Are you ready to have straighter teeth? You may have been wondering what it takes to have a straight smile. The unknown of what to expect may keep you from getting started at all. Or you may be unsure where to even begin. Well, you are not alone, many do not start braces or Invisalign due to the fear of the unknown or thinking straight teeth just cost too much. This short article will ease your anxiety and hopefully show you that straight teeth can be affordable and acceptable for patients of all ages.

Step 1: Consultation Appointment

Your first appointment with our orthodontist is completely free! Our team will take one or two painless x-rays of your teeth to evaluate what treatment would offer you the best results. You will have time to discuss any concerns you have with our orthodontist. After the appointment and discussion with our orthodontist, you will be greeted by our insurance and financing coordinator. Here we will come up with a plan to make your orthodontic treatment affordable.

Step 2: Getting Started with Braces or Invisalign

Traditional Braces: The process begins with 3D models and images of your teeth. Then, teeth will be cleaned with polishing paste. Metal or white ceramic (premium option) braces will be attached to the front surface of teeth with a special bonding material. The bonding material process has a slightly sour taste, kind of like Sour Patch candy. Then, a straightening wire is placed and can be secured with or without colored bands depending on patient preference! The process takes approximately 2 hours with some breaks and will be painless.

Invisalign: The process begins with 3D models and images of your teeth. Then, teeth will be cleaned with polishing paste. Invisible attachments for Invisalign clear trays are placed on only a few teeth using a special bonding material to help move teeth more efficiently. Then, the first two Invisalign trays are placed. The process takes approximately 1.5 hours with some breaks and will be painless.

Step 3: First Week

Mild to moderate pain can be expected during adaptation period of new braces or Invisalign. A softer diet is usually recommended. Remember the pain is only going to be for a short period of time and worst after the initial visit. Future tightening appointments or Invisalign tray progression will have shorter and milder amounts of pain. This is normal, as teeth are being pushed and pulled into proper position to give you a beautiful smile.

Step 4: Maintenance

You will visit with your orthodontist every 6-8 weeks for tightening appointments. The most important factor for having a great smile after braces or Invisalign is to make sure you are following the orthodontist’s instructions as to not prolong treatment. Remember to avoid hard and sticky foods and these can break brackets and cause treatment time to be longer. Also, following a regular dental check-up schedule with our general dentist in the office is very important to make sure your teeth are staying healthy through-out this entire process. Remember teeth stay healthy by brushing twice a day and flossing daily to avoid cavities and gum disease.

Step 5: Braces or Invisalign Removal

Depending on severity of your case it can take anywhere from 6 months to many years to complete the straightening of your teeth. The average case takes approximately 2 years from start to finish. When braces are removed, it would be a good idea to visit with your general dentist for a good cleaning and evaluation of cavities. Teeth whitening may also be a great option at this point which you can discuss with our general dentist. Your retainers will be prepared on your final appointment and will have to be worn at minimum every night to help maintain your newly straightened smile!

If you are considering braces for yourself or a child consider scheduling a free orthodontic consultation with our orthodontist. Our team will take the time to discuss all questions whether it be about treatment or payment plans. Remember braces are not typically paid upfront in one lump sum and we have a team here to help you make affordable monthly payments throughout your treatment. Give us a call a 972-532-3635 to schedule your free consultation today!