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First Pediatric Orthodontist Visit: What to Expect

Rachael Moshman

Finding out a child needs braces doesn't need to be a stressful event. The pediatric orthodontist will walk you through every step. The staff is there to help you in every matter from financing to maintenance.

By the way, pediatric practices just treat children. In fact, many now see more adults with braces than children. Some children and patients even get braces at the same time.

What to Expect From Your First Appointment

Many orthodontists start off with introductions to the staff and a tour of the office. This helps patients feel more comfortable and at ease.

The goal of the first appointment is to determine if treatment is needed and, if so, where to start. A thorough clinical examination is given. Photographs and x-rays of the teeth and mouth will be taken. The orthodontist will give a diagnosis, explain any orthodontic problems and recommend a course of action.

If it is determined treatment is needed, impressions of the teeth will also be taken. These will be used to help determine an individualized treatment plan. You will be given an estimate of the treatment costs and staff will review your insurance benefits. Financing options and payment plans will be discussed.

Recommended appliances, such as retainers, braces, or expanders, will be described in detail. You will also receive an estimate as to the length of time the treatment will take and frequency of appointments. The consultation typically takes one to two hours.

What's next?

If you agree to go ahead with treatments, the next step is to make an appointment to get the appliances placed. The orthodontist and staff will explain the importance of good oral hygiene while the appliances are in place. They will discuss how to care for the appliances and review proper dental hygiene procedures.

Appointments are usually needed every 6 to 10 weeks to determine the progress of your teeth and to make adjustments. The orthodontist will also evaluate and review your hygiene practices.

The pediatric orthodontist and staff are part of a team, but the patient is the key player. Orthodontists want their patients to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about every step of the process. If you have questions or concerns at any time, don't hesitate to ask.

Learn more about orthodontic treatment in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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