Everything You Should Know Before Starting Orthodontic Treatment

Are you nervous or excited? Or is it hard to put a finger on it? It is the feeling you have leading up to your upcoming orthodontic treatment! However you may feel, you should be proud of yourself for taking a positive step toward improving the health of your mouth.

Here at Dudley Smiles, we specialize in creating smiles! We also believe that getting the smile of your dreams should be a fun and comfortable experience.

In order to get you ready for treatment, we put together this guide in the hope that it would help you be as prepared as possible for this wonderful journey ahead. We have included bits of information pertaining to the before, during, and after treatment. Enjoy!

Basics First

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who completes an additional 2-3 years of orthodontics training after dental school. Orthodontists are the most qualified specialists when it comes to straightening teeth and correcting bites.

Who might benefit from orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics is for children, adolescents, and adults, but the ideal time for treatment is typically during the early teen years simply because this is when most people first notice their crooked teeth now that baby teeth are gone. However, it is never too late for treatment as long as a patient’s teeth and gums can support it.

You will benefit from treatment if you have some of the following conditions: Upper front teeth that protrude excessively over the lower teeth, upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth, your upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together, crowded or overlapped teeth, difficulty chewing, teeth wearing unevenly or excessively, and/or spaces between the teeth.

What will orthodontic treatment do for me?

There are a multitude of benefits to orthodontic treatment. One of the most obvious is that it will give you a beautiful smile and straighter teeth that are easier to keep clean and healthy. This is known to improve self-confidence. The new position of your teeth will also prevent tooth decay and gum disease as long as you continue in your oral hygiene routine.

Teen girl with glasses smiling

What are my options?

There are more options today an ever before. You and your orthodontist will discuss the right treatment for you after consultation.

There are traditional metal braces. These are made of high-grade stainless steel and are paired with metal brackets, tiny rubber bands, and archwires. You can add colored elastics for a unique and stylish look.

There are self-litigating braces made with the same materials as traditional braces but do not require the use of elastics. The brackets that come with these can be metal, ceramic, or clear.

There are clear (ceramic) braces. These are mainly for older teenagers or adults and are less visible.

One of the most popular choices today is a series of clear, removable aligners.

Things To Do Before Braces Treatment

  • Dental visit– If possible, get a routine dental checkup so that your teeth and gums are as clean as they can be. It is best to have a plaque-free surface going into treatment.
  • Oral hygiene routine– Be sure to keep brushing and flossing in the days leading up to treatment, so your teeth and gums will be in the best condition. Additionally, clean your teeth before you arrive.
  • Indulge if needed– During treatment you will need to avoid certain foods. If you desire, treat yourself in the days leading up to treatment with the avoidable foods as a sort of “long goodbye.”
  • Take a selfie– It will be fun to look back and see how much your smile has changed as a result of treatment.
  • Stay calm– Your treatment is going to be here and gone before you know, and you will look back on what of the best decisions you could make in terms of oral health and overall health.

What To Expect During Treatment

  • Temporary discomfort– There will be slight discomfort the first few days as your mouth adjusts to treatment. The good news is that we have a list of things you can do for relief!
  • Foods to avoid– As we said above, you will need to avoid certain foods to protect your braces unless you are using clear aligners. Things like nuts, hard candies, chewy toffee, popcorn, crunchy fruits and vegetables are a few on the list we will provide.
  • Eat soft foods– Soft foods are better for your braces and will feel better on your teeth during the temporary discomfort. Things like soups, smoothies, pastas, and bananas are great!
  • Brush and Floss– It is very important to brush and floss after every meal. We will provide brushing and flossing instructions along with a list of dental tips and devices that can help your cleanings and in the event you have non-emergency pains.
  • Accidents can happen– During treatment, you may experience an accident. We will go over how to differentiate between an emergency and a non-emergency and how you should respond.
  • Sports– You can play sports if you have braces! However, you will need to wear a protective mouthguard. We can give you suggestions.
  • Treatment time– Treatment times vary depending on each patient’s unique needs. A general timeframe is between 18 and 36 months. Be patient and stay positive because you will be so happy with the results!
  • Adjustments– You will come in for orthodontic adjustments to your braces. This is a simple process where your orthodontist will examine your progress and make changes to your hardware.

Group of teen friends taking a selfie

After Braces Come Off

After braces treatment, you will need to wear a retainer in order to retain your results. A retainer is simply a device that keeps teeth aligned after a patient has completed orthodontic treatment. We customize post-treatment plans according to each patient’s unique needs.  

Braces With Dudley Smiles

Here at Dudley Smiles, we are committed to giving every patient the smile of his or her dreams while making it as fun and comfortable as it can be. Our experienced team treats all of our patients like family!

We serve the greater Seattle area with locations in Kent and Issaquah. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, look no further than Dudley Smiles. The sooner you contact us the sooner you will be on your way to a beautiful smile. We look forward to adding you to the family!

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