Getting Started With Your Orthodontic Treatment
The first step in orthodontic treatment is a new-patient exam, which takes place at one of our Pittsburgh orthodontist offices. Here, initial judgments about any orthodontic issues are made, and all possible solutions are discussed. Verifying the exact nature of the problem is a complex and precise process. If you decide to start orthodontic treatment, the next step is to take “records” of the teeth, face, and jaws.
These records include the following:
- Study Models: A digital impression using laser scanning technology will create a 3D model of the teeth and surrounding structures; this is used to visualize the various tooth positions.
- Photographs: The position of the teeth has a significant influence on the posture and balance of the lips and face. The photos allow Dr. Reed to consider the effects of various treatment options on facial esthetics.
- Orthodontic X-rays: X-rays are taken that allow the top and bottom jaws and facial bones to be studied. Once the diagnostic material is evaluated and treatment goals discussed, we can begin the process of orthodontic treatment.
Preparing For The Consultation
After your new-patient exam, you’ll come back to one of our Pittsburgh orthodontist offices. You can get the most out of this appointment by knowing in advance what is most important to you regarding orthodontic treatment.
Dr. Reed and her staff thought of a list of questions that are routinely asked before and during treatment. The list will help patients to begin the process of exploring what changes they are looking for and what is most important to them in getting to that result.”
Below are just a few examples:
- How long will teeth straightening take?
- Are there different types of braces options?
- How much should I expect to pay for my orthodontic treatment? Are there different options for payment that will be discussed ahead of time?
- Will insurance cover treatment?
- Does getting braces or Invisalign hurt?
- Can I still play sports with braces, expanders, Invisalign, etc.?
- How often would I have to visit Dr. Reed once orthodontic treatment is started?
- Should I wear a retainer after treatment; for how long?
- Will my wisdom teeth affect my treatment later?
- What sorts of foods will I have to avoid?
- Can I still play a wind or brass instrument with braces?
- Does your office participate with my insurance?
Dr. Reed and the orthodontic team are here to help answer any questions you may have about your teeth-straightening process. Dr. Reed encourages her patients to call or email with any questions that may arise after the new patient exam.
From the initial consultation to the day your braces are removed, your orthodontic treatment should be a smooth and simple process with results that make you feel great. Feeling well-informed every step of the way is an important part of the teeth straightening and orthodontic process.
Foods to Avoid During Orthodontic Treatment
Taking care of your braces is an important part of orthodontic treatment. Braces and wires can be damaged by eating sticky and hard foods. You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following the instructions that we will provide on the day the braces are placed.
Foods that are high in sugar content may lead to tooth decay. To prevent plaque build up and tooth decay, brush after every meal and snack. Avoid pulling and picking on your appliances. Avoid eating the items listed below…
caramels, gum, starbursts, tootsie rolls, granola bars, taffy, swedish fishHard:
chewing on ice, biting into raw vegetables, apples or nuts; we encourage you to eat your fruit and vegetables, you just need to slice them.
popcorn, chips, hard tacos
biting or incising into corn on the cob, ribs, beef jerky; again, enjoy these foods, just use a fork and knife!
Never chew on pens, pencils and fingernails.
Braces Care: Emergencies
Most orthodontic problems can be remedied at home and then discussed at your next appointment. However, if a situation arises that you feel you cannot resolve on your own, call one of our Pittsburgh orthodontist offices so that we can schedule a repair appointment. If an emergency occurs during off hours, consider some of these remedies to common problems:
- Wire Irritation: Try moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering it with a small piece of wax. If a wire is loose or “pokey,” cut the loose end flush to the next brace with a pair of nail clippers that have been thoroughly cleaned with rubbing alcohol.
- Loose Bracket: Slide any loose bracket or brace off the wire. You may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized with rubbing alcohol.
- Lost Separator: Call one of our orthodontist offices to see if a replacement is needed.
- Sore Teeth: Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil are all good options for orthodontic tooth discomfort. You also may want to try a heating pad to reduce jaw soreness.
- Canker Sores: Rinse with warm salt water or an over the counter mouth-rinse like Peroxyl (Colgate).
Braces Care: Tutorials
How to Handle a Poking Wire