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Frequently Asked Questions


The staff in our Stamford, CT, office has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from our patients. If these FAQs don’t answer your question, call Dr. Gallois and Dr. Mathew Rhee Orthodontics at 203-348-7571 today.

What should I expect during my first visit?

Your first visit to our office will start with an evaluation by our treatment coordinator. The treatment coordinator will take preliminary information from you, such as your main orthodontic concerns as well as answer any questions about the office. Then you will meet with Dr. Gallois, who will gently examine your teeth and discuss orthodontic problems that may be present or developing. If the doctor determines that you are ready for treatment, diagnostic records will be recommended. If you are not ready for treatment, you may be put on a recall list and evaluated periodically until the time is right for you to begin treatment.

What are diagnostic records and consultation?

The diagnostic records appointment takes about an hour and consists of taking photographs, x-rays, and digital study models of your teeth. These records are used by Dr. Gallois to study your teeth and create a treatment plan. A later consultation visit, with Dr. Gallois, will be scheduled to go over the details of your diagnosis and your complete treatment plan. This visit is a great opportunity for you to learn about what your orthodontic treatment will be like and to ask as many questions as you want. If the patient is a child, it is important that they attend the consultation appointment with their parents. From here, we move forward with scheduling the placement of your orthodontic appliances or braces.

What should I expect the day I get my braces?

On the day you begin your treatment, you will be greeted by one of our highly trained orthodontic assistants. The assistant will explain what we will be doing for that day and begin any preliminary procedures to get your teeth ready for braces. Dr. Gallois will put your braces on. Depending on what type of braces you are getting, your appointment may last as long as two hours. During this time, you will also learn how to take care of your teeth and new braces. Later in the day, your teeth may feel a little uncomfortable as they begin the process of moving. This is totally normal and may last for a few days. It is recommended that you take Tylenol or Advil to alleviate any discomfort you may have.

What do I have to do to make my treatment progress smoothly?

Your treatment is a team effort. The doctor will place the braces and make the adjustments. Mom and Dad will make sure you get to your appointments. Your responsibility is to take good care of your teeth and braces, and wear any appliances and elastics you’ve been given. Teeth move over time, so your treatment really takes place during the time between visits, not at the office. Nothing slows treatment like broken braces, broken wires, lost appliances, or not wearing elastics and appliances. Your treatment will go smoothly if you stick to the plan and keep your teeth clean between appointments.

What foods and activities do I need to avoid while I have my braces?

Gum chewing is one of the worst things for your braces and needs to be avoided. Nail biting, pencil chewing, and putting non-edible items in your mouth can damage your braces. Certain foods such as meat on the bone, corn on the cob, crusty bread, and sticky or chewy candies should be avoided. Foods that are normally hard to chew can cause damage to your orthodontic appliances. The day we put on your braces, we will provide you with a list of foods to avoid, but this is only a partial list. Use common sense when selecting foods to eat and this should limit any problems.
Dr. Gallois Orthodontics - Braces in Stamford, CT

What do I do if I have an emergency?

Don’t panic! Most orthodontic emergencies are minor. If you think a part of your braces is broken or something is poking or hurting you, call the office at 203-348-7571. We will make an appointment for you to be seen in the office. Don’t wait until your next appointment. If it is after office hours, you will be given a number to reach Dr. Gallois by phone. Sometimes things can be handled with instruction over the phone, but if necessary, an emergency office visit will be made to care for the problem. If you are unsure if a problem exists, please don’t hesitate to call. We are always happy to ease your concerns and get you through any emergency.

How long do I have to wear my retainers?

Once your braces come off, you will be given a set of retainers. Because tooth movement is a biological process, your teeth can move over time, and they are most vulnerable to moving right after your braces have been taken off. Retainers are given to you to wear full time for the first six months after braces. This means you can take them out to eat and brush, but they should be in your mouth the majority of the day. After the first six months, you will be required to wear your retainers at nighttime. Retention is a life-long event. Because your body changes over time and your teeth are part of your biological system, some changes can be expected in your teeth as well. Even when we no longer see you in the office, we recommend that you continue to wear your retainer at night or at least every other night to ensure that your teeth stay where we left them.

What should I do if I lose or break my retainers?

Because you should always have and wear retainers to keep your smile beautiful, call the office as soon as possible if they are lost or broken. We will give you an appointment to come in to measure and prepare new retainers or try to fix existing broken retainers. If only one is lost or broken, continue to wear the other one because it is still doing its job. Depending on the type of retainers you have, it can take up to a week to get new ones. Call right away to get the process started.

At what age should I have an orthodontic evaluation for my child?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first be evaluated at age seven. At this age, an orthodontist can evaluate the child’s bite, growth and development, and the eruption of the permanent dentition. This is a good time to intercept any serious developing orthodontic problems or just begin monitoring the child’s dental development. Sometimes parents are concerned with the teeth of a child younger than seven years old. It never hurts to take a look at any age. There is usually no fee associated with an initial examination, so if you have a concern about your child, schedule an appointment.

Do I need a special mouth guard to play sports?

If your sport requires a mouth guard for players, the answer is yes. Standard mouth guards that you buy from the store and boil and bite to mold to your teeth will prevent your teeth from moving. These mouthguards will always try to force the teeth back to the position they were in when the mouth guard was fitted. Because your teeth are already on the move, you need a flat plane mouth guard that lets them continue to move while the mouthguard is worn. We are happy to provide you with an appropriate mouth guard to protect your teeth. Just ask one of the staff or the doctors when you need one.
Contact Us
Fax: 203-359-8199

Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
*Saturday 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Sunday Closed


*We are open every other Saturday. Please check out schedule.

In an emergency, please call the office and we will accommodate you. If the office is closed, you will be given the number of the doctor on call.