Orthodontics FAQs

Q. Does my general dentist need to refer me to your practice?

  • No. Many of our patients either schedule a consultation with us themselves or they are referred to us by their family and friends.

Q. When should I bring my child to his or her first orthodontic visit?

  • Orthodontic treatment is available for any age. However, the American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children around the age of seven undergo a screening.

Q. How much does orthodontic treatment cost?

  • It’s impossible for us to provide an exact cost for treatment until we have performed an assessment, as costs can widely vary depending on the situation.

    Righellis Orthodontics offers many financing options to accommodate your budget. Our team will also review your dental insurance and help maximize your benefits and file your claims. Many dental insurance policies include orthodontic benefits to help make it more affordable than ever.


Q. Can I schedule my child’s visits after school?

  • Unfortunately, we are unable to schedule all visits during after-school hours.

    It is not uncommon for school-age patients to miss some school while undergoing orthodontics. We will, however, do all we can to minimize your child’s time away from the classroom.

Q. Can my child attend visits without me?

  • Yes. Life can be hectic, and we understand the need to maximize your time. Occasionally, we may need to talk with you regarding your child’s treatment.

    For this reason, please check with our front desk when dropping off your child.

Q. How long will my orthodontic treatment take?

  • Treatment time will vary for each patient and will depend on the severity of each patient’s orthodontic problems, and patient compliance.

    At Righellis Orthodontics, we are committed to making your treatment as swift and effective as possible.

Q. Are braces painful?

  • As a general rule, no. But there will be certain appointments where your teeth could be tender for a day or two. Pain relivers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen will ease any soreness.

Q. Can I go to school after my braces are placed?

  • Yes. There is no need to miss class due to an orthodontic visit.

Q. Is it possible to play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment?

  • Yes you can. However, it is important that patients protect their investment and oral health by wearing a mouth guard when participating in all sporting activities. We can assist you in selecting the correct type of mouthguard for your individual needs.

Q. Will I have dietary restrictions?

  • Yes. You will be provided with a detailed list of instructions. Some foods you will be asked to avoid include sticky foods, ice, candy, popcorn, nuts, and raw fruits and vegetables.

Q. What about brushing my teeth?

  • You should brush your teeth after every meal. Braces will create small ledges, and hiding spots for food particles, which can lead to cavities and gum problems.

Q. I’m an adult. Is it too late to have braces?

  • Not at all! A large portion of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are over the age of 18.


Q. How do I know that my doctor is actually an orthodontist?

  • Only an orthodontist can be a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Many general dentists have begun displaying credentials from various companies such as Invisalign, American Orthodontic Society, International Association of Orthodontists, and others. If you are ever in doubt, visit http://mylifemysmile.org to verify your doctor’s association with AAO.

Q. While undergoing orthodontic treatment, do I still need to visit my general dentist?

  • Absolutely! Routine follow-ups with your general or family dentist are essential while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Q. Are retainers necessary and how long will I have to wear one?

  • Retainers are designed to prevent your teeth from shifting or moving while waiting for the bone around your teeth to harden and stabilize. The longer you wear it, the greater your chances that your teeth will not move back into their original place. We recommend that retainers be worn each night for the rest of your life.

Contact Righellis Orthodontics Today

At our Oakland, CA practice, we understand that beginning orthodontic treatment can feel daunting. If you have questions we did not answer here, feel free to reach out.

You can contact us online or call us at 510-482-0600.

Dr. Righellis & Dr. Ikeda
Meet Dr Righellis & Dr Ikeda
All of the staff at Righellis & Associates are nice and welcoming. Not only are they kind, but they are also good at their jobs! I would recommend them to anyone looking for an orthodontist!A. J.

Righellis & Associates

Orthodontics for Children and Adults

2220 Mountain Blvd.
Suite 204
Oakland, CA 94611

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: On a limited basis – please call for availability