If you or your dentist has concerns about the alignment of your teeth, they may refer you to a specialist for orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics is a type of dental treatment that is concerned with the proper alignment of your jaws and teeth. Here are four things you can expect when you visit an orthodontist for the first time:
1. They will assess your teeth.
The first thing your orthodontist will do is assess the overall placement of your teeth. They will do this by looking at the dental records and x-rays that have been provided by your dentist. They may also take some additionalXx-rays themselves, if they require alternate views of your teeth. Gathering all the information they need during a consultation will allow your orthodontist to create a treatment plan for you.
2. They will tell you your treatment options.
If you and your orthodontist decide that orthodontic treatment will improve the alignment of your teeth, you will still have several treatment options to consider. There are many different orthodontic devices that can give you excellent results. Braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment, and if you choose braces, you will have the option of selecting metal or ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are more discreet, although they can be more expensive. Some people prefer clear aligners because they're nearly invisible, and they can be removed while eating. Your orthodontist will inform you of your choices, and then it's up to you to make a selection.
3. They will apply your orthodontic gear.
If you decide to choose braces, you will return for another appointment on a different day. During this appointment, your orthodontist will give you braces by gluing metal or ceramic brackets on your teeth. This glue is strong enough to hold the brackets in place for the duration of your treatment, but mild enough that it will not cause damage when the brackets are eventually removed. Once the brackets have bonded to your teeth, your orthodontist will attach wires to the brackets using special rubber bands.
4. They will periodically tighten your braces.
When you leave the orthodontist's office, your braces will feel tight. Over the next week or two, they will begin to feel more comfortable as your teeth shift and begin to adjust. When your teeth have moved into their new position, you'll return to your orthodontist so they can tighten your braces once more. This gradual tightening will eventually move your teeth into the correct alignment.