Braces FAQ


Dr. Robert Sunstein
San Diego Orthodontist
San Diego, CA Locations
La Jolla - (858) 459-3353
Carmel Valley - (858) 755-1551

Braces: FAQ

Q: At what age should orthodontics be considered?

With the increasing popularity of adult orthodontics, “anytime” is an appropriate answer for those in their teens or older. For youngsters, a major factor is the number of baby teeth still in the mouth, and whether or not there are pre-treatment needs.

We understand that no patient wants to be in braces any longer than necessary, so a patient’s physical development will determine when treatment should begin. The majority of patients are ready to begin orthodontic treatment between the ages of seven and twelve years. Coming in for a simple examination may help answer this question for you, since each patient has his or her own developmental characteristics.

Q: How long will I have braces and how will I look?

Generally, teeth move into their optimum positions during a 12-18 month period in braces. After that, our patients wear retainers indefinitely. Your own treatment time may be shorter, or longer depending on the corrections you need. Time in a retainer is just as important as time in braces because teeth must readjust and become firm in their new positions. Most retainers, however, are not permanent and can be removed for special occasions.

The general appearance of braces today is different than it was a few years ago. On the front of the teeth, all that shows are tiny brackets affixed to each tooth. An archwire runs through the middle of the brackets, normally on both upper and lower teeth. Back teeth are fitted with slim bands so that the archwire can be attached there, too.

Please ask to see what the full appliance looks like, if you wish. We have a model you can see and examples of different retainers, also.

Ask us about our 6-month fast track treatment program.

Q: Do braces hurt?

Your teeth, like the rest of your body, are remarkable in their ability to adapt to change. Various times during your treatment your teeth may feel tender for a few days, but this will be temporary.

On rare occasions, a part of your appliance may come loose or your archwire may cause discomfort in the back of your mouth due to rapid tooth movement. Any time a circumstance like this arises, we will see you as soon as possible.

Q: Can I afford orthodontic treatment?

Dr. Sunstein offers financing options to all of his patients. Dr. Sunstein does not want cost to stand in the way of treatment. Therefore, we offer a variety of budgeting options.

We gladly accept Visa, Discover and MasterCard. Many company health insurance policies include an orthodontic plan. If you have questions about this kind of coverage, we may be able to answer them.

As a service, our business manager will process your forms and help solve any problems that may arise. We will do everything we can to maximize the insurance benefits you are entitled to receive. Our business office is open Monday through Friday. Our La Jolla phone number is (858)459-3353 and our Carmel Valley number is (858) 755-1551.

Q: Where do I begin?

The first step in orthodontic treatment is to make an complimentary appointment for an examination. This is a very simple visit in which the doctor examines your teeth, jaws and gums, take some measurements, and advises you on the need for orthodontic treatment and when it should begin.

If you are not ready for treatment at this time, the doctor will re-evaluate your needs periodically at no additional charge. If, on the other hand, treatment should begin immediately, we have state-of-the-art digital radiography for diagnostic procedures the doctor will use in developing your treatment plan. This plan will be outlined in detail with you at your consultation appointment.

Once you fully understand the procedures that will be taking place, your orthodontic treatment can begin. We keep you informed so you will always know what to expect. Literature and videotape presentations will further enhance your understanding, and a special hygiene program is available to enhance the health of your teeth and gums.

Your part in this:

Potential patients are sometimes surprised to learn that their cooperation is an important factor in their orthodontic treatment. Dr. Sunstein will agree to treat patients only when they are ready to commit their cooperation, assuring that the time they are in braces does not extend beyond the original treatment plan. Sometimes a patient's braces can come off sooner than expected due to excellent cooperation on his or her part.

By cooperation, we mean following the doctor's instructions carefully in regard to wearing your appliances, avoiding certain foods, wearing elastics, if they are part of your treatment, and being sure to wear retainers faithfully during your years of retention.





We have been voted the among the best in La Jolla, San Diego and Carmel Valley 5 years in a row.
Thank you for all of your support. 


La Jolla Orthodontics

7575 Eads Avenue Suite #101
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 459-3353

Carmel Valley Orthodontics

12395 El Camino Real Suite #309
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 755-1551

Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Saturday 8:00am - 1:00pm

Sunday closed



You will be the only one who knows

Wired for success 

Let your smile show through!

Results that last a lifetime

Relaxing and beautiful surroundings
Carmel Valley 92130, Del Mar, Fairbanks Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe, UTC, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Mira Mesa, UCSD, El Camino Real and Village of La Jolla 92037

Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

© 2016 Dr. Robert A. Sunstein.

La Jolla :
7575 Eads Avenue Suite #101
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 459-3353

Carmel Valley Orthodontics 
12395 El Camino Real Suite #309 
San Diego, CA 92130 
(858) 755-1551 
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