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, it’s normal for them to feel both nervous and excited at the same time.
Below is an outline of what parents and kids can expect during their consultations and treatments. The good news is that both appointments are largely pain-free and completed within an hour!
What is an orthodontic consultation?
An orthodontic consultation is an appointment with your orthodontist before your treatment begins. This is the first step towards achieving your dream smile where your specialist will assess your teeth, gums and jaw to create a specific treatment plan that is right for you.
These appointments usually take place in two parts:
- 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
- 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 specialist 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).
Questions to ask your orthodontist during a consultation
Prepare for your first orthodontic appointment with this list of 10 important questions to ask your orthodontist.
- Are you a registered, specialist orthodontist?
- What treatment option do you suggest and why?
- Are there any other treatment options I should consider?
- What lifestyle changes will I need to make while completing orthodontic treatment?
- Can I still complete my orthodontic journey while travelling?
- How long will my treatment take?
- What is the overall cost of my treatment and what’s included in my quote? You can find a checklist here.
- How often will I need to come for adjustments?
- Can I see some examples of your work?
- What follow up care do you provide?
Are braces put on during your first appointment?
Your child or teenager may find themselves feeling a little nervous in the lead up to getting their braces fitted, 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).
How many appointments does it take to get braces?
Happily, just one! While your child or teenager may find themselves feeling a little nervous in the lead up to getting their braces, it will all be over in a single appointment that takes roughly an hour.
Adjustment appointments will also be required every five to six weeks. Here, 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.