Your first visit to the orthodontist is filled with mystery. Cavity specialty focuses on teeth alignment through the use of braces and other devices. Working with this doctor isn’t for aesthetic reasons only, however. Straight teeth allow you to clean them with ease through the years with healthy gums just below them. If you’re wondering what to expect when you see an orthodontist, take a look at the journey your child will embark on toward a healthier smile.
Simple First Appointment
In most cases, your first appointment is one of the most relaxed experiences you’ll encounter in any doctor’s office. The professional will take and evaluate X-rays of your mouth at various angles. X-rays show the doctor where your teeth are located along with incoming ones that are still beneath the gum line. Professionals will usually add in a visual examination to complete the appointment. Ideally, schedule an orthodontic evaluation after a dental cleaning. The professional will have a clear view of your teeth when they’re as clean as possible.
Forming the Plan
After the evaluation, the doctor will form a tooth-straightening plan. He or she will sit down with the child and parent in order to discuss the plan in great detail. Orthodontic treatment can last as little as a few months to three or four years, depending on the needed treatment. Teeth might exhibit several features, such as:
• Unusual angles
• Overlapping with neighboring teeth
• Impacted within the gum
The doctor discusses every stage of the treatment and a rough time frame for that patient. Insurance coverage and payment options can also be arranged at that point.
Getting the Braces On
Once the treatment plan is in effect, another appointment is made to install the devices. The child should brush their teeth before he or she arrives at the treatment office. Assistants might also have the patient gargle some mouthwash before the installation so that all of the teeth are as clean as possible. Traditional components consist of brackets and wires that are strung between the teeth. Hygienists will normally glue the brackets to the teeth, and allow them to cure in place. After a few minutes, they’ll add the wires to the brackets. Your doctor will determine if you need these components on either the top or bottom teeth as dictated by the treatment plan.
Decorating the Teeth
Unless you have Invisalign components where they’re nearly invisible, the bracketry in the patient’s mouth will be a prominent sight. Doctors try to make orthodontia as attractive as possible with colorful accents. Patients can choose colored, rubber covers that secure over the brackets. These colors give the metal a more attractive appearance, and they can be changed with each appointment. Don’t worry if one falls off between appointments because they’re non-toxic and disposable too. Simply request a new color at each appointment, and orthodontia can add to your fashionable side.
Those Monthly Appointments
Depending on the treatment plan, the doctor may want to see your child once or twice a month after the initial installation period. Each appointment is unique because the doctor must see how much change has occurred to the smile between appointments. Based on the smile goals, the professional adjusts the wires to either tighten or loosen an area. The patient shouldn’t feel any pain during the appointment, but he or she might feel sore afterward. Try to eat or drink soft foods after the appointment in order to minimize any discomfort.
Watching New Tooth Growth
Because orthodontic patients can be as young as 10 or 11 years old, new teeth are continually growing into the jawline. Doctors keep an eye on those new teeth so that they don’t crowd the bracketed ones. If an adult tooth is slowly moving into place, the doctor might create a gap between the teeth by using a coil. The remaining teeth are secured and the new tooth has a chance to drop perfectly into place. When a coil and gap are necessary, impacted teeth are brought down through surgical measures.
Extra Orthodontist Accessories
Your child might have a small jaw compared to the adult teeth that are growing at a rapid pace. Doctors might suggest an expander for the palate. Patients may have this device attached to their teeth with a rotating key in the middle of the mouth. This expander is systematically widened by using a small rotation of this keyed section. As a result, your child’s mouth becomes large enough for the teeth while aligning their jaw at the right angle to the remaining facial features.
Headgear or Bands?
In the past, headgear was a necessary part of orthodontia because it helped to align certain features, including:
Headgear might be necessary for extreme orthodontia issues today, but there is another alternative. Currently, doctors use colorful rubber bands in strategic lengths and orientations across the brackets to correct those bite issues. Your child will need to attach the bands on their own and remove them for eating and drinking purposes.
When It’s Time for a Retainer
Graduating from brackets to a retainer is a major milestone. Your main orthodontic treatment is over. The patient is merely holding the teeth in place so that any additional body development doesn’t disturb the teeth again. Doctors will normally ask the patient to wear the retainer 24 hours a day for about six to 12 months. After that time period, your child may only need to wear it during the night. Simply follow the doctor’s instructions at all times to protect that smile that will last a lifetime.
Contact Dr. Joel Gluck at Gluck Orthodontics today at 615-269-5903 for an appointment. Whether traditional braces or innovative Invisalign products, the office staff and medical professionals are ready to help you find that smile that you’ve been looking for all along.
2125 Blakemore Avenue
Phone: 615 269 5903
What to Expect When Seeing an Orthodontist