relief as soon as he possibly can.

Does my dental insurance cover braces?

In most cases, dental insurances will provide coverage for at least a portion of orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, our team members are very knowledgeable when it comes to maximizing reimbursement, and they’ll be happy to guide you through the process and file claims on your family’s behalf. Please visit our new patients page to learn more!