Orthodontic treatment allows you to have straight teeth without gaps and to fix any bite issues you have. It can sometimes be scary before you go in for braces, so here are some things to know about the process in order to become more familiar with it and ease your anxiety.
The Exam and X-Rays
The first step of getting braces is to have your initial examination and x-rays. Even if you have already had x-rays from your regular dentist, you will likely need to go to the orthodontist's office and have more x-rays done before the consultation. There are different types of x-rays often performed, including cephalometric and panoramic x-rays. The panoramic ones are full mouth x-rays that look at all the teeth, bone structures, and jaw. With the cephalometric x-ray, it is looking at the head with a profile view. Together, the x-rays determine what type of orthodontic treatment you need and how best to move your teeth to improve your jaw and teeth.
Getting the Braces On
After your exam and x-rays, you will return to the orthodontist to have the braces put on your teeth. A special bonding is used to first place the brackets on each of the teeth, which shouldn't cause pain, but might be a little uncomfortable. You will then have the wire placed between each bracket, which is where some of the discomfort comes in as the wire is being tightened. You might also have elastic bands around the brackets to secure the wire to the brackets. Expect to be a little sore for a few days, but you will soon get used to the feeling.
Return For Adjustments
When you have braces put on is not the only time you need to see the orthodontist. You will return every couple months so they can take more x-rays, see how the results are coming along, and make adjustments as needed. When your teeth start to shift, these adjustments allow the braces to continue moving your teeth and jaw to what will eventually be their new position. The adjustments can be a little uncomfortable since the wires are being tightened, but just like when they were first put on, it lasts a short period of time.
The amount of time you have to wear your braces depends on how much alignment work needs to be done. Large gaps, overlapping teeth, and deep overbites typically require wearing them for a little longer. When you go to have the braces removed, keep in mind you might be asked to wear a retainer for a while to keep your new tooth position.Share
20 June 2016
I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.