Orthodontics Made Easy: Insight From Our Expert, Dr. Neal Bastian

Check out some of our more frequently asked questions to learn more about your orthodontic journey. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, feel free to reach out to our team and give us a call.

Answers to your questions

Our services here at Sullivan Bastian are performed by board certified Orthodontist, Dr. Neal Bastian. Orthodontists and dentists share a common foundation in dental education but branch into distinct specialties. While both orthodontists and dentists complete dental school, orthodontists then pursue an additional 2-3 years of specialized training exclusively in orthodontics. This focused education equips them with in-depth expertise in straightening teeth, aligning jaws, and correcting bite issues, making them the true experts in orthodontic treatment.

The key difference lies in the scope of their practice. Dentists provide comprehensive dental care, including check-ups, cleanings, fillings, and more. In contrast, orthodontists dedicate their entire practice to orthodontic treatment. They consistently work with braces, aligners like Invisalign, expanders, and other specialized appliances, ensuring they have an unparalleled understanding of these treatment options.

Choosing an experienced orthodontist is vital because they possess the specialized knowledge and skill required for successful orthodontic outcomes. Your smile is an invaluable asset, and orthodontists are uniquely equipped to deliver the precise care you need, ensuring not only aesthetic improvements but also long-term oral health benefits. By selecting an experienced orthodontist, you’re making an investment in the health and beauty of your smile that will last a lifetime.

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is a dental specialty focusing on straightening teeth, correcting misaligned jaw structure, and improving the function of your bite. Straightening teeth is an important aspect of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, but practitioners, like Dr. Bastian, also specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities, especially in young children.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around age seven, which is early enough for orthodontists to intercept developmental abnormalities and prevent more extensive treatment later. However, one in four orthodontic patients is an adult, because there’s no age limit on wanting to look and feel your best and improve your health.

During your free 45-minute consultation, we’ll gather your full dental and orthodontic history, including taking our own X-rays and images.

The rest of the visit is spent in conversation with the orthodontist and treatment coordinator about your concerns and potential treatment from start to finish:

  • Do I have an orthodontic problem? If so, what is it?
  • What treatment options are available?
  • How long will my treatment be?
  • How much will the treatment cost, and what are my payment options?

Our initial consultations are completely free with no hidden fees.

If our schedule permits, we’re glad to see multiple family members back to back. Give us a call and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
Absolutely. Our goal is that you get educated and informed so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
During your consultation, Dr. Bastian will explain all the treatment options that will work best for your specific situation, which might include Damon Braces, LightForce Custom Clear Braces, or Invisalign Clear Aligners.
Braces are a classic and effective method to align teeth using small brackets attached to each tooth connected by a wire. We offer traditional metal braces, gentle Damon braces with memory-shape wire, or custom-printed LightForce clear braces.
Mostly not. When your braces are first placed, you will feel some discomfort as your teeth, lips, gums, and tongue get used to them. After periodic adjustments, you may feel a little sore for a day or two, but most of the time you’ll forget you even have them.
Each smile responds differently to treatment with braces, which can take anywhere from six to 30 months. Your treatment duration depends on the corrections your mouth needs, but most people wear braces for around 22 months.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene while wearing braces is crucial. Start by using a soft toothbrush and gently brush your teeth, moving downward from the top and upward from the bottom of each tooth. Always brush away from your gums. To floss effectively, employ a gentle sawing motion on both sides of the two teeth the floss is between, taking care not to exert too much pressure on the archwire. With braces, aim to brush your teeth a minimum of three times a day to ensure the health and cleanliness of your teeth, gums, and mouth. This regular brushing routine is vital for removing any trapped food particles. Additionally, daily flossing is essential to reach areas between your braces that your toothbrush might miss. If you have any questions about proper brushing and flossing techniques once your braces are in place, our team will be happy to demonstrate them to you.
The frequency varies between patients, but most treatment plans require appointments every eight to 10 weeks. We also offer a new braces technology using memory-shape, heat-activated wires that work without adjustments, decreasing the amount of office visits. During your last few months of treatment, Dr. Bastian may want to see you every four to six weeks to fine tune your final tooth movements.
Without a doubt. Braces can trap food particles and make flossing and brushing trickier. This double jeopardy creates an ideal environment for bacteria growth, which can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist works with your orthodontist to keep your teeth in great shape as your new smile develops.
Playing a contact sport or an instrument may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any school activities. Wear a mouthguard while you’re playing contact sports to protect your mouth and appliances.