Approximately 75% of people with braces are kids, meaning 3 million children have braces at any time. Braces straighten teeth, offering a nicer and healthier smile for those who get them, and they tend to work faster for children than adults. Does your child need braces? If so, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a Dallas orthodontist.
A consultation visit is an initial appointment required to get braces, but what happens at this visit? Keep reading this guide to learn what to expect during your child’s first orthodontist appointment.
An Initial Appointment Is a Consultation Visit
The first step in visiting an orthodontist is choosing one. What should you look for in a Dallas orthodontist? Most people look for one with the following criteria:
- Convenient location
- Good reputation
- Affordable payment plans
You can research several clinics in your area to choose the best one. You might also want to ask an orthodontist some questions about their experience, costs, and options to choose the right one.
Next, you can schedule an appointment. Meeting with an orthodontist doesn’t obligate you to this clinic, but it does provide helpful information and insight.
The first visit is for consultation purposes, which means your child won’t get braces during this appointment. Instead, the orthodontist will analyze the situation to create a plan.
They’ll share the plan with you and give you time to ask questions. Afterward, you can determine if you want to proceed with braces through this clinic.
This Dallas Orthodontist Looks at Your History
The orthodontic clinic will ask you to complete some paperwork before the consultation visit, and the orthodontist will review this information before meeting with you and your child.
Orthodontists look at several factors when evaluating your child’s history:
Age affects how teeth shift with braces. A child’s teeth are not fully developed like an adult’s, causing them to move easier, so this affects the treatment plan.
General Health Status
A person’s health also affects dental and orthodontic treatment. For example, people with health problems might take medications that affect their oral health.
As a result, orthodontists need to know about health problems and the current medications a person takes.
Oral Health Status
Orthodontists perform different services than general dentists, but they still care about a person’s oral health status. Therefore, they take a close look at the child’s mouth to determine its state.
As a result, orthodontists typically recommend fixing any existing issues with teeth before getting braces.
An example of this is cavities. If your child has any cavities, they might need to have them removed and filled before proceeding.
They Examine Your Teeth
As you consider what to expect from the orthodontist, you should anticipate the orthodontist examining your teeth. During this, the orthodontist will note several things, including the following:
- Tooth development
- Tooth placement
- Visible jaw issues
- Missing teeth
A physical examination is helpful to an orthodontist, but they’ll need to complete a few more steps before they finish evaluating your child’s teeth.
The Orthodontist Takes Pictures
The next step involves taking pictures, x-rays, and impressions. Each is vital but serves a different purpose.
Most clinics take still photos of each person that comes for services. For example, they’ll take pictures from the front and sides and might ask you to smile so they can see your teeth.
They use these photos to compare the differences between before and after braces.
X-rays offer an in-depth view of your child’s mouth, bone structure, and bite.
X-rays also reveal if your child has any congenitally missing teeth. They call this condition hypodontia. This condition affects the treatment plan the orthodontist develops for your child.
Taking x-rays also helps the orthodontist determine the work that braces must do and the challenges they face when treating a child’s oral issues.
Impressions create a mold of your child’s teeth. While some clinics use digital methods for making impressions, most use dental putty.
Dental putty is a silicone-based substance they place in a person’s mouth. Next, the person bites down, holding this position for a few minutes. The substance hardens after a few minutes, and they remove it from the person’s mouth.
These impressions help the orthodontist determine what methods to use to correct the person’s issues. They keep these impressions during the treatment plan and might compare them to the final results after braces.
They Create a Plan and Explain It to You
The best orthodontist will review everything after completing these steps to create a plan for your child’s treatment.
Here are the primary things you’ll learn about this plan:
First, they’ll explain if braces are right for your child’s teeth and situation. Braces are the main tool orthodontists use to correct teeth, but they aren’t always necessary.
Additionally, they might recommend visiting a dentist for a cleaning and exam and fixing any current oral problems.
Treatment Plan Timeframe
The timeframe is an estimate based on the child’s current situation and goals. Fixing minor issues with braces might take one year, or less, while fixing major problems might require several years of treatment.
They’ll also discuss the cost with you and explain the payment options. Most orthodontists offer payment plans, which make braces more affordable.
Steps It Involves
The orthodontist will also explain the process of placing braces on the child’s teeth and the procedure for follow-up visits. They’ll also ask if you have any questions about the treatment plan.
You Can Get Braces at the Next Appointment
You can expect these things when taking your child to a Dallas orthodontist for the first time. Visiting an orthodontist is a smart move if you think your child could benefit from braces.
Would you like to schedule an initial consultation visit with a local orthodontist?
Contact us at Children’s Dental & Orthodontics to schedule one. We offer dentistry services and orthodontics and can help your child develop a beautiful and healthy smile.