Although every patient's treatment differs slightly, orthodontic treatment with braces is generally the same for everyone. Here, our orthodontists explain the process of getting braces step-by-step.
1. Making an Orthodontist Appointment
Patients will often get a referral from their general dentist for braces. Since more people visit the dentist regularly, it is often your dentist who recommends you see an orthodontist, however, you do not require a referral. You can also set up an appointment on your own by calling the orthodontist office and asking to make an appointment.
2. Attending a Complimentary Consultation
Your first appointment with the orthodontist is an initial consultation.
During this appointment, the orthodontist will complete a thorough examination of your teeth, including x-rays and intraoral photos, to determine if braces are right for you.
3. Planning Your Treatment
After the initial consultation, the orthodontist will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Every mouth is different so treatment must be specific to your individual case to achieve the desired results.
4. Placing the Braces
At your next appointment, your orthodontist will clean and condition your teeth to prepare them for the braces.
First, the teeth receive a deep cleaning. Next they are primed for the cement, and then the brackets are cemented directly to the teeth based on positions that have been predetermined by the orthodontist.
Once the brackets are in place, the wire is then placed into the brackets and the doors are closed to hold it in place.
5. Discussing Your Oral Care
After your braces are placed, the orthodontist will go over some basics of caring for them including bracket care, how to brush your teeth and what kind of toothpaste to use. They may even give you small spindle brushes to help remove food particles and bacteria from around the brackets and in between the wire and your teeth.
6. Adjustments & Checkups
After your braces have been placed, you will usually wait 8 to 10 weeks before your first adjustment.
During an adjustment, the orthodontist inserts a new wire into the brackets. This new wire will be slightly stronger or have a different configuration than the last to continue to move your teeth and to pull or push the teeth in a certain way.
During the time you wear braces, it is very important to stay on top of your regular dental checkup and cleanings. Brackets and wires can make it difficult to clean your teeth, but your dentist and hygienist are trained in cleaning around brackets and can help you clean more efficiently to protect your oral health.