Orthodontic treatment is commonly known as braces treatment. It involves the diagnosis, prevention and correction of mal-positioned teeth and jaws. Orthodontic treatment helps you achieve a beautiful set of teeth and enables you to chew better. An orthodontist can also help detect developing problems in a child’s teeth and jaws.
It is common for children to see an orthodontist, but you are never too old to get started on a beautiful smile. The first step to getting a beautiful smile is to call your orthodontist to fix an appointment for an initial consultation. Feeling apprehensive about what to expect at your first braces appointment? Do not worry, and let us take you through a step-by-step guide on what to expect for your teeth straightening journey!
The first consultation with your orthodontist
The first consultation with your orthodontist usually takes about an hour. If you are below 21 years of age, be sure to be there with your parents or guardian, as consent is needed to start treatment.
After an initial clinical examination of your teeth, gums and smile, your orthodontist will order X-rays of your teeth. Photos of your teeth and face will also be taken to help diagnose your condition.
Taking an impression (dental mold) or scan of your teeth
Your orthodontist will take an impression/mold of your upper and lower teeth. A soft clay-like material is loaded onto a tray designed to fit your dental arches. This tray is then gently placed over your teeth for about a minute to achieve an impression. A digital scan of your teeth can also be done as an alternative.
After completing the clinical examination and reviewing your records, your orthodontist will create an initial treatment plan. This treatment plan may involve having some outstanding dental issues addressed and corrected before receiving orthodontic care. For example, you may have a cavity that needs to be filled before getting your braces placed. You will also benefit from a thorough cleaning of your teeth before getting your braces fixed. An appointment with your general dentist can be arranged to help you with this.
Your orthodontist will advise you on the type of braces that are best suited for your condition. This can range from a simple removable orthodontic plate to conventional fixed metal braces, fixed ceramic clear braces or removable Invisalign clear aligners.
The orthodontist will also advise you if you need dental extractions to facilitate your orthodontic treatment. Please be assured that not all cases require dental extractions. The estimated duration of treatment, costs, and frequency of your review visits will also be discussed.
Getting your braces fixed
If you do not have any dental work that needs to be done beforehand, you can schedule your next appointment to install your braces after your initial consultation. The appointment to put on your braces may range from half an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the type of braces.
Follow up appointments
You will need to return for regular reviews and orthodontic adjustments once every 4 to 6 weeks. Attending your orthodontic reviews is important to allow your orthodontist to monitor your treatment progress closely. Your teeth will feel slightly sore for a few days after your orthodontic appointment, but they will fade away after a few days.
We hope you find this guide useful! You can put your nerves to rest now that you know what to expect during your first visit to your orthodontist. Hope this reassures you to take the first step to get your child or yourself on the road towards a better smile!