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Frequently Asked Questions

With many places to choose from, why should I choose Island Ortho ?

From the minute you arrive at our office you will feel right at home. Both our Mobile Team and our Baldwin Team are dedicated to great service and comfort for you and your family. Our Doctors will offer you the custom treatment plan that is best for you and will treat you as they would their own family.

Island Ortho is a Top Providers for Invisalign.

Island Ortho uses state of the art equipment and treatment mechanics to provide the most comfortable, timely and desirable results possible.

Do you charge for an initial visit?

There is absolutely Zero charge or obligation for your initial consultation. As a courtesy to you, we will always discuss the feasibility of braces/invisalign or tooth straightening without charging a fee for the initial consultation. Please contact us using the easy contact form or by giving us a call at (251) 968-1310 (Baldwin Area) or (251) 344-7604 (Mobile Area).

At what age do you start seeing patients?

As a rule of thumb, we like to evaluate young patients after the 6-year molars erupt and the front permanent teeth just start to appear. This is usually between the ages of 6 and 8. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children be seen for the first time by age 7.

Why do you evaluate patients so young?

The purpose of early evaluation is to inform and observe, more than to start treatment. At this early age, the eventual needs may be identified and discussed. A small percentage of this young group may need some form of intervention. Habits are evaluated, medical issues are discussed and an observation schedule is arranged until the patient is ready to begin treatment.

How long will the first visit take?

The first visit can last anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on how ready the patient is for treatment. We may just do a visual exam and explain the situation or we may suggest one or more X-rays and complete diagnostics including impressions of the teeth with photographs to document the current position.

Do you take patients transferring from out of town?

Yes we do. We handle a patient transferring into our office from another city just like a new patient. We gather complete diagnostic records to show the current status and propose treatment to complete the work that has been started.

Do you have any adult patients?

Absolutely! A growing percentage of our patients are adult. New, more cosmetic appliances are making adult treatment much more comfortable and convenient. Both Invisalign Clear Aligners and Braces work great for adults.

Will my teeth straighten out as I grow and get older?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

An orthodontist is a general dentist that has had at least 2 more years of full-time training in orthodontics resulting in a nationally accepted specialty certificate. The orthodontist then limits their practice to straightening teeth and dentofacial orthopedics.

Can I make all my appointments in the afternoon after school and late in the day?

In order to have early and late appointments available for the majority of patient appointments, some procedures need to be accomplished during the hours of 9 and 3. We will do our best to work with your schedules and accommodate your family needs.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your schedule is busy, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check-in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Overall treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem(s). In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time-span a patient wears braces is approximately 22 months.

How often will I have an appointment?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Patients in braces will have office visits about every 4 to 7 weeks and patients in Invisalign will have office visits about every 8-12 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Do you see patients for emergencies?

Yes, our contact information for an emergency is posted on the website.

Feel free to visit our Emergency Care Page for more information.

Can we make payments?

Yes.  Whether or you have insurance, a dental plan or neither, we will structure a convenient payment plan that will allow you to pay for orthodontic services over a period of time that coincides with your treatment plan.

How do you handle insurance?

After verification of coverage, we will agree to bill and collect from an insurance carrier. However, we ask patients to understand that if coverage ceases or changes, the patient is still responsible for the agreed upon fee.

Do you take American Express, Master Card and/or Visa?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards.

Do you have direct debit?

Yes, we have arrangements for direct debit, charge card posting, as well as payments over the internet.

Do you charge interest?

No we do not.

Do you give family discounts?

We have special programs and fees for multiple patients from the same family.

Does wearing braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain appointments, your teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over-the-counter pain medications, such as Advil or Tylenol, will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”

Can I still play sports or play my instrument while wearing braces?

Yes! We recommend that patients wear mouthguards while playing sports. Musicians will likely experience an adjustment period until they are comfortable playing while wearing braces.

Do I need to see my general dentist while wearing braces?

Yes! Regular check-ups with your general dentist are important while in braces. Your dentist will determine the intervals between each cleaning appointment while you have your braces.

How often should I brush my teeth while I have braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will also show you how to floss your teeth with braces, and we may provide a prescription for a special fluoride treatment, if necessary.

To learn more about brushing and flossing with braces, see our brushing and flossing with braces tips page.

Are there any foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain our complete instructions and provide you with a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most repair appointments by carefully following our instructions!

Do retainers need to be worn after braces?

Yes, retainers are worn full-time for about 6 months followed by nighttime wear indefinitely.

Why do teeth get crooked after wearing braces or aligners?

Teeth move throughout life whether you have worn braces or not.  It is part of the natural aging process. This is why retainer wear is recommended indefinitely to maintain your orthodontic results over  lifetime.

Can I afford orthodontic treatment?

Absolutely! We have a variety of convenient payment options to help make getting a new smile much more affordable. Many dental insurance plans now include orthodontic benefits. We offer LOW DOWN PAYMENT options and payments as low as $169/month (for Braces).  While we desire to provide as much cost details as possible, each patient’s treatment needs and insurance plans vary greatly – therefore, for the most accurate cost details, please contact us using the easy contact form or by giving us a call at (251) 968-1310 (Baldwin Area) or (251) 344-7604 (Mobile Area).

How long does Orthodontic Treatment usually take?

While the length of treatment time will vary based upon each patient and their unique needs.  The average treatment time is from 18 to 24 months.  To find out your estimated treatment time, please schedule a FREE CONSULTATION using the CONTACT FORM or calling us at (251) 968-1310 (Baldwin Area) or (251) 344-7604 (Mobile Area).

What does my orthodontic investment Include?

Your orthodontic investment includes:

  • Orthodontic records, which consists of x-rays, study models and a personalized growth study workup to determine your treatment objectives.
  • Active treatment fee for both early treatment options and complete comprehensive treatment with braces or Invisalign includes all appliances, office visits, and procedures performed in the office. Appliances are durable and should last through the entire treatment period if the patient follows instructions. If appliances require replacement due to loss, breakage, misuse or failure to eliminate foods that cause damage, we reserve the right to charge an additional replacement fee.
  • One set of final retainers for our comprehensive (Phase II) patients is provided upon completion of treatment. There is a replacement fee for each additional retainer that is lost or broken.
What payment options are available?

There are many payment options available to help make your orthodontic care more affordable.  We offer several low-interest or no-interest payment plans as well LOW DOWN PAYMENT options. 

There are also outside payment options such as Care Credit, which is a health care financing company that has been around for more than 30 years and is designed to cover the gap between what health insurance and credit cards will cover.  Charges remain interest-free if paid within a shorter time-frame.  Longer term financing is also available with reduced interest rates and fixed monthly payments.  Payments can even be made with your credit card.

If you have an Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, you may also be able to use it to help pay for your orthodontic treatment.

Does insurance pay for braces?

Yes, if you have orthodontic coverage. Orthodontic insurance is an additional “rider” on dental insurance. If you have orthodontic insurance, you are provided with a lifetime maximum benefit per eligible family member. Orthodontic insurance benefits are normally paid throughout the treatment time since orthodontics is a continuing treatment.  Insurance plans can often cover up to $3,500 of orthodontic costs.  We accept all orthodontic insurance benefits and will be happy to file it for you.

What is Phase One (early) Treatment?

Phase I treatment is usually started when children are between the ages of 7 and 10. This phase of treatment usually lasts about 12-15 months. The primary objective for Phase I treatment is to address significant dental or skeletal problems which are corrected easier or that can only be corrected at an early age. Phase I treatment can fully correct these problems and/or prevent them from becoming more severe. It can also help to improve self esteem and self confidence.

My teeth have been crooked for many years, am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

It’s never too late! Approximately 40% of our practice are adults. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function. And teeth that work better usually look better, too. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter the age. We have had patients seek and undergo orthodontic treatment well beyond their 70s. Adults love the results they receive and are always extremely happy that they didn’t delay their new smile any longer.

How do I schedule my Free Initial Consultation?

There’s no better time to schedule your FREE (No-obligation) Consultation. To schedule your free initial consultation, please contact us using the easy contact form or by giving us a call at (251) 968-1310 (Baldwin Area) or (251) 344-7604 (Mobile Area).

What should I expect at the Initial Consultation?

At your no-obligation FREE initial consultation, we will evaluate your orthodontic needs and offer you recommended options for treatment. As well, any questions you have will be gladly answered.

Some of the most common questions we will cover during your initial examination are the following:
• Is there an orthodontic problem and if so, what is it?
• What must be done to correct the problem?
• What are my treatment options?
• How long will the treatment take to complete?
• What are my options for payment?
• What costs are covered by my insurance?

What if I have more questions about Orthodontic Treatment or Island Ortho?

We are always happy to help and answer any questions you have.  Please contact us using the easy contact form or by giving us a call at (251) 968-1310 (Baldwin Area) or (251) 344-7604 (Mobile Area).

Services For You


It’s your turn to get the smile you want. We offer many options for adults, including Titatium and Traditional Braces as well as Invisalign Clear Aligners.


From cool color options on Braces to Invisalign Clear aligners, we offer many options to help your teen get a beautiful and confident new smile both you and they can be proud of.


It is recommended that kids visit an Orthodontist by age 7 (Phase I) to assess future needs for orthodontics. Getting an early start on orthodontic care can greatly improve treatment needed as a teen/adult.

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