Child with braces smiling in dentists chair

3 Things to Ask Your Orthodontist At Your First Visit

At your child's last visit to your family dentist, they recommended an orthodontist visit to correct issues with your child's bite, tooth alignment or jaw. Orthodontic treatment can straighten teeth, leading to improved oral health and better self-confidence. But first, your child needs to see an orthodontist and get braces. Knowing what to expect at the orthodontist and the questions to ask during your first orthodontist appointment helps the process go smoothly and ensures you and your child have the info you need to get the best results.  

1. What Are the Treatment Options?

Kids these days have more orthodontic treatment options than ever. Today's treatments are also faster and less visible than treatments of the past. 

The type of braces that are best for your child depends on their age and what we're treating. During the first visit, the orthodontist will examine your child's mouth, including their teeth, gums and jaw. Based on the alignment of the teeth and the amount of correction needed, they'll recommend the type of braces or aligners they think will work best. 

Today's treatment options include:

  • Standard metal braces: Today's metal braces aren't like the braces of the past, so don't worry that other kids will call your child "metal mouth." Metal braces are often ideal for children who have more complex alignment issues. Modern techniques use smaller brackets and space-age wire technology to provide excellent results. 
  • Ceramic or clear braces: Clear braces provide similar benefits to standard metal braces, but the brackets are clear, making them less visible in the mouth.
  • Incognito® lingual braces: Incognito braces are for children over the age of 13. The braces are on the backside of the teeth, making them hidden and practically invisible. 
  • Invisalign®: Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners to gently push the teeth into position. They're ideal for teens who want a confidence boost as they work on improving their smiles.

How long treatment takes depends on the option that's best for your child and how well they comply with the orthodontist's instructions. 

Some teens and children might benefit the most from surgical correction of the jaw. If your orthodontist thinks surgery is right for your child, they'll review the process with you during the first appointment.

One question many teens have before seeing the orthodontist is "do you get braces on your first appointment?" The answer is no. Think of the first appointment as a chance to get to know your orthodontist and for them to get to know you. You don't have to make any firm decisions about treatment during your child's first orthodontist appointment. 

2. What Will I Need to Do During Treatment? 

Your child might need to make some changes to their habits while undergoing orthodontic treatment. As a parent, the more you know about treatment requirements, the better prepared you are to support your child. 

Your orthodontist will explain to you and your child what to eat and what not to eat during treatment. They'll also go over how to clean the braces and the teeth during treatment. 

What's off-limits for your child depends on the treatment type. With standard or clear braces, it's best to avoid certain foods, notably crunchy or sticky foods. Since your child will remove Invisalign aligners while eating, they don't have the same dietary restrictions.

It's also important that your child knows how to keep their braces and teeth clean. Regular toothbrushing is a must to keep the teeth healthy and minimize the risk of cavities. As for flossing, yes, your child can still floss while they have braces on. If they have standard braces, they can use a special type of orthodontic floss to get between the teeth without disturbing the brackets. Your teen can remove Invisalign aligners to clean them.

3. How Much Will Braces Cost?

While you'll do what it takes to correct your child's teeth and give them a smile to feel confident about, you still want to know how much the treatment will cost. The cost of braces depends in large part on the type of orthodontic treatment your child receives. Ask the orthodontist for an estimate during the first visit so you have a general idea of what you'll need to pay.

Also keep in mind that there are payment options available. Your child's dental insurance might offer some coverage, and a payment plan can also make the cost more manageable. If you're concerned about the cost, talk to your orthodontist to learn more about your options.

Schedule Your Consultation With a Brentwood Orthodontics Specialist

If your child needs braces, and you've searched for orthodontics near me, you've come to the right place. Starling Orthodontics offers a full range of orthodontic treatment options for children and adults. During your first visit, we'll help you choose the braces that are right for your child and your budget. Contact us today to set up a complimentary consultation.

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