Preparing For Your First Orthodontic Evaluation
Although going to see a dentist might be among one of the top fears in our country, going to the Orthodontist doesn’t have to cause you fear. The first evaluation is a simple process with minimal to no pain. The purpose of an evaluation is to determine the type of braces that are needed, and to create a plan to straighten the teeth.
X-Rays and Pictures
The first thing that the Orthodontist is going to evaluate is the bite pattern. To do this, they might take x-rays of your teeth and pictures of you biting down in various ways. This shows them which areas are the most problematic and where they need to start with corrective braces. They might decide to start with only top braces, or only bottom braces, or they might need to extract some teeth to create space for your teeth to move. This is all determined from the x-rays and pictures.
Oral Hygiene Habits
It’s also important to be honest with the Orthodontist about oral hygiene habits. Braces can create more spaces for bacteria and cavities to grow, since they can make it more difficult to floss and brush, so the Orthodontist will need to discuss habits that might need to be corrected. Without proper dental hygiene, braces can leave you with spotted teeth, cavities, and possibly even gum disease.
Just because someone is old enough to want straight teeth, it does not mean their body is old enough to handle the pressure of braces. At your first orthopedic evaluation, the Orthodontist will check to see if you have all of your permanent teeth, if your teeth have finished moving on their own, and if your jaw has reached the point of growth it needs to be to respond to braces properly. Braces work best when they are put on while a child is going through puberty, because then the Orthodontist can work with the growth and movement to straighten the jaw and teeth, instead of fighting with it once it has already been established after puberty.
The first orthodontic evaluation is an exciting event, and not one to be feared. It is the potential for a happy, straight smile, and one that will last for a long time. Be sure to ask a lot of questions so you understand what to expect, and what the treatment plan will be. The Orthodontic team at Big Bend Orthodontics is here to help you be proud of your smile! If you have any more questions or concerns, feel free to contact us!