At your first visit, the orthodontist will conduct a comprehensive orthodontic assessment. This includes examination of the structure of the jaws, the position of the teeth, the position and shape of the lips, chin and nose relative to each other and many more measurements. At the completion of the first visit, the orthodontist will give you an indication of what the treatment might involve and also an approximate fee for the treatment. The orthodontist will usually order some x-rays. You will then be given appointments for records and consultation.
At your records appointment, the orthodontist will take a series of photos of your face and your teeth, and impressions (moulds) are taken of your teeth to be poured up as plaster casts. The photos and the plaster casts, together with the x-rays are used by the orthodontist to diagnose the orthodontic problem and formulate an appropriate treatment plan.
Once the orthodontist has formulated a treatment plan, he will meet with you again for a consultation appointment. At this appointment, the orthodontist will explain to you in detail any orthodontic problems you may have and the most appropriate treatment. The fee for the treatment, and the estimated length of time of the treatment will also be discussed at this appointment. The orthodontist will take as much time as needed to answer all of your questions. At the completion of the consultation, appointments will be made for the commencement of treatment.
Braces feel 'bumpy' when they are first placed in your mouth. This is a completely normal sensation. It will take a few days for this sensation to subside. There may also be some discomfort, particularly in the first week. The teeth may feel a little tender as they begin to move and straighten. You may prefer soft food such as rice or pasta for the first few days. You may need to use the orthodontic comfort wax to 'cushion' the braces so that they don't feel 'scratchy' on your cheeks and lips. Once your mouth gets used to the braces, which takes a few days, you will be able to stop using the wax.
It is very important that you visit your dentist for regular dental check ups even when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
At the time that the braces are placed, you will be given detailed instructions on how to clean your teeth. You will be given special brushes and shown special techniques that must be followed to preserve the health of your teeth during your treatment. Failure to follow the instructions closely may result in tooth decay and/or gingival (gum) inflammation and infection.
It is also important to eliminate hard and sticky foods from your diet. Drinks high in sugar, and acidic drinks should also be avoided. As soon as the braces have been placed, detailed instructions on how to look after your braces will be provided to you by one of our nurses.
You will be seen for adjustment appointments on average, every 6 weeks. At the adjustment appointments, various procedures may be carried out by the orthodontist, including, wire changes or bracket repositioning. The orthodontist will also be able to monitor your treatment progress at these appointments. As much as possible, we try to schedule short adjustment appointments outside school hours. Long appointments, for example to fit the braces, are scheduled during the day.
At the completion of active treatment, an appointment will be made for the removal of the braces. Photographs and impressions will be taken at the same appointment.
Retainers are usually removable plates that must be worn once the braces are removed. Retainers serve a very important function in maintaining the alignment of the teeth once active treatment is complete. The retainers will be fitted on the day or the day after the removal of the braces.
Your retainers will be checked on a regular basis for about 2 years following the removal of the braces. Retainers are worn full time when the braces are removed. Over time, the retainers need to be worn less and less frequently, as advised by the orthodontist.
The wisdom teeth usually erupt in the late teenage years. Wisdom teeth may: