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Every year, thousands of American kids and adults head to the orthodontist to learn about their orthodontic options. In fact, a growing number of adults are getting braces, and now make up an estimated 25% of the braces wearers in the country.┬áIf you’re starting to think about how orthodontists can help you or your children, you’ll want to get started with an orthodontist consultation.

What happens during the consultation?

An orthodontist consultation gives your orthodontist the opportunity to perform an exam and discuss your options. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask your orthodontist any questions you may have!

Read on to learn eight questions you’ll want to ask at your orthodontist consultation.

1. Is It the Right Time for Orthodontics?

The first thing you want to ask is whether or not now is the right time for orthodontic treatment. Some other dental treatments may be necessary before you or your child can proceed with orthodontic treatment.

For example, if you have periodontal disease, it may be necessary to receive treatment for that before beginning your orthodontic treatment. You may also wonder if your child needs to lose more of their baby teeth before beginning orthodontic treatment. We are happy to discuss all of your dental needs and concerns.

2. What Treatment Options Are Available?

At Koerich & Case Orthodontics, we have two primary treatment options that are available to our patients. We offer both the latest braces technology and Invisalign!

New braces technologies include metal and clear braces, transparent aligners, and in some cases, retainers. Invisalign is also becoming an increasingly popular option and has now been used by over 10 million people–including over 1 million teens.

3. How Long Will the Treatment Last?

Treatment times vary from patient to patient. The kind of treatment you choose can be a factor that affects treatment time. However, the biggest factor is the state of your smile and how much adjusting needs to be done during treatment.

During your consultation, we provide our best estimate of treatment length. This can help you prepare for the coming months and decide if now is the right time to start the process.

4. How Often Will Adjustments Be Necessary?

With the latest in braces technology, we’ve significantly reduced the number of adjustments our patients need throughout their orthodontic treatment. We may need to adjust braces every 4-8 weeks, depending on the specifics of your treatment.

When it comes to Invisalign, adjustment doesn’t require an in-person visit. Instead, you are sent pre-adjusted aligners and you change from one to the next every one to two weeks. We may ask you to come in once or twice while using Invisalign, just so that we can assess your progress.

5. Will There Be Any Discomfort During Treatment?

One of the biggest questions our patients have is whether or not there will be pain or discomfort during orthodontic treatment. The answer is that some discomfort is possible, but new technology has reduced the amount of discomfort that most patients experience.

If patients do experience discomfort, it typically occurs in the one-three days after braces are tightened or a new Invisalign aligner is used. Teeth may feel a bit sore at first, but this soreness tends to fade and doesn’t require medical attention.

6. Is It Okay to Play Sports During Treatment?

If you or your child has braces, it is typically advised that an athletic mouthguard is worn while playing sports. This is particularly important if the sport in question is a high-contact sport, like football, wrestling, karate, or hockey. The mouthguard protects the braces and the patient’s mouth from harm and makes just about any sport possible!

If you or your child has Invisalign, the aligners should be removed during high-contact sports. However, it is safe to keep them in while playing moderate-intensity sports like soccer, baseball, and basketball. In the event that an aligner does become damaged while playing a sport, contact us right away.

7. Should Any Foods Be Avoided During Treatment?

Will orthodontic treatment affect what you can and can’t eat? A little bit, but not as much as you might think.

When it comes to braces, patients should try to avoid eating foods that could break or bend a bracket. When this occurs, it can slow down the treatment process and will require an additional visit to our office. Potentially hazardous foods include anything that is very crunchy, and we simply ask that you use your best judgment when snacking!

When it comes to Invisalign, the only rule is that the aligners must come out any time you’re eating, even if you’re just going to have a few bites. Once you’re done eating, make sure that you brush, floss, and rinse before putting your aligners back in. Not only is this important for your oral health, but it can also protect your aligners from damage and staining.

8. How Should Teeth Be Taken Care Of During Treatment?

Is there anything special you need to do while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment? The best thing you can do is maintain a thorough dental hygiene routine. If you have braces, you’ll want to get threaders to make flossing easier.

Other than that, you can keep living your life as normal!

Schedule Your Orthodontist Consultation Today

If you think it may be time for orthodontic treatment, the first step is scheduling an orthodontist consultation. During your consultation, we’ll answer any and all questions you have about the upcoming treatment.

To schedule your orthodontist consultation, contact us or have your dentist fill out our referral form. We can’t wait to see you and get you started on your journey to a happy smile!