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What to Expect at the Orthodontist

Wondering what goes on at the orthodontist when you go to get your braces?

What is an orthodontist? An orthodontist is just a kind of dentist who specializes in making teeth straight, and ensuring your jaw is properly aligned. It’s where people who have braces or retainers go. But if you haven’t been to one, you might wonder what else goes on at the orthodontist. Here’s what to expect when you visit one.

He or She Will Ask You Easy Questions

Your first appointment will most likely involve a bunch of questions about your teeth and your jaw. They’ll be pretty easy to answer. Some examples might be, “Does your jaw make a popping noise when you open and shut your mouth?” Or, “Do you snore at night?” These questions will help your orthodontist determine what kind of treatment you will need to make sure your teeth and jaw are working properly.

X-Rays and Molds Will Be Taken

A technician at your orthodontist’s office will probably take some x-rays and make a mold of your mouth. To make the mold, your technician will ask you to bite down on a dental tray filled with a gooey substance. The process might be slightly uncomfortable, but shouldn’t hurt at all. Both x-rays and molds will help determine what kind of care you need: braces, retainer, or maybe nothing. 

A Plan Will Be Devised

The x-rays and molds should give a clear picture of what’s happening inside your mouth. Then, the orthodontist can formulate a plan to change anything that will cause you a problem now or in the future. There are more reasons to fix your teeth other than just having a pretty smile. Did you know that overlapping teeth could cause future tooth decay and cause more cavities in the long run? Yep. Braces might not seem that awesome right now, but they could save you some problems in the future!

So go bravely to your first orthodontist appointment and get it over with!

"Braces" Flickr photo by monica y garza

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