Adult orthodontic treatment is extremely common these days, teenagers have certainly lost their previous monopoly on gearing up for great smiles! Adults also like to know what to expect, and how to prepare, for the orthodontic treatment that will give them the smile they've always wanted.
Here's a quick run-down for patients on what the first part of orthodontic treatment will look like.
Getting the picture
The first thing Dr. Senestraro will do is get a picture of your mouth, in all dimensions. This involves X-rays of your entire mouth, and molds of your teeth. Neither of these processes are painful but they may involve holding a strange facial position for a bit, usually no longer than 30 seconds. Dr. Senestraro uses these images along with the information you gave him in your free consultation to create a orthodontic treatment plan tailored to your unique mouth and needs.
Preparing for treatment
Sometimes spaces between certain teeth are very tight, and Dr. Senestraro will recommend placing spacers for a week or two. Spacers can be uncomfortable, but they don't stay in for very long. Our patients report that taking aspirin and applying heat or cold can help relieve the discomfort.
We recommend having your teeth professionally cleaned prior to placing orthodontic equipment. This gives you a leg-up in the maintaining-oral-cleanliness department, as well as ensures the health and spotlessness of your teeth via a third party before any work is done. Naturally, cavities should be filled and all periodontal care should be done prior to orthodontic equipment being placed.
Talk to us if you have sensitive teeth so that we can take every precaution and offer suggestions. Sometimes using a toothpaste like Sensidyne prior to treatment can alleviate sensitive tooth trouble.
Discuss health conditions and any medications you may be taking with Dr. Senestraro prior to braces placement. Getting orthodontic treatment is a medical procedure, and it is critical that your doctor know of any other medical conditions taking place.
The first day
The day you get your orthodontic equipment placed can be really exciting, or maybe something you feel nervous about. However you're feeling, we're here to support you and make it a positive experience.
Here's some tips:
Brush and floss well before arriving, that gets you off to the right start.
Take a picture of yourself so you can document pre- and post-orthodontic status!
Bring chapstick! Your mouth will be open a lot and it's hard for the lips to stay moist.
Make sure you have a pain reliever on hand; most people report mild achiness but the discomfort can bother some patients. Plus, just holding your mouth open for an hour can give you a bit of a sore jaw.
Prepare some "soft' foods for dinner and the next few days. This helps bridge the transition from non-equipped to equipped teeth with minimal discomfort.
Above all, ask!
No question is too small or too strange for us. At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, our goal is to create your best and most beautiful smile, and to support you in the process. That means answering all your questions and ensuring that you understand each step of your orthodontic process.