Getting Braces

Getting braces is an exciting step toward straightening your teeth and giving you the smile you’ve always wanted. Braces are one of the most common treatments that we provide at Melbourne Orthodontics.

1. Referral & Consultation

Your dentist might refer you to us if you would benefit from getting braces. If you don’t have a referral, no worries. A referral is not required for the process.

At your first visit, Dr. Reddick will examine your teeth and X-rays if we have them. Every patient is different, so your treatment plan may vary from everyone else’s. A plan will be created based on whether you have an overbite, underbite, crowding, spaces between teeth, or other issues that can be corrected with braces.  This plan will be thoroughly explained prior to starting treatment.  

2. Placement of Braces

The appointment in which you first receive your braces is a lengthy one. It starts with cleaning the teeth because cleaner surfaces allow for a better bond of the adhesive or “tooth glue”. Then, your orthodontist or orthodontic assistant conditions the surface of the teeth so they’ll be ready to receive the brackets. This process usually takes about 10-15 minutes

Once the teeth are ready, the orthodontist works tooth-by-tooth to position and cement the brackets in place. The placement of the brackets will have been pre-determined by the doctor during the planning stage.

3. Insert the Wire

With the brackets cemented in place and properly positioned, it’s time to place the wire. Your orthodontist or orthodontic assistant will cut a piece of wire to the correct length. Sometimes the doctor will make adjustments to the wire itself, such as bends, in order to place more pressure on certain teeth. This will help shift your teeth faster, so that the length of time you’ll need to wear braces can be reduced. Once the wire is ready, the wire is looped through the brackets and secured in place.

4. Oral Care Instruction

One of the orthodontic professionals will then explain how to properly care for your teeth and braces. Brushing your teeth and flossing becomes more challenging with braces attached to your teeth. We will recommend techniques to use, show you how to floss, and provide overall care instructions for life with braces. You may be given some specialized toothbrushes that make it easier to brush around the brackets and in hard-to-reach places.

5. Future Appointments

Our office will schedule future appointments with you, so that adjustments to your braces can be made. These appointments will usually be six to eight weeks apart.  At each appointment, adjustments will be made and/or new wires will be placed to gradually move the teeth into the desired positions.  

6. Dental Appointments

You will be instructed to keep up your regular dental appointments while being treated with braces. Your family dentist will be able to effectively clean your teeth at a time when this task is more difficult than usual. Your dentist works in conjunction with your orthodontist to ensure that you will have the best possible outcome from treatment.

7. Changes to Your Diet

Wearing braces will mean that some changes to your diet need to take place. This affects some people more than others, depending on what types of foods they like. One example of a dietary change is the instruction that you should never bite down on a hard food. This could cause a bracket to break off of a tooth. Sticky foods, crunchy foods and foods similar to these should be avoided while wearing braces.

Contact Us about Getting Braces

If you think you or your child could benefit from getting braces, give us a call to schedule an appointment.