WHAT TO EXPECT

Your First Visit

At your complimentary consultation, we will collect information from your medical and dental history, and Dr. Djeu will perform a thorough clinical exam. Dr. Djeu will discuss your orthodontic diagnosis and describe your treatment options with the assistance of models and treatment simulation software. Dr. Djeu will outline an initial treatment plan, including an estimate of the fees, length of treatment, and payment options. Questions are more than welcome, as you are the most important part of our team!

Diagnostic Records

Orthodontic records must be taken for analysis and treatment planning. For diagnostic purposes, we will take a panoramic x-ray, lateral cephalometric x-ray, digital photographs, and digital models of your teeth. Studying these records will allow Dr. Djeu to finalize your personalized treatment plan.

Frequency of Appointments

At the start of treatment, a longer appointment will be scheduled in the morning to allow for more time and attention to put on your braces. The following wire adjustment appointments take place every 4-6 weeks, last about 30 minutes, and can usually be scheduled after school.

Length of Treatment

Orthodontic treatment typically takes one to two years. Interceptive, early treatment (usually ages 7-10) may only take a few months. Treatment time ultimately depends on severity of the problem, growth of the mouth and face, and patient cooperation. Caring for the appliances and wearing elastics/headgear as instructed is key to finishing on time. Just as different people grow at different rates, some patients may respond to orthodontic treatment faster or slower than others.

Eating with Braces

After getting your braces, you will probably need to eat soft foods for the first few days until your mouth gets used to your appliances. You will also need to avoid the following foods to prevent breakage of the braces, which can lengthen treatment time:

  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, hard nuts, hard candy, hard bread
  • Sticky foods: gum, taffy, and other sticky candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, raw carrots
  • Chewing on hard things: pens, pencils, or fingernails

General Soreness

After treatment begins, your teeth and gums may be sore for a few days as you become accustomed to the braces. Over-the-counter pain medication (Advil, Motrin, etc) can help with discomfort during this time. For lip and cheek irritation, we will provide you with soft wax to temporarily cover the brackets to make them smooth.

Loosening of Teeth

Teeth sometimes feel loose during movement, and this is necessary for the straightening process. For patients with healthy teeth, bone, and gums this is only temporary. The teeth will stabilize after their position has been corrected.

Care of Appliances

Treatment time depends on the appliances working properly. Therefore, it is important to wear any elastics/headgear as instructed and be careful not to damage the braces. Poor patient compliance and excessive breakage of braces will lengthen treatment time unnecessarily.

Brushing

Great oral hygiene is extremely important, and we will show you how to brush with your braces. You should brush after every meal and keep regular dental hygiene appointments. Adults with periodontal disease may need more frequent cleanings. Your toothbrush and floss are tools to prevent gum disease, cavities, staining, and bad breath. We also recommend a Waterpik for patients who have difficulty keeping their braces and teeth clean.

Athletics

A mouthguard can provide protection for your teeth and jaws and should be worn during active sports. If an injury occurs, check immediately for any damage to teeth and braces, and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Loose Wire or Band

To alleviate irritation, cover the wire with soft wax or use a blunt instrument (pencil eraser) to push the wire away from your cheek or lips. If you can’t manage, schedule an appointment and bring the broken piece with you.

Emergency Care

In cases of severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire, or an irritation that you cannot resolve, call for an appointment as soon as possible.

Retainer Instructions

After you finish your braces treatment, you will need to wear retainers to stabilize the position of your teeth and preserve your beautiful new smile. If retainers are not worn properly, your teeth can shift and become crooked again.

  • Speaking is hard at first, but you’ll get used to it in no time.
  • Remove retainers when eating, playing sports or swimming. (Keep them in the retainer case, don’t put them in napkins!)
  • Clean with toothbrush/toothpaste or denture cleaner.
  • Retainers are breakable, so be careful! Call ASAP if lost or broken to prevent teeth from shifting.
  • Don’t let pets chew them!
  • If loose, let us adjust it, don’t attempt to do it yourself.
  • Bring retainers for all follow-up visits.
  • Replacing retainers is expensive, but if you’re careful, they’ll last for years.