As you get ready for your first dentist appointment, you’ll most likely have a wide variety of questions that you want clear answers to. Your orthodontist will guide you through the whole process, but it can help you to know the basics before you go in. In this article, we’ll give you a straightforward overview of how the whole process develops – from start to finish – so you get a clear and comprehensive idea of what it entails.
The Process of Getting Braces
Before your first official appointment, you may have a simple consultation with your orthodontist. If you have any x-ray from your dentist, be sure to bring them along. Your orthodontist will rate your teeth and produce a treatment recommendation that’s suited for you.
First, you’ll likely get an x-ray of your whole head. Photographs of your face, teeth, and mouth may also be taken. If the spacing is too tight between any of your teeth, spacers may be used to prepare your mouth for braces.
Now it’s time to choose which type of braces you want – from metal to porcelain, lingual, or even clear ones, you’ve got a lot to choose from. To learn more about every available type, be sure to check out this guide. Whether you get traditional braces or the new innovative clear ones or even behind-the-teeth braces, the next step is to make an accurate mold to fit your unique set of teeth. To do that, your orthodontist will take an impression of your teeth – either digitally or by simply pressing down on a soft material that’s made to create an accurate impression.
Applying the Braces
Your orthodontist will start by inserting a device to keep your mouth dry and your teeth/tongue in place. Then he or she will apply an etchant to ensure that the tooth surface becomes ideal for bonding. Next, the braces will be placed on your teeth by using a special adhesive to secure them in place throughout your treatment. A curing light will harden the adhesive and adjust the bond. Finally, the orthodontist will run the archwire through the braces and hold it in site with ligatures (unless you have chosen self-ligating braces, which don’t need these bands).
Once your braces are on, you’ll have about 4-8 weeks to get used to them before your first check-in appointment. These routine “adjustments” go much faster than placing your braces in the first place. Your orthodontist will calculate the appropriate adjustment and apply it – this can entail replacing the braces, the arch wires, and anything else that’s needed, although it’s fairly quick. This is also the time to try out new colors if you wish!
Adjustment appointments may be advised every 4-8 weeks throughout your treatment. Because the archwire will be replaced, it is normal to feel some discomfort for a few days – but it is only temporary. If you are concerned, talk to your orthodontist about their suggested methods to relieve your malaise.
Taking the Braces Off
And just like that, you’ve done it! The whole ordeal is over and you now have a perfectly aligned, beautiful looking smile! Removing braces may be easier and faster than you might think as well as the brackets will fall off easily, and even though they leave behind a normal trace of the adhesive, your orthodontist will remove it easily and polish the enamel, giving you smooth and clear teeth where your braces had been. The best part: it only takes around 15 minutes to get the braces off!
As you can see, getting braces isn’t such a big deal and likely easier than you might believe. By knowing exactly what goes on during the procedure, you’ll be happier and much more relaxed when you finally sit on the dentist’s chair. Remember, if you still have any doubts, your orthodontist will guide you through the braces process from start to finish gladly so always be sure to ask any questions you might have. Thanks as always for reading and have yourself a wonderful day.