Our Approach

Dr. Carter and the Carter Orthodontics team pride themselves on offering excellent customer service and an exceptional orthodontic experience to all patients. They are committed to providing the highest quality orthodontic treatment in a professional, caring and fun environment where patients are the top priority and where getting braces is a pleasant experience!

Appointments

Successful outcomes depend on great teamwork. You, the patient, are the most important member of this team. We design your braces, as well as your treatment visits, to achieve the fastest and safest path to your perfect smile. Because your smile depends on adjusting wires at the prescribed time, we ask that you make your scheduled appointments a priority.

We will always do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs. We understand that you have obligations during the day, such as work, school or family, but we ask that you faithfully attend your scheduled appointments. After orthodontic treatment begins, you will see us every 8-10 weeks, and some of these appointments will inevitably conflict with work or school schedules. In order to minimize these inconveniences, we request that you alternate between morning and afternoon appointments.

We have designed our daily schedule to accommodate all of our patients’ needs. Your scheduled appointment time has been reserved specifically for you and your orthodontic requirements. If you are late or arrive without an appointment, we might not be able to accomplish all of our scheduled changes. Because it is our goal to provide the best possible care, we may ask that you to reschedule your appointment if you are more than 15 minutes late. This is done out of respect for our other patients, as well as the care you receive each time you visit our practice.

We are aware that unforeseen events sometimes require missing an appointment. We request 24 hours notice if you need to cancel your appointment. Please call to reschedule as soon as possible. After missing your second appointment without notifying us 24 hours in advance, you may be charged an additional fee.

Your appointment is scheduled for a specific time period based on the procedure that we will complete that day. If you have a loose or broken appliance, it will take longer for us to replace or repair it and is likely to prevent us from performing all the work that we planned. We must be aware of any problems in advance so that we can be properly prepared for your visit. Our team will ask specific questions regarding the nature of the problem and give it the proper attention. If you don’t notify us of any problems, we may only be able to complete some of the work scheduled for that day, and you may have to return at a later time.

Emergencies

Please refer to the emergency page on our Web site for information about fixing small orthodontic problems at home. If you believe you have an emergency that can’t wait, please call our office. Our answering service will arrange contact by a member of the Carter Orthodontics team. In the event of a potentially life-threatening emergency, please dial 911 or visit the Emergency Department at the hospital.

Patient Success

Creating your new smile is a team effort. Here are some guidelines that will make your journey as smooth as possible.
  • Homecare: Good homecare is crucial to keeping your braces clean and your teeth healthy. Braces are food-catchers and give bacteria a place to live in your mouth, creating cavities. Clean braces move faster, too!
  • On the day we place braces, we give you a starter kit. Use it!
  • Brush your teeth 3 times/day, which means taking a travel toothbrush to school or work.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste once/day. Doing so gives your teeth an extra layer of protection from bacteria. We recommend using it at bedtime so that the fluoride can rest on your teeth over a longer time period.
  • Use your proxy brush, the tree-shaped brush in the starter kit that can get into all the tight spots in your braces.
  • Floss! It cleans the area between teeth and slightly under the gum line, where bacteria love to hide.
  • Dentist checkups: Visit your dentist once every 4 months.
  • Diet restrictions: No hard, crunchy, sticky food. Sticky foods feed bacteria. Hard, chewy foods knock braces off. Limit drinks that have high sugar or acid, especially sports drinks! When in doubt, drink water.
  • Pain or discomfort: A little discomfort is to be expected, especially after adjustments. Tylenol or Ibuprofen can minimize pain. Don’t be afraid to use your teeth to chew food and exercise the soreness away.
  • Wax: Place wax over anything that is poking, scratching or rubbing your cheeks and lips as needed.
  • Breakage: Notify the office immediately so that we can schedule an appointment to repair your braces. Please do not wait until your next scheduled appointment! Wires, braces and the glue that holds them to your teeth are specially designed and placed to move your teeth properly. Breaking them can cause damage to them or your teeth and add time to treatment.
  • Emergency: Pain, swelling, and injury may happen and should be tended to immediately. Please call us to schedule an appointment for evaluation by Dr. Carter. Call (256)638-9800 to reach our on-call system during weekends and holidays, but please only do so in case of emergency.
  • Appointments: Please make your orthodontic treatment a priority just as we make your treatment a priority. It is important to keep your appointments, as excessive cancellations WILL prolong your treatment. We ask that you alternate between morning and afternoon times. Please do your best not to reschedule appointments except in the case of emergencies or illness.
  • Instructions and grading: At the end of each appointment, our Certified Orthodontic Assistants provide a progress update from Dr. Carter. This update will include areas of concern, an oral hygiene grade, a cooperation grade and notes from Dr. Carter.