After a recent visit with the dentist, you learned that your children need to see an orthodontist. The dentist explained that their teeth are crooked, and serious issues will likely manifest if these issues are unresolved. Your kids may feel nervous about visiting this specialist, and when you can’t explain to them what the appointment can entail, then their trepidation may increase.
Before you even enter the practice for the first time, you will need to schedule an appointment. The receptionist will likely ask who recommended you to the practice. Make sure you find out important information about transferring records over. Also, don’t assume that the practice automatically takes your insurance. Prior to scheduling the appointment, you need to find out if it does. Paying for braces out-of-pocket is not a possibility for many people. You may need to call your insurance carrier to find out exactly what procedures are covered when it comes to orthodontic treatment.
Your kids might be afraid of what the office is likely before they go for the appointments. Since many people who wear these devices for crooked teeth are younger, many of the offices are geared toward kids or teenagers. When they walk in, they may see a number of other people who are around the age, possibly even kids who are in their school. This type of environment can help to ease their concerns about going to the specialist. When they feel comfortable from the time they walk in, their anxiety can begin to decrease.
The orthodontist knows that you are visiting based on a recommendation from your general dentist. However, these specialists still need to conduct their own examinations. Although the dentist noticed that a problem existed, he or she is unqualified to diagnose it exactly. The expert in orthodontic care will examine your children’s teeth to determine what the issues are. Then, these professionals can begin to craft a specific plan of care to address the specific needs. Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to braces and orthodontic care.
Discussion of Dental History
When you meet with these specialists, you should also prepare to discuss your children’s dental history. Asking for your general dental practice to send over the records is important. Furthermore, the orthodontist will need to know if all of your children’s baby teeth are out. In most cases, orthodontic devices are impossible to put on kids if they have not lost their baby teeth. They usually need to have their adult teeth in too. The specialist may need to determine why your kids’ adult teeth are not coming in if it is beyond the average age for this process.
Discussion of Options
Once you have learned about the necessity of braces for your children, you will begin to explore the options with the expert. Many people do still wear traditional models. These models square brackets of metal that are connected with wires. However, they are not the only option anymore. Some models are the same structurally, but they go on the back of the teeth. Invisalign is another option that has become popular. With Invisalign, other people generally cannot see the devices. Many teenagers prefer this type. However, the decision is not entirely up to the kids. Not all people are candidates for every type. They will have to opt for the one that has the greatest chance of straightening their teeth. Also, you will need to discuss the costs with the specialists to see which ones you can afford.
In order to fit the devices to your children’s teeth, the professionals usually need to take molds of the their teeth. That might vary if your children are getting a different type of gear. The experts may need to fit them for headgear as well. These fittings and measurements might take place at your first appointment, or you might be asked to return in the near future. The sooner the molds and fittings are done, the sooner your kids can begin on the path toward straight teeth.
It is highly unlikely that your children are going to receive their devices on the first day that you go to the specialist. Not only does the team have to take the measurements, but these individuals also have to craft gear that meets with your children’s needs. You will speak with the professionals about the right time to come back. Keep in mind that if you wait too long, your kids’ teeth could shift more. Then, they may need to take measurements all over again. If you are waiting for a certain event to pass before getting the gear, then you may want to hold off on the measurements too.
Once your kids have their gear, you will see still need to see the specialist on a regular basis. Many kids who wear the traditional type go to the office every six weeks or so for their adjustments. Some of them like to have different colors on the metal, and they pick out colors that are their favorite or that match with the next holiday on the calendar. Also, your kids may need to continue going for some time after the devices are removed, especially if they have to start wearing a retainer or another piece.
Some orthodontic practices infuse social events into the routine. They know that many of the patients are young, and they want to foster a comfortable and social scene. For example, they might host a pizza night once a year for the patients, or they may invite them all to a local ice cream parlor for a party. No matter what the case is, encouraging your kids to participate is important. These events can help them to expand their social bonds and to feel more confident with their gear.
Contact an Orthodontist Today
For moderate to severe malocclusions, you will need wire or ceramic braces that are attached to your teeth and remain in place for an average of two to four years. The brackets and wires of traditional braces are designed to apply pressure against the teeth to shift teeth into the correct positions. If you require traditional braces, then you will visit an orthodontist on a regular basis to have the wires adjusted. You might need to schedule an emergency visit with an orthodontist when a wire or bracket breaks. Teenagers and adults with mild malocclusions are candidates for clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth and are easy to remove. To learn more about orthodontic braces, schedule an appointment today.
Preparing for Your First Orthodontic Appointment
708 Elm Ave. E.
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.