Frequently asked questions

Below you will find an overview of the most frequently asked questions. If your question is not listed you can contact the practice at any time.


Q: What is an orthodontist?
A: An orthodontist is a dentist with four years of additional advanced specialty training. Dr. Tan and his associate doctors have all completed accredited orthodontic programs and have performed original research in the field.


Q: How long is the waiting list?
A: There is no waiting list. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment or register online.


Q: When should a child begin orthodontic treatment?
A: The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have an initial evaluation by the age of seven because it is the optimal time to evaluate skeletal development and to identify the position of the permanent teeth.


Q: Do wisdom teeth have an effect on the braces results?
A: Most often No.  The third molars (wisdom teeth) often erupt around the same time as a patient treated in their teens experience relapse with their orthodontic therapy. If the treatment is timed correctly according to the patient’s inherent growth pattern and growth timing, orthodontic treatment tends to be more stable. In some cases, the third molars can erupt into the adjacent second molars, causing some adverse effects on the adjacent teeth or simply erupt only partially, inciting chronic infections. These are some of the reasons for the removal of the wisdom teeth.


Q: Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
A: Simply to get the best care possible. Orthodontic specialists have rigorous, focused training and provide the most ideal and professional results. Be sure to find an orthodontist that is certified by the Dutch Specialty Board of Orthodontics.


Q: Is orthodontic treatment the same everywhere you go?
A: Braces are not a commodity.  Braces are a tool, so it is the doctor that makes the difference.  Think of it this way: it is not the car that does the driving – it is the driver.


Q: Am I a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
A: You may be. The purpose of orthodontics is to eliminate malocclusions (improper bites) and the wide variety of problems they can cause. Malocclusions occur as the result of tooth and/or jaw misalignment.  They may affect the way you smile, chew, and clean your teeth and even how you feel about your smile and appearance.  More importantly, an improper bite may lead to periodontal (gum and bone) problems and/or tooth loss.  Orthodontic treatment can improve your long-term dental health and physical health. It may also eliminate the need for more extensive dental work later in life.


Q: Is orthodontic treatment only to improve your smile?
A: Optimal alignment and occlusion of the teeth are the primary reasons for treatment. It will improve your overall health. And, yes, it will definitely help improve your smile!


Q: Am I too old to have braces?
A: Many patients think that orthodontics is only for children, but about half of our patients are adults. With healthy bone support, teeth can be successfully moved at any point in life.


Q: How much do braces cost?
A: The fee for orthodontic treatment varies depending on the severity of the problem and length and complexity of treatment. We are pleased to offer several payment options commensurate with individual needs.


Q: Will insurance pay for orthodontic care?
A: It depends upon the policy. Our practice understands that insurance is a contract between the patient and the insurance company, not between the doctor and insurance company. However, we will do everything possible to help our patients receive due benefits from their association or insurance carrier.


Q: Do braces hurt?
A: Typically, the patient is comfortable during treatment, but some adjustment time is necessary after appliance activation.


Q: Will braces affect my lifestyle?
A: Braces will not affect your lifestyle, but there will be a short adjustment period while you get used to your new appliances. You may feel that your speech is a little different, but that will change in just a few days.
We recommended wearing a mouth guard for contact sports or other rough activities. Ask for one at the office.
Braces should not interfere with playing an instrument, though there may be a period of adjustment.  Orthodontic wax will be provided to prevent discomfort. Practicing will help ease the transition.


Q: Do I need to see my dentist while in braces?
A: Yes. Regular visits with your dentist are essential and may need occur more frequently. Be sure to check with your dentist.


Q: How long do I have to wear braces?
A: It depends on the individual. Although minor tooth movement may be resolved in a year or less, complex cases may take two or more years.


Q: Can a retainer correct the alignment of my teeth?
A: No. Retainers are designed to keep teeth in their new positions after active orthodontic treatment. They are not meant to move teeth.


Q: How long will I have to wear my retainers?
A: Typically, patients wear a retainer (at night) following active orthodontic treatment to keep the teeth from shifting toward their original positions.


Q: Are your instruments sterilized?
A: Yes. Instruments are sterilized after each and every use in compliance with Dutch Ministry of Health standards.


Q: What about infection control?
A: We protect our patients from disease transmission by using Universal Precautions such as masks, gloves and eye protection. Everything is up to the highest standards set by the Dutch Ministry of Health.