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At some point in your lives, visiting the orthodontist may become a necessity, or perhaps your children’s dentists will recommend that they visit one. For those who have never really heard of or gone to the orthodontist before, plenty of questions are likely racing through your minds. Understanding what orthodontists do, as well as the fact that they are not all exactly alike, will help to give you a fuller picture of what to expect.
What Orthodontists Do
Some people assume that orthodontists and dentists are exactly alike, but that isn’t true. Going to King Orthodontics is different from taking a trip to your regular dentist. You can think of the regular dentists as your general practitioners and of the orthodontists as your specialists. Your general dentists are usually the ones who recommend that you go to see orthodontists in the first place. They recommend that you do so when your teeth are crooked or misaligned. Orthodontists are most commonly associated with braces. Yet some differences exist in the types of braces people receive and the types of practices.
Pediatric Practices and Adult Practices
In the past, braces were heavily associated with children. Once kids had lost all of their baby teeth, they would go in for braces if their dentists felt that the teeth were not properly aligned. As a result, many orthodontic offices specialize in pediatric care. They may work with young children and teenagers. This type of office helps to give children a sense of community and let them know that they are not alone on their journey toward perfect teeth. Other practices specialize in braces for adults, and still others provide services to people regardless of age.
Metal braces are still really the most common type of braces for people to wear. These are the little metal braces that you have likely seen on people’s teeth. The braces are connected to one another with wires. The pieces of metal themselves are usually colored, and individuals can select the colors that they want. Some kids like to change their colors based on the seasons or the holidays that are happening at the current time. Others prefer a more neutral shade all throughout the process.
Other Options for Braces
In more modern times, orthodontic practices have devised other ways to implement braces. Invisalign is one option that is currently very popular. As the name suggests, Invisalign braces are invisible to the naked eye. People who wear these braces often do so because they want to feel a greater sense of confidence. Other people will choose to have braces that go on the back of their teeth. Individuals can exude beautiful styles with regular braces, but some just feel more confident with these other options. Not all people are candidates for these alternative options, but you can speak with your orthodontic professional if you are interested.
Retainers and Headgear
Once you have finished wearing braces, the journey to perfect teeth is not quite over yet. You will need to go for some type of aftercare in most situations. Many people need to wear retainers after they have braces. You may need to wear your retainer throughout the day or only for a certain portion of the day. It is also possible that your orthodontist will require you to wear headgear. Usually, when that treatment plan is followed, you wear it at night.
Also, all orthodontic treatment is not the same because not all people have the exact same post-care needs. You may have a cousin who needs to visit the orthodontic professional every six weeks after getting braces removed, but you may need to go only a couple of times per year. The exact amount of aftercare that you need will depend upon your individual situation. Also, for some reason, your teeth might move around differently as you age, and you may need to go back to the orthodontists for some more rounds of braces.
Pre-Care for Braces
Not only does the treatment received after you get your braces off vary from person to person, but so do the arrangements made before you even begin your journey to a more polished smile. For example, let’s say that your children are the ones in need of braces. Their dentists may recommend that they start to meet with orthodontists, but they can not actually have the braces put on until all of their adult teeth are in. On top of that, some may require surgery for other dental issues before they can have their braces put on. Also, before getting braces, people need to have molds taken of their teeth, and they need to get fit for braces.
The Younger Crowd
Some orthodontic practices really want to encourage a younger crowd, especially when the patients are predominantly made up of children. Helping children to build bonds with others who have braces is powerful because some youngsters struggle to maintain their confidence as they embark on this journey. Some practices might have a smile of the month club, and others may host a gathering at a local arcade for all of the patients on an annual basis.
Conditions and Treatment Procedures
The exact treatment procedure that you or your kids need to undergo depends upon what the issues are with your teeth. All orthodontic treatment cannot possibly be the same because all people are not the same. When you go to the practice for the first time, the professionals will devise a course of treatment that is right for your individual needs. Learning how to take care of your own teeth and understanding the steps that need to take place in order for you to shine is imperative to your health. Also, these conversations will guide the procedures that you need.
Going to the orthodontists may seem overwhelming at first, but you will quickly learn that the professionals are there to make plans that fit with your needs. When you are ready to take that step, contact King Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.
Samuel B. King, D.D.S., M.S. – King Orthodontics – Specialist in Orthodontics for kids, teens and adults in Centerville and Fairborn.