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We are always excited about meeting new patients during their first visit to our office. Your initial appointment will consist of a thorough examination and a discussion of potential treatment options. This important 60-minute visit will give us insight into your orthodontic needs. We know your time is valuable, so to expedite treatment, we may also reserve time following the exam for diagnostic records. The records include X-rays, photos and impressions for study models and are necessary for developing the appropriate treatment plan. This additional appointment will last approximately 45 minutes.
During the initial examination for each patient, we will address the following questions that cover the basics of orthodontic treatment. We encourage you to ask questions as well.
- Is there a condition that orthodontics can address?
- Is treatment needed now or should treatment be delayed until appropriate growth, tooth eruption or other factors have occurred?
- What treatment procedures will be used to correct the problem?
- Do any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will treatment take?
- How much will it cost?
- What are my payment options?
While we can often answer these general questions about treatment during the initial examination, we will address specific areas after careful analysis of the diagnostic records. We feel it is important to analyze each patient’s specific needs, because in-depth planning leads to superior results and higher patient satisfaction.
We will then schedule a consultation visit to discuss treatment options, time frames and financial arrangements. We insist that our patients leave the office with a clear understanding of their specific needs, what the treatment will consist of and how long it will take. Also, we will answer any additional questions.
Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your first visit:
- Any panoramic X-ray taken within the past six months.
- If you have orthodontic insurance, bring your insurance card. By providing this information at the first visit, we will be able to give you an accurate cost estimate at your consultation appointment.
BRUSHING AND FLOSSING
During your orthodontic treatment, brushing your teeth four times a day is recommended. Because food can accumulate in and around your orthodontic appliances and braces, it is imperative that proper care of your teeth is followed. With the daily use of antibacterial mouthwash, prescribed fluoride gel from our office, specialized flosses and brushes, you should achieve optimal oral healthcare while in orthodontic treatment.
FOODS TO AVOID
For most situations, common sense will tell you what foods to avoid. However, there are certain foods that can cause damage to wires and brackets. Examples of such foods are:
- Pizza Crust
- Raw Carrots
Other foods are known for their high concentration of sugar and adhering to teeth. Examples of these foods are:
- Tootsie Rolls
Obviously, minimizing intake of hard or sticky foods while in orthodontic treatment will reduce your need of any orthodontic repairs but also will keep your teeth and gums healthy. For this reason, drinks high in sugar such as soda, Gatorade or kool-aid are not recommended.
Our desire is for your smile to be beautiful and healthy. This can only be achieved by observing excellent oral hygiene habits, which includes avoiding such foods.
When a person’s teeth or jaw structure do not fit together properly, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to straighten teeth and promote ideal function. These problems, often referred to as malocclusions (or bad bites), can cause speech difficulty, premature wear of the teeth and protective enamel and even increase the chance of injury of teeth and jaw points, if left untreated.
In an underbite, the lower jaw extends, out causing lower front teeth to site in front of the upper front teeth.
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth or they may only be a cosmetic issue.
The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by upper front teeth protrusion. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.
In a crossbite, the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.
In an overbite, the upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the root of the mouth.
Proper chewing is impacted by an openbite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbites may be caused by habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
Dental Midlines that do not match are evident when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately. This may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.
There are very few true orthodontic emergencies, but there are a number of things that may occur during orthodontic treatment with which you may require additional assistance. If something does concern you while in orthodontic treatment, you should not hesitate to contact our office. Our staff can assist you by explaining the problem and how to remedy it at home or by scheduling an appointment to address your orthodontic problem.
Sore teeth, wire irritations, loose brackets and lost separators are common orthodontic problems that can almost always be remedied during regular office hours or at home. Here’s how…
Recommendations for sore teeth are to take ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce soreness in the jaw.
A wire poking the gum tissue can cause irritations. Placement of a small amount of wax or clipping with sterilized nail clippers can ease the pain until your next appointment. If however, a wire or bracket comes loose or separators come out, it will be necessary for you to call our office to determine if you need to be seen in the office.
True emergencies are handled on a case-by-case basis and typically involve breakage of a wire or appliance that is subsequently causing more than mild discomfort. Regardless of the nature of the concern, if it seems important to you, do not hesitate to contact our office. We are only a phone call or email away.