What to expect at the orthodontist. Young child, teen, or adult…having straight teeth, a good bite, and a great smile is essential for the confident presentation that allows you to meet life head-on. Orthodontic treatment requires a little patience and time, but the results are definitely worth the effort.
Once you have decided on orthodontic treatment for either your child or yourself, you may not be sure what to expect. Don’t worry, the goal is a simple one — to give you or your child smile-enhancing results that last a lifetime. In this post, we’ll take you through what to expect at the orthodontist. Let’s get going.
- 1 Why is Orthodontic Treatment Important?
- 2 At Your Initial Visit
- 3 What Types of Treatment are Available?
- 4 How Long Does Treatment Usually Take?
- 5 Is Follow Up Care Recommended?
- 6 Here’s to Your Successful Treatment
Why is Orthodontic Treatment Important?
We live in a world where appearances and first impressions play a big role in future success and part of making a good first impression is having a big, wide, confident smile. However, through heredity or situational circumstances, kids and adults can have misaligned or protruding teeth, or teeth that are crowded or improperly spaced.
Whatever the cause, orthodontists can treat existing problems, as well as identify developing concerns that can be corrected before they become an issue. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an initial evaluation done by the age of seven (7) as the first molars are erupting. This is often the best time to identify bite occlusion issues, as well as crowding and jaw discrepancies. Left untreated, bite problems, or malocclusions can affect the way you smile, chew, and even clean your teeth.
At Your Initial Visit
Your kick-off visit is a wonderful time to meet your new care provider and to get acquainted with the office. At this first visit, you will receive a comprehensive exam that will include standard x-rays and advanced 3-D imaging, presenting a thorough picture to your orthodontist.
This initial conversation is a time for your new orthodontist to explain the scope of treatment required as well as give you the opportunity to have all your questions addressed. It’s also the time when your orthodontist explains the various treatment options available and the cost for each option.
What Types of Treatment are Available?
Orthodontic treatment is a complex process where constant pressure is applied for an extended period of time to slowly encourage teeth to move into the correct position. Today, there are several types of braces and plastic liners available, including:
Unlike traditional braces that use elastic or metal ties to hold the tooth-aligning wires, self-litigating brackets have a door mechanism on the front of each bracket that is opened and closed to hold the wire. Using light force, these brackets employ high-technology, shape-memory wires to gently move teeth fast.
Esthetically, these braces have been designed to blend in with the tooth to be almost imperceptible, as well as comfortable. And because of their superior strength, they are also versatile in terms of passive or active treatment options. While they don’t move your teeth as fast as traditional metal braces, they are a great option for misalignment or malocclusion cases.
Invisalign and Invisalign for Teens
Using rigid plastic trays, Invisalign straightens a patient’s teeth by wearing graduated trays that gently move teeth into position. Starting with advanced 3-D imaging, your orthodontist designs a precise custom plan that is then finalized using state-of-the-art digital fabrication. Invisalign is most effective with cosmetic changes and, because they are virtually undetectable, are a good alternative for teens or adults that don’t want metal braces.
Whatever your age, WildSmiles Braces are fun and function like traditional brackets. With fashionable shapes and designs, these braces can be paired with colored rubber bands to create an expression of your personality. With the bracket shaped like flowers, diamonds, or footballs (to name just a few), the looks are almost unlimited.
How Long Does Treatment Usually Take?
On average, orthodontic treatment will last between 12-36 months with more time required for complex cases and major malocclusion issues. Your orthodontist will give you a more specific target once your case has been reviewed.
Is Follow Up Care Recommended?
Absolutely, wearing a retainer is important to allow the bone to rebuild once your teeth have reached their new position. This can last up to 24 months, although most orthodontists suggest continuing to wear your retainer throughout your life. That way your teeth will be less susceptible to movement as you age.
Here’s to Your Successful Treatment
Regardless of age, having a lovely smile just feels good. What to expect at the orthodontist — there are so many options today that most any dental need and budget can be met to ensure you or your child have a positive experience throughout your treatment period.
If you have questions or would like to discuss treatment options and live in the Huntington Beach area in southern California, give us a call at Peninsula Orthodontics! We offer flexible appointment hours, virtual consults and accept most insurances. Contact us today.