What happens during the orthodontic process?
Orthodontic treatment is a step-by-step process. Here we outline exactly what you can expect at each stage of your treatment with us.
Step one: consultation and examination
On your initial visit we have to decide exactly what the problem is with your teeth and bite. It may just be that you have a problem of crowded teeth, a problem with positioning of either the top or bottom jaws or a combination of both. We will recommend the best treatment by examining your teeth and your radiographs, but most importantly discussing what actually bothers you about your teeth and how you would like them improved.
Step two: investigations using x-rays
To help us help you, we will take at least two different types of special radiographs (x-rays). These can show us how your teeth are developing and where and to what degree you have any jaw discrepancy, if any.
Step three: record taking
If a typical fixed brace is to be fitted we will arrange with your dentist for any teeth to be taken out, if needed. We will then arrange a short appointment to take photographs, impressions (moulds), and place little elastic rings called separators. These create a little space between your back teeth that allow us to place the brace.
Step four: fitting braces
We will usually see you again the following week for a much longer appointment to place the brace. For a few days you may find the brace uncomfortable. Your teeth will be tender when chewing as they start to move and you will need to have a fairly soft diet. The brace might also rub your cheeks until the skin on your cheeks thickens up. It is not unusual to have the odd ulcer during this initial stage and we will provide various remedies to help you through this period.
It is very important to clean your teeth and braces exceptionally well and to avoid sugary foods and carbonated drinks, in order to avoid any damage to the enamel surface. You also need to attend regular check-ups with your dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment.