Do I Need Braces? What To Expect From Your Orthodontic Visit

Do I Need Braces? What To Expect From Your Orthodontic Visit


Dental braces are customizable and highly effective orthodontic appliances. If you or your child have misaligned teeth or dental bite issues, you may want to know whether braces would be an appropriate next step.

An orthodontic consultation will help the doctor determine your need for braces and answer your questions about the process.

Before Your First Visit

If you have any outstanding issues like tooth decay or gum disease, we must address them before moving forward with orthodontic treatment.

Early Orthodontic Visits

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, all children should see an orthodontist for an evaluation by age seven. Early interceptive treatment with habit appliances, space maintainers, and other interventions can reduce the treatment time needed in later years.

Your First Orthodontic Visit

Your first visit with our orthodontist will include a thorough dental examination, including the size and alignment of each tooth.

The orthodontist also takes photographs and digital X-rays to establish your baseline before treatment begins. They will check for any underlying issues causing your tooth alignment problems.

With this information in hand, the orthodontist can create a treatment plan. If they determine you need braces, they will present options, including traditional metal braces, clear braces, self-ligating braces, and lingual braces.

Types of Dental Braces

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most commonly used. They are strong and highly adaptable, correcting minor and major orthodontic issues. Today's metal braces have smaller and lower-profile brackets than ever before, leading to less patient discomfort.

Clear Braces

Clear brackets make these less obvious than metal braces, creating a beautiful solution for teens and adults.

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces work more efficiently than traditional braces because the brackets slide freely along the archwire.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces provide effective, discreet treatment and an alternative to clear aligners. The orthodontist attaches the brackets to the back of the patient's teeth.

Advantages of Braces

  • Good choice for all ages
  • Can handle complex orthodontic treatment plans
  • Creates more perfect results than clear aligners
  • Improves oral health by reducing spaces where gum disease and tooth decay-causing bacteria collect
  • Better dental bite improves digestion and stress on the jaw

Tips for Success With Braces

Keep your braces as clean as possible, using floss threaders and interproximal brushes to reach between the brackets and wires. If your home care routine suffers, so will your oral health.

Eat soft foods after braces adjustments if you experience discomfort. This discomfort should be short-lived.

It may take a few weeks for your mouth to become accustomed to braces. Use orthodontic wax to cover brackets and wires that irritate.

Attend all scheduled orthodontic appointments. Your orthodontist must adjust your archwire approximately every four to six weeks to keep your treatment on track.

Be patient with the process and keep your eventual goal in mind. Ensure that you wear your retainer after completion of treatment to keep your beautiful smile for a lifetime.

Call Total Dental Care

If you believe you or your child may need braces, please call our Germantown, MD, office at 240-813-9111. We can schedule an initial consultation with our orthodontist, Dr. Manda, who will evaluate your teeth and create a treatment plan.