When carried out by a dentist or specialist orthodontist, the process of having orthodontic treatment should fill you with confidence. It should give you the reassurance that you are on the way to achieving the best results for you and your smile. There is also the added benefit of knowing that the safety and health of your mouth is being put first.  

Here is a brief guide as to what your orthodontic journey may look like:

Your first appointment

Your first appointment will usually be a consultation, where the dental professional will ask you how you feel about your smile and discuss what you’d like to change.

Their job is to make sure you understand all the information that is given to you, and that you can make the best decision for you.

They will also take impressions of your mouth or use an electronic scanner to do this and will take X-rays to show the position of your teeth in your jaw.

Once they have established whether orthodontic treatment is right for you, they will then discuss all the different options available to you and show you examples of the different braces/aligners that they offer and provide quotes.

What happens next

If you’re ready and able to start your orthodontic treatment, the next step will be to arrange further appointments to fit your braces.

You may decide after hearing all your options that orthodontic treatment simply isn’t for you; in which case there’s absolutely no-obligation to proceed.

Your second appointment

Your second appointment will be booked in when you have decided how you want to proceed. You will be fitted with your new appliances and told how to take care of them for the duration of your treatment. Fixed braces will take around 50 minutes to fit, whilst removable braces and aligners should only take around 10 minutes.

After your fitting, your orthodontist/dentist will arrange to see you at regular intervals to review progress and make any necessary adjustments.

Your teeth may feel tender during the first 3-5 days, in which case we’d recommend avoiding hard or crunchy foods until the pain goes away. Some people prefer to have softer food like pasta, rice, or soups during this period.

During treatment

You will need to visit the practice every few weeks so that they can monitor the movement of your teeth.

Between appointments, you are responsible for looking after your teeth and you will need to wear any appliances or elastics as directed to get the result you want.

Also remember to keep your teeth, gums and braces clean during treatment and continue to see your usual dentist for regular appointments. Oral hygiene is key if you want the best result!

After treatment and retainers

When it comes to having fixed braces removed, the dental professional will use tools to remove the wire and then remove the brackets by slightly bending the bracket and releasing the bond, the glue that is left over from the bond will be taken off your teeth by your dentist to reveal your new smile.

After a final set of impressions are taken, you will be given a retainer that you will need to wear all day except during meals and when brushing your teeth. Once the dentist is happy with your progress, you will only need to wear them at night.

Similarly, with a removable brace and clear aligners, your dentist will tell you when you are ready to stop treatment, impressions will be taken, and you will be given a retainer.

Your clinician may also recommend fixed retainers which are glued to the back of your front teeth if they feel you need them.

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