The first visit to an orthodontist can be a bit intimidating, but it's important to understand what to expect. At the appointment, the orthodontist will examine your teeth, mouth, and jaws to determine if treatment is needed and, if so, where to start. Many orthodontists begin with presentations to staff and an office tour to help patients feel more comfortable. The orthodontist will direct you to the dental chair and examine you thoroughly.
They will look at the position of your teeth and ask you to bite to see how the upper and lower teeth meet to identify any malocclusion or irregularity in the bite. The orthodontist can also take photographs or x-rays to identify any internal problems with the structure of the jaw or teeth. Before beginning the initial exam, you'll need to complete a form detailing your dental and medical history. The goal of your first orthodontic appointment is to determine your smile goals and decide what treatment will best suit your needs.
If you're not ready for treatment yet, regular observation checks will be scheduled until you're ready for the eternal satisfaction of a healthy smile. The orthodontist will tell you when it's most convenient for you to start treatment and the type of treatment recommended. They'll also discuss insurance and payment options with you. X-rays may be needed for the orthodontist to accurately diagnose any orthodontic problems.
For some patients, the orthodontist will be able to achieve treatment results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. At that appointment, the orthodontist and staff will explain the importance of good oral hygiene and teach you how to care for appliances. In addition, an orthodontist can detect small dental problems in children related to their teeth and jaws while baby teeth are still present. If your child expresses fear or anxiety about their first appointment with the pediatric orthodontist, ease any tension by honestly answering their questions.
At that age, the child will have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, and the orthodontist will be able to recognize orthodontic problems (“malocclusions”) even in their earliest stages. The orthodontist may be able to suggest a colleague that can be adapted to your child's special needs. Your first visit to an orthodontist is an important step in achieving a healthy smile. It's important to understand what to expect during this visit so that you can make informed decisions about your oral health care. With proper preparation and knowledge of what lies ahead, you can ensure that your first visit is a success.