You’ve taken the plunge and decided it is time for you or your child to get braces. The first step to getting braces or Invisalign is to make an appointment in Melbourne, Florida for a consultation. Treatment is different for everyone. Several factors come into play when deciding on which treatment option is best for your overall oral health and lifestyle. Therefore, how long or how often you will have appointments with an orthodontist for your treatment will vary. On average, patients see their orthodontist every six to eight weeks during active treatment.
Who Needs Braces?
Children and adults of all ages get braces to correct misaligned teeth and poor bites. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends seeing an orthodontist by age seven, or even earlier if their dentist sees a problem that requires immediate attention. However, the age when a child first gets braces varies. Some situations are better treated before all of the permanent teeth erupt and sometimes it is better to wait. Over time, even teeth that once appeared straight can become crooked or overlap requiring orthodontic treatment for correction.
What Type of Braces Will I Need?
The type of braces you need may also affect the number of visits you have in our office. For example, if you choose Invisalign (clear aligners) instead of traditional braces, you may have fewer visits. Some of the different treatment options we offer include:
Sometimes, before you can get braces you’ll need an appliance such as an Expander or a Distal Jet. An expander widens your upper jaw if it is too narrow to make space and fit better with a wider lower arch. A Distal Jet helps correct your bite if your upper teeth are too far forward in relation to the lower teeth.
How Many Orthodontic Appointments Will I Need?
The average time you will need to wear braces is anywhere from a year and a half to two years. Sometimes more time is required based on the significance of problems. Most patients need 15-20 visits to complete treatment, including a few preliminary visits to gather information and go over the plan prior to starting treatment. However, this is just an average and the actual number of your appointments varies greatly.
Other considerations for the number of visits include whether you require more time for treatment, surgical options, or appliances. For severely misaligned teeth or bite it can take three years for treatment to complete.
With Traditional Braces
Traditional braces are the most popular option for children. With traditional braces, you’ll visit our office for an initial orthodontist appointment and consultation, followed by a diagnostic records appointment (sometimes the same day) to do the planning prior to getting your braces on. Visits will typically follow every six to eight weeks to have your braces adjusted. Adjusting the braces sometimes involves getting new wires and always involves getting new elastic ties (colors). Most patients have fun with the color selection. Some kids pick their favorite colors, something to match their clothing or favorite team, and some pick colors for holidays and seasons.
Invisalign is one of the newer technologies in orthodontic treatment. Instead of attaching metal bands and brackets to teeth with an archwire and elastics, Invisalign uses clear trays (or aligners) that fit over your teeth. We use modern technology to chart the alignment of your teeth and provide multiple trays at each visit. Visits are usually necessary every 6 or more weeks depending on progress, the types of movement expected, and the number of new trays given to you at your last appointment.
When your treatment is complete, you’ll use a retainer to maintain the nice new smile. We typically have follow up appointments for at least two years to ensure they are fitting properly and everything is holding as planned.
What Happens During My First Visit?
During your first visit to Melbourne Orthodontics, Dr. Reddick will evaluate your or your child’s teeth. Sometimes on the same day, our certified orthodontic assistants take x-rays and pictures for Dr. Reddick to evaluate. He’ll discuss the different treatment options and based on your unique needs, a treatment plan will be formulated. At this time you’ll get a better idea of how long you’ll need to fix your teeth. To find out more about the timeline of your individual treatment, contact the experts at Melbourne Orthodontics online today!