• Frequently Asked Questions

    • June 10, 2019
    • 2 min read
    • FAQ

    How much do braces cost?

    Treatment cost depends on many factors, like: complexity, length of treatment time, and whether the patient chooses metal braces, clear braces, or Invisalign. Because of these reasons, it’s hard to give a concrete answer. The most accurate way to find out how much braces cost is to come in for a complimentary consultation.

    you offer payment plans?

    We offer in-house, interest free payment plans for every patient and every type of treatment. We’re happy to find a payment option that works best for you!

    you offer discounts or promotions for treatment?

    We do not offer promotions for treatment. However, we are able to offer family and pay-in-full discounts.

    Does getting your braces on hurt?

    Not at all! This is a common misconception about braces. You may feel minimal pressure when Dr. Arruda applies brackets to your teeth, but that’s about it.

    Do braces hurt throughout treatment?

    No, but you may feel sore. Soreness is most common during the first few days of getting your braces on, and the few days after you see Dr. Arruda for an adjustment. If needed, Tylenol does the trick to eliminate any discomfort you may feel.

    Does it hurt to get your braces removed?

    No. Braces are non-invasive. Dr. Arruda uses a special, safe tool to pop off each bracket, and then gently polishes your teeth to remove any residual glue. Some patients report feeling a funny sensation from the polisher, but that’s about it.

    Are braces safe?

    Braces are generally considered safe. All medical and dental treatment, including orthodontics, has risks and limitations. Orthodontic complications are usually very minor. Some examples of risks include:

    • White spots and gum disease from poor brushing habits.
    • Shortening of the roots occurs to a limited degree in many patients, and significant root shortening does occur on rare occasions.
    • Relapse can occur if a patient fails to consistently use their retainer long-term.

    For the vast majority of patients, the benefits of orthodontic treatment far outweigh the risks.

    My braces don’t feel as tight as they were in the beginning. Is this normal?

    This is normal. Every visit, Dr. Arruda will make adjustments to efficiently move your teeth to their new position. This just means that your teeth are responding well to treatment!

    How often should I brush my teeth with braces or Invisalign?

    You should brush and floss your teeth at least three times a day, including after every meal. Frequent brushing ensures that your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout orthodontic treatment.

    What are the rubber bands on braces used for?

    Rubber bands are prescribed in some patients to correct different bites.

    One of my brackets is loose/broken. What should I do?

    Call our office at (872) 222-9567 to make an appointment to get it fixed. This should be scheduled as soon as possible.

    I have Invisalign and one of my attachments popped off. What should I do?

    Call our office, (872) 222-9567 and we’ll help figure out if you need to come in to get your attachment(s) reapplied.

    Do I have to get braces on my top and bottom teeth, or can I just get them on one and not the other?

    We generally do not recommend treatment for just one arch. This is because if you correct one arch and not the other arch, your bite can be disrupted, thus causing more problems than when you started.

    Do I have to wear my retainer forever?

    You only need to wear your retainer for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. Teeth have a tendency to want to m0ve back to where they were before orthodontic treatment, and retainers are the only way to keep them from moving. Our bodies are constantly changing and our teeth are no exception.

    How can someone identify if their bite is incorrect?

    Here are some of the signs your bite is incorrect:

    • Popping or clicking of the jaw
    • Frequent headaches
    • Teeth grinding
    • Top and bottom teeth don’t touch when you bite down
    • Frequently biting the insides of your cheek when you bite down
    • Difficulty flossing in between some or all of your teeth
    • Gaps between teeth

    If you think your bite may be off, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Dr. Arruda will accurately determine whether your bite is off.

    I’m worried that my child’s thumb sucking habit will cause their teeth to change. Can this happen?

    Yes. Prolonged thumbsucking can cause an open bite in your child’s mouth. If your child is having a hard time stopping this thumb sucking habit, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. They’ll present the best treatment option for your child.

    What are some options for an adult looking to get braces?

    Good news, adults are great candidates for orthodontic treatment! However, you must be cleared by your general dentist to get braces first. This is because adults are at a higher risk for oral health problems, and undergoing orthodontic treatment may complicate things more. West Loop Ortho has treated adult patients with metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign. Check out our adult treatment page for more information

    How long does it usually take for the teeth to get aligned with braces?

    Treatment at our office can range from anywhere between 6 to 30 months. Call our office today to schedule a consultation, or request a consultation here.

    My braces come off next week, but I can already tell (where the braces don’t cover my teeth) that my teeth have yellowed in color. What’s the best way to whiten my teeth once my braces are off?

    It’s completely safe to have your teeth whitened post braces. Dr. Arruda may recommend you wait a few months before whitening them. Talk to your dentist about fast, safe teeth whitening options.

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How To Use Invisalign

While Invisalign trays are the most discreet ortho treatment available, there are some additional steps that go into caring for clear aligner trays as opposed to traditional braces. Here’s what you need to know about using this invisible orthodontic treatment:

Getting Started

• Each tray is numbered according to the order you’ll wear them through the course of your treatment. In other words, you’ll start with tray #1, then use tray #2, and so on.

• To begin, you’ll wear each set of trays for 2 weeks at a time, unless specified otherwise by your doctor.

• It’s perfectly normal to feel a little extra pressure or discomfort when you start wearing each new set of Invisalign trays.

Food + Beverages

• You will be wearing your trays throughout the day for approximately 22.5 hours, only taking them out to eat and drink beverages.

• You may only keep your trays on to drink water.

• After eating, make sure you have brushed your teeth before wearing your trays again. If you have no access to a toothbrush, rinse thoroughly. Invisalign trays always have to go back onto clean teeth.


• Do not leave your trays unattended. Make sure they are kept in the Invisalign case anytime they aren’t worn.

• Cleaning crystals are great for keeping trays odor-free and clear. But
washing them with a small amount of dish soap and a toothbrush works just as well. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid a soapy taste.

• Do not use toothpaste on your aligners – it is too abrasive for the Invisalign material and can make the trays look cloudy when worn.


• If you have attachments, you’ll be coming back to the office to have the attachments placed at the end of your 4th week (i.e when you are on the last day of tray #2). We’ll go over any new instructions and potentially increase the frequency of tray change to 10 days.

• Avoid foods with potent colors such as curry, turmeric, tomato juice, coffee, etc. These foods can stain your attachments, causing them to take on a bright yellow or red appearance, depending on the color of the food.

• In case you have already consumed something colorful, rinse as soon as possible in order to reduce the chances of staining.

• Using a straw to drink coffee (while your trays are out) helps avoid direct contact with the attachments.

While clear aligner trays require more attention than other ortho treatments, you’ll hear many Invisalign patients say the diligence is worth enjoying your smile as it transforms. Keep up with your orthodontist, follow these care instructions, and you’ll be sharing a stunning smile before you know it.

If you’ve been thinking about improving your smile and feel that Invisalign may be right for you, let’s talk. During a free consultation, our orthodontists can discuss your goals and concerns after evaluating your smile.
At West Loop Orthodontics, our Board Certified Orthodontists are known to handle some of the most complex braces and Invisalign cases in the city of Chicago. With most insurance plans accepted and payment plans available, we make a confident smile accessible for everyone.

Meet Your Team: Nick

With so much growth over the last few years, we knew we would need more hands on deck to organize our patient’s ortho treatments. Which is why we’re excited to introduce Nick, our Scheduling Coordinator and newest addition to the team!

Whether it’s setting up patient appointments or staff meetings, Nick handles all things scheduling. He weighs out the length of time a procedure will take to perform and coordinates that with the open clinic chairs, assigned staff, prescribed time in between appointments, and your availability, of course.

During his free time, Nick enjoys creating elaborate meals and hosting festive dinner parties. As a long-time culinary devotee, he’s the go-to expert for the latest and greatest spots to eat around town. But after a long day in the kitchen or office, he enjoys kicking back at home with his husband and Morgan, their senior Labrador pup.

Before joining West Loop Ortho, Nick was a salon manager at some of the top hair salons in Chicago. He began styling hair in his home state of North Carolina at the age of 19 because he loved helping others look and feel their best. But after knowing the ins-and-outs of the hair industry far too well, he decided to pursue his interest in healthcare administration.

Nick brings such a fun energy with his quick witted comebacks and musings, all while maintaining a ship-shape front office. Although career changes are never easy, we’re really glad he chose that route since it’s been amazing having him on the team.

Here’s How We’re Staying Safe

As you’ve probably heard from every news outlet, we’ve been experiencing a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE, such as masks and gloves) across the nation. We’ve been working to secure our PPE supply since March and have been extremely fortunate to attain the appropriate masks, face shields, garments, gloves, and more, to protect ourselves and the wellbeing of our patients.

In other words, this is our new getup:

Even with our newly increased coverage, we’re still scrubbing down, sanitizing, and switching between our gear as per the CDC and American Dental Association dental practice guidelines during the pandemic.

But, that’s not all. There’s been a little re-decorating done around the office:

And our staff has made some changes to their everyday routines, such as recording their temperature, checking for symptoms, maintaining a separate change of clothes for the clinic, and washing their hands immediately upon arrival.

We’ve been spreading word of our new office visit protocol through emails and social media. But, in case you missed it…

Here is what you should expect during your next visit:



If you’re currently receiving treatment and haven’t been scheduled for an appointment you missed during our closure, please reach out to us at info@wlortho.com or give us a call at 872.222.9567

With all that said, we’ve missed our patients and can’t wait to see how everyone’s smile has progressed during this time. Hope to (safely) see everybody soon!

Our New Safety Protocol

Wearing a mask is a given, but many locations have additional safety measures in place that are necessary to meet their establishment’s needs. Before coming in for your appointment, take a minute to check out the new safety protocol at the West Loop Ortho office:


Once you arrive, check-in to our virtual waiting room here:


(passcode: 312)