The first step in getting braces is scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist. During this complimentary one-hour visit, your orthodontist will examine your teeth and discuss your treatment goals. This information helps the doctor decide on two ways to proceed:
- Continued Orthodontic Observational Visits
Treatment is not happening yet, but these visits help the orthodontist track dental development to make sure they’re starting treatment at the most beneficial time. These appointments are typically scheduled several months apart and are also complementary.
- Develop an Orthodontic Treatment Plan
Orthodontic Treatment plans are developed when the doctor has determined that orthodontics is necessary to improve oral health and appearance. At this point, we collect information on your teeth with scans, x-rays, and/or models and present you with a customized plan, explaining the timeline and costs. The cost of treatment varies depending on the type of braces and the complexity of the case. The treatment plan coordinator will explain your payment options, including payment plans. You can also contact your insurance carrier to find out what your dental plan covers.
If your orthodontist decides it’s time for treatment, you will discuss the following things in your upcoming appointments:
Orthodontic Treatment Duration
The length of time you’ll wear braces varies from patient to patient. This depends on many factors including the complexity of the case and doing your part to continue the care at home. Wearing braces can last on average, anywhere from 12 to 36 months. When you first get your braces and throughout the process, we will give you lots of tools for a successful outcome. Taking care of your mouth and appliances at home, and scheduling regular follow-up appointments can influence how long those braces stay on.
Caring for Your Braces
Proper at-home care is essential to ensure the success of your orthodontic treatment. Even with braces, you can still maintain good oral hygiene by following the right way to brush with appliances in your mouth, avoiding certain foods and drinks that can damage braces, and attending regular appointments for adjustments. Your orthodontist is your partner and guide for your success with braces or aligners, reach out to them with any questions.
Discomfort and Adjustments
It’s common to experience some discomfort or soreness when braces are first placed or after adjustments. This is normal and should end in a few days. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain relief medication can help.
If you’re an athlete or engage in physical activity that might compromise your braces, ask your dentist about getting fitted for a custom mouthguard to help protect your braces, teeth, and gums.
Retainers for Lasting Results
After your braces are removed, you’ll be required to wear retainers to maintain the new position of your teeth. Retainers help prevent the teeth from shifting back into the wrong place and ensure long-lasting results. The amount of time you wear a retainer varies from one patient to another. Your orthodontist will discuss this with you when that time comes.
Have Questions about Getting Braces or Aligners? Schedule an Appointment Today!It’s never too late to start your journey to a healthier and more straight smile. If you have any questions or concerns about getting braces, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of our orthodontists.