How Often Should You See Your Orthodontist?
The frequency with which you need to see the orthodontist depends on your treatment. After your treatment with braces, Invisalign, or another appliance, the frequency of visits will decrease. Here’s a look at how often you’ll be visiting Dr. Reddick before, during, and after treatment.
Your First Visit
A child should have their first trip to the orthodontist by age 7. The doctor can identify early warning signs of spacing issues or misalignments that will result when the child is older. Parents often find out that their children will need braces later in life at these early visits.
Appointments During Braces Treatment
Once a patient is undergoing treatment with braces, they will have follow-up appointments with the orthodontist every four to ten weeks for adjustments. The national average is around six to ten weeks between visits, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
At these ongoing appointments, the doctor will adjust the braces and tighten or replace the wire. These visits allow your orthodontist to check the progress of the teeth and ensure that they are shifting properly. Patients might receive new rubber bands at these appointments.
Follow-up appointments for adjustments usually only last 20 to 30 minutes, but they can take longer depending on the amount of adjustment needed. It’s important to follow the schedule that Dr. Reddick gives you, so that your treatment can finish on schedule.
Appointments During Invisalign Treatment
Invisalign patients need to see the orthodontist every four to six weeks during treatment. The doctor checks the progress of the teeth as they are shifting, and determines whether any adjustments to the patient’s treatment need to be made.
The first appointment for Invisalign takes more time than you might expect. X-rays of your teeth are taken so that the dentist can make a mold. The mold of your teeth is then sent to a lab, where your Invisalign aligners are fashioned.
The aligners need to be worn at least 22 hours per day in order to shift the teeth properly. If the aligners don’t fit correctly and are not shifting the teeth as expected, a new mold may need to be taken to create a better fit.
Appointments During Other Orthodontic Treatments
Some patients will receive treatment with other orthodontic appliances, such as expanders or reverse-pull headgear. Dr. Reddick will generally recommend that you come in every month or two (four to eight weeks), depending on the type of treatment you are receiving.
The reason why visits tend to be so close together is because, as the teeth are shifting, it could be easy for things to get “off track” if an appliance is not fitted properly. Depending on how well your treatment is going, your appointment schedule could be shorter or longer.
Frequency of Appointments After Treatment
Braces, Invisalign, and many other forms of treatment will require you to wear a retainer every night for a period of time. The retainer is a critical part of the process, because your teeth will want to naturally shift back to their original positions once the braces come off.
Follow Dr. Reddick’s instructions carefully for the amount of time that you need to be wearing the retainer. For the first four to six months, the retainer might be worn all the time. After that, you will switch to only wearing it at night.
Trips to the orthodontist will be less frequent once the main appliance treatment is ended, but you will still need to do some follow-up appointments. The first year after your braces come off, you might need to come in quarterly (once every three months) just to check your progress. After your work with the retainer is done, Dr. Reddick will advise you on how often you need to keep coming in.
Contact Reddick Orthodontics
Whether you need braces, Invisalign, or some other orthodontic treatment to correct oral health problems, we can’t wait to hear from you! Contact us at Reddick Orthodontics in order to schedule your first appointment.