Orthodontic FAQs

Why are teeth sore?

Appliances, whether braces or aligners, allow Dr. Emerson to move each tooth to its proper place. As the teeth move, there is initial irritation surrounding each tooth. Because of this, many patients need a little extra care at the beginning of their treatment.

Use Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen to help with the discomfort and try to take it easy on your teeth. Think of it as caring for a sprained ankle. You wouldn't jog with a sprained ankle so when you get your appliances, stay away from tough, chewy foods for a couple of days. Once the teeth are moving, it is a slow, 24-hour-a-day process and most discomfort will be gone within the first couple of days.

Do you use frictionless braces that don't hurt?

Yes, our office uses frictionless braces! There are many brands of frictionless braces such as the Damon System, Empower, and In-Ovation. In the last few years, Dr. Emerson has treated many patients using each of these system of braces. The bottom line is that none of them are "magic". All of these braces work similarly to align teeth without the use of colored ties on each brace.

Current research shows that these type of braces do not move teeth faster than traditional braces, but they are a great solution for patients who have issues keeping braces clean. Without a latex tie, frictionless braces are less likely to attract food and plaque than traditional braces. Remember, teeth are sore because they are moving, not because of a specific type of braces or aligners.

But someone told me the frictionless braces would keep me from having to get teeth pulled.

Dr. Emerson takes extractions very serious and makes treatment decisions based on what is best for the individual patient. Extraction decisions are made based on factors such as bone size, tooth protrusion, and gum tissue health, and NOT on what type of appliance is used. No specific type of brace system on the market has ever been scientifically proven to deliver results superior to another type of system. Braces are a tool that when combined with an orthodontist's knowledge produce outstanding smiles.

How long do most people wear braces?

The average person will have braces 1-2 years depending on type of case. Everyone's teeth move at a different rate and some cases, like a large overbite, take longer to correct. At your complimentary consult, Dr. Emerson will talk to you about your custom treatment plan and how long your case is expected to take. Remember, taking care of your teeth, gums, and braces, and following treatment instructions will help each case finish faster.

Can I get the clear, removable, Invisalign braces?

Absolutely! Dr. Emerson is a premier preferred provider of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. He has treated many patients since 2002 with this innovative product. At your initial consultation, Dr. Emerson will inform you if you are a candidate. Click on the Invisalign banner at the top of the page to learn more about this cosmetic appliance.

If Invisalign is not the right option for me, but I don’t like the look of metal braces, what are my options?

Dr. Emerson is Tulsa's leader in completely hidden Incognito treatment, being named the only Center of Excellence in Oklahoma. Incognito is extremely popular with adults and teenagers who want the great result of braces without appliances showing. Dr. Emerson also offers upper and lower ceramic braces so you can have that bright, white, smile while your teeth are aligning.

My Dentist does braces, why do I need an orthodontist?

Because we are specifically trained to serve you! After 4 years of dental school, an orthodontist completes another 2-3 years of specialized orthodontic training at an accredited university. An orthodontist does not do fillings, crowns, or cleanings. Instead, we are specially trained to deal with problems of tooth alignment and bite function. We work closely with pediatric dentists, family dentists, cosmetic dentists and other dental specialists on every case to create an efficient dental team. If you have questions about why you should see a licensed orthodontist for your treatment, please give us a call or visit the American Association of Orthodontists website.

Do you offer payment plans?

Absolutely! We offer financial packages that will suit anyone's needs. Whether you take advantage of our discounted "pay-in-full" plan, work through our office with a Care Credit "No Down Payment" plan, or use Emerson Orthodontics' complimentary "ALWAYS INTEREST FREE" payment option, we will create a plan that works for you.

How often do I get my braces adjusted?

With the space-age wires Dr. Emerson uses, the typical adjustment is every 6-8 weeks. Remember, your teeth are slowly moving 24 hours a day. This is a new concept for most adults who remember the steel wires being "tightened" every 4 weeks. The revolutionary flexible wires allow for more movement between visits at a greater comfort level to the patient.

How long do I have to wear a retainer?

It takes 1-2 years for your teeth to settle after your orthodontic correction. After that, your body is continually changing throughout your lifetime. Continual wear is recommended to protect your investment. Dr. Emerson always says “Nighttime for a Lifetime). At your complimentary consultation, Dr. Emerson will discuss the specific type of retainer to be used for your case.


I have hated my teeth since I can remember! Finally just after my 50th birthday I can smile and be proud of my teeth! No more putting my hand over my mouth or smiling without teeth! I got my braces off today (after only 11 months worn)!!! Thank you Dr. Emerson and Thanks to your wonderful staff!!! Everyone there is wonderful. Dr. Emerson you did exactly what you said you would do and it looks better than I could have ever imagined!!! Thank you!!


I previously worked in the dental field myself for 25 years so I'm pretty picky when it comes to doctors. Emerson Orthodontics "had me at hello"! Aside from being extremely efficient, the doctor and his (obviously well picked) staff are warm, welcoming and friendly. The exact type of office I would have enjoyed working with! Which explains why I chose them for myself and my children's orthodontic treatment!!

american dental association american association of orthodontists southwestern society of orthodontists oklahoma dental association elite lingual orthodontist
Back to Top
Follow Us On Facebook Instagram Follow Our Tweets Healthgrades View Our Youtube Channel Read our reviews