Lee Orthodontics

Orthodontic Treatment 101: A Guide

Posted on June 28, 2021

Portrait of assistant looking at patient x-ray photography during dental examination

Braces are a common orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth that have been misaligned. The best orthodontist in your area will be able to provide you with the braces, Invisalign, or any other service you might need. However, it is important to understand what you can expect once you start your treatment and how long it will take. This article talks about everything, from the expected start of treatment to types of braces and more.

Start of Treatment

During your appointment with the orthodontist, they will examine your teeth and mouth to see what is needed. Next, they will take an impression of your teeth that can be used in a variety of ways, including making a mold for braces or Invisalign aligners. This process will also allow you to discuss any concerns or preferences with treatment options, such as braces versus Invisalign.

You should expect some pain during this stage due to the pressure on sensitive areas such as gums and lips while taking impressions. Your orthodontist may provide prescription medication if necessary.

Type of Braces

Traditional metal braces: This type of brace is the most common and comes in many different versions, such as bands and wires. Some people may have brackets on their teeth that must stay there for some time before they are removed with the wire to allow space for your new smile to grow into place. The average length of treatment can be anywhere from months to two years. You will also want to brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal so food doesn’t get stuck in between your brackets or underwires.

Invisalign: These are a clear alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment, which can be beneficial in certain situations. Some people prefer not to wear metal appliances or feel they would stand out too much with them on their mouth.

Traditional metal braces will cover up your teeth with metal, which may not always be the most attractive option. On the other hand, Invisalign clear aligners are a newer orthodontic procedure that allows you to undergo orthodontic treatment rather discreetly.

What Might Happen Immediately Following Treatment?

When you first get braces, your teeth will be sore and sensitive. But don’t worry! Your orthodontist’s priority is to make sure that you are comfortable during the process.

You can also expect some temporary discoloration of your tooth enamel as it adjusts to the new pressure from brackets or bands. The color should return after a few weeks but just in case, ask for fluoride treatment at home so that your teeth stay white and strong while they adjust with all the added force being put on them by metal wires or braces.

Eating With Braces

You will need to take a few precautions when eating with braces. To avoid choking, use small bites and chew slowly. It is also important not to eat sticky foods like candy or gum that could get caught in your teeth while wearing braces.

The orthodontist can provide you with the information needed for what type of diet changes are necessary during treatment. If an adjustment needs to be made due to discomfort, then they’re happy to do so.

Cleaning With Braces

Braces require a lot of upkeep to do their job properly and stay in place. You will need to brush your teeth after every meal, clean your braces with mouthwash or special toothpaste designed for orthodontic appliances daily, and floss at least once per day.

Use the bristles of the small end of the toothbrush or a tongue cleaner and clean between each wire to remove any food particles that may have gotten stuck.

Post-Treatment Care

Your orthodontist will provide you with access to an aftercare program following treatment completion. This includes instructions on proper oral hygiene at home and how often you should visit our office for checkups.

Once your orthodontic treatment has been completed, your teeth will be straight and aligned properly. You’ll also enjoy the added benefits of a healthier mouth as well. For more information, call Dr. Lee Orthodontics in Abilene Texas today.