Orthodontic treatment will differ slightly for each of our patients, however the process of getting braces is pretty much the same for everyone. Here, our Vancouver orthodontist guides you through the process step-by-step.
1. Make an Appointment with an Orthodontist
Step one is to get a referral. Generally, people visit their dentist on a regular basis, so your dentist is familiar with your overall dental health and can refer you to an orthodontist in your neighbourhood. That said, you could set up an orthodontist appointment on your own. Just give the orthodontist office a call and request an appointment.
2. Attend an Initial Consultation
Your initial appointment with the orthodontist will be a consultation. During the consultation your orthodontist will closely examine your teeth and take x-rays to determine if braces are appropriate for you. Your orthodontist may even take impressions of your teeth during this consultation in order to begin planning your treatment.
3. Your Treatment Plan
Following the initial consultation, your orthodontist will create a treatment plan for straightening your smile. Every patient is unique and treatment must be tailored to the individual in order to achieve the best results. Your braces will be created by using the impressions that were taken of your teeth.
4. Placing the Braces
Now it's time to place your braces. Your appointment will begin with the cleaning and conditioning of your teeth. Next your teeth will be primed for the cement, then the brackets will be cemented to the teeth as predetermined by the orthodontist. Once your brackets are in place, the wire is added into the brackets and the doors are closed to hold the wire in place.
5. Discussion of Oral Care
Understanding how to care for your braces is key to keeping your treatment on-track. Once your braces have been placed your orthodontist will explain some basics of bracket care, how to brush your teeth correctly, and which toothpaste to use. Your orthodontist might also provide you with small spindle brushes which can be used to clean between the wire and your teeth and help you to remove food particles and bacteria from around the brackets.
6. Adjustments & Checkups
Once your braces are in place, there is generally a period of 3 to 4 weeks before the first adjustment is required. At your adjustment appointment, your orthodontist will insert a new wire into the brackets. The new wire will be slightly stronger, or perhaps have a different configuration than the previous wire. At each adjustment appointment, your orthodontist will insert a slightly different wire to pull or push the teeth in a particular way.
While wearing braces, it's extra important to stay on top of your regular dental appointments. Brackets and wires make it difficult for you to reach all areas of your teeth, but dental professionals are trained in cleaning around brackets and can help you clean more effectively and help you to prevent tooth decay.