Preparing Your Teeth for Braces

Many people are under the impression that once they make the commitment to getting braces they can just walk into an orthodontist’s office and have the braces put on, but that isn’t what happens. Before braces can be put on, you will go through several steps that will help in preparing your teeth for braces.

Take a look at some of the things you may have to do before you can get braces.

Even if you have already decided what type of orthodontic treatment you want to undergo, you will still need to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. During the consultation, your orthodontist will assess, by looking at x-rays and/or conducting a visual examination, the placement of your teeth and your jaw structure. Once the assessment is completed, your orthodontist will create an individualized treatment plan that will help you improve your smile.

While discussing your options for orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will explain what you can expect, how long treatment will last, what you need to do to prepare for treatment, and what you can expect to look like after treatment is completed. Your treatment plan will also include an overview of how much it will cost and how often you will need to visit the orthodontist for adjustments and follow-up appointments.

Tooth Extractions are a Possibility

Sometimes there isn’t enough room in your mouth to straighten your teeth into health positions. One way orthodontists can create room in your mouth for teeth to shift and move is by recommending some teeth be extracted.

Removing certain teeth will create space in your mouth. Once that space is created, braces can be put on and your teeth can be moved into their proper places.  Sometimes the teeth can be removed after braces are placed; every situation is different.

In order to get you the best results from your orthodontic treatment, dental extractions may be something you can’t avoid.  Extractions are recommended if having treatment without extractions would likely lead to gum recession or leave the front teeth too “pushed forward.”

Other Options Available to Help Create Additional Space in Your Mouth

Orthodontists may be able to create additional space in your mouth with the help of expanders. These orthodontic devices can create space by widening the teeth and jaws (usually the upper jaw).  This is usually only recommended if one jaw is more narrow than the other and expansion would lead to a better bite in addition to creating space.

One of the main downsides of an expander is that it is a little awkward having an extra appliance in addition to braces.  Sometimes it can affect the speech for a short period of time while the patient is getting acclimated to the appliance. It usually stays in place for approximately six months either prior to or during braces.

Expanders work best on children and teenagers. These individuals are good candidates for this type of orthodontic treatment because the bones in their jaws and face have not fully formed. Bones that are not fully mature are easier to manipulate.

Additional Basic Dental Work May Need to be Done

Before getting braces, you will want to make sure your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible. Your orthodontist may recommend that you have a professional dental cleaning done before you get braces. He or she may also recommend that you complete any basic dental work, such as getting a filling done, too.

See What Needs to be Done Before You can Get Braces by Calling Reddick Orthodontics to Schedule a Consultation

The type of prep work and dental treatment you will need before you can start your orthodontic treatment will vary depending upon your individual situation. Dr. Chad Reddick of Reddick Orthodontics offers free individualized consultations where he will assess your unique case and help you determine what you need to do before you are ready for braces. Call Reddick Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment for a free personal consultation.

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