What to expect during orthodontic consultations

Children and teenagers often feel a mixture of emotions ahead of an orthodontic appointment. Whether it’s their first consultation or their fifth adjustment appointment, it’s normal for them to feel a mixture of nerves and excitement.

Below is an outline of what parents and kids can expect during both consultation and treatment appointments – the good news is that both appointments are largely pain-free and completed within an hour!

Orthodontic consultation

Your child’s first orthodontic consultation is the first step towards them achieving a beautiful smile. Each orthodontic practice varies in how they conduct their consultations, but most will conduct the consultation in two parts:

1 – A dental hygienist will take x-rays, photographs and digital scans (or plaster moulds) of your child’s teeth, which will then be given to the orthodontist to evaluate and share with you in the second part of your consultation.

2- You’ll then meet your orthodontist and have the chance to address any concerns you may have before they assess your child’s teeth, gums, facial shape and bite. Your orthodontist will then be able to determine whether treatment is needed.

An orthodontic appointment generally takes 30 – 60 minutes and we recommend booking well in advance (especially if you’d like an appointment during school holidays).

Treatment appointments

Your child or teen may find themselves a little nervous in the lead up to the fitting of their braces, but it’s important to remind them that there is no need to panic as the actual process is completely painless. No needles, no drilling! Just a fiddly procedure that requires them to stay still for approximately 30 – 60 minutes to glue the braces on.

For metal braces, small metal brackets will be glued to the teeth and are then connected with a thin wire, which is adjusted regularly to gradually straighten teeth. Once braces are fitted, the orthodontic assistant or hygienist will chat to your child about how to care for their new braces and provide them with all necessary cleaning products and after-care information.

Your child may experience a little discomfort after they receive their braces for the first time. We recommend Panadol or Nurofen to manage any tenderness (which will subside within a few days).

Adjustment appointments will also be required every five to six weeks, where your orthodontist will change or adjust the wires to keep the movement of your child’s teeth in the right direction.

Of course, at any stage before a consultation or treatment appointment, you are welcome to contact your orthodontist and discuss any questions or concerns you may have over the phone. Use the Find An Orthodontist tool to find an orthodontist near you.

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