Shaped braces

Braces: Duration of Orthodontic Appointments

How Often Do Braces Need to be Tightened After Placement?

beecroft orthodontics

It’s one of the top questions people have at their initial consultation appointment:  Once I get my braces on, how often do I need to come in to get them tightened?

I think people who haven’t had treatments have an awful visual of orthodontic technicians cranking on their braces and using metal lassos to tighten their teeth.

Rest assured, it’s nothing like that.

So, what happens when we put your braces on? We initially put a light wire in, which can be anywhere from 12 to 16 thousandths of an inch. It’s made out of a material developed by NASA, used in the space program. These wires are flexible and have shape memories. So, you put them in and they bend, twist, and turn to the shape and position of your teeth. They’ll slowly bring your teeth to the ideal position. The nice thing about these wires is they last for a long time while continuing to move your teeth for many weeks.

The duration of your appointments depends on what your orthodontist is trying to do, the materials he’s using, and your situation. Typically, in most offices, you have longer periods between appointments in the beginning. I would say the range is six to 10 or 11 weeks. The reason those are longer is you’re wearing flexible wires that move your teeth the entire time.

Patients often come in every once in a while and say, “Well, my teeth stopped hurting after the first few days,” or, “I’ve noticed my teeth moving for a few weeks, but I didn’t notice them moving for the last couple of weeks.” Then, they want to come in more often because they want to speed things up. There are a couple reasons we don’t allow that. One, usually the teeth are moving. They may not be moving as fast as they did initially, but they do continue to move towards the end of the appointment. And, two, the tooth moves through the bone. Imagine, you have two sides of “builders” on each tooth. On the side the tooth is being pulled towards, bone is taken away. Imagine someone with a pick axe, “a builder,” chipping away at your bone causing a reaction that takes bone away from the tooth. On the other side, the tooth moves into position, but you have an empty space where there’s no bone. We want to give the body time to heal and to build bone back into that space. And that will happen, but often that’s the second part of the appointment time. So, your tooth will move for the first part of the appointment, and the second part is about healing your face. We could get you in sooner and continue to move the tooth, but then you run the risk of having damage to the bone and it not healing properly.

How to Find an Orthodontist Near Me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf9DbG_zJmE

So, patients often wonder, “Well, my tooth stopped moving two weeks ago, why not tighten it up again?” Now, when we get closer to the end of treatment, we will often see patients more often because we do minor movements and tweaks to get things perfect. We use a different wire that’s not quite as flexible for many different reasons. But, if we want to work on the bite and fixing the way the back teeth fit together, you’ll wear a heavier, less flexible wire to keep the teeth anchored together so we can move the teeth solidly. It’s often beneficial to see people more frequently at that point. But, again, there’s a wide range depending on what’s done. Usually the rule of thumb is anywhere from six to 10 weeks at the beginning. At the end of treatments, it can range anywhere from three to five weeks as your orthodontist finishes detailing, ensuring your smile is beautiful and as perfect as possible. Contact us for more details.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

Braces: Duration of Orthodontic Appointments

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Fun Braces for Kids

Shaped braces for kids: What pricing and cost can you expect?

fun braces, beecroft orthodontics

When most kids come in, they are excited about getting braces. I found the reason they’re so excited about getting braces is they’ve heard they get to pick rubber band colors.

With braces, there are the individual braces as well as the wire that straightens out the teeth. These small and circular rubber bands hold the wire into the braces and allow the wire to straighten the teeth. When a patient comes in every six to eight weeks for an adjustment, these colored elastics are changed. The younger patients get excited because they get to choose colors ranging from school colors to colors of their favorite sports team. Some even like to coordinate colors with their friends.

Sometimes kids come in and see our models of braces from metal and clear braces to braces in different shapes. Yes, there are actually shaped braces by WildSmiles. The kids get so excited about choosing from any of the following shapes: football, flower, heart, star, diamond, and Superman diamond symbol. By far, the most popular shape in our office is the heart--a top choice among girls.

Shaped braces function exactly like normal braces. The only difference is the actual shape of the base of the braces, which doesn't affect treatment. And, the cost of shaped braces is similar to the cost of ceramic/aesthetic braces. And, you don’t necessarily have to get one shape on all your teeth. You can mix and match them, which makes having braces more fun.

A mother brought her young daughter into her initial appointment practically kicking and screaming. But for various medical reasons, her teeth needed to be corrected. We showed her the models of our normal, clear, and shaped braces. The shaped braces really caught her eye. She asked her Mom if she could get the heart-shaped braces and her mom consented. Since then, she went from being nervous to being excited about her braces. She always talks about showing her friends her heart-shaped braces and how cool her friends think they are.

It’s nice to see how patients can go from being hesitant to excited about braces just by putting shapes on them.

In fact, my personal favorite is the Superman diamond symbol. Sometimes, I think about getting braces just to get the red, yellow, and blue Superman diamonds on my teeth. Maybe one day…

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. So contact Beecroft Orthodontics today for the appointment.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr Fredericksburg , VirginiaPhone: 540-898-2200

Fun Braces for Kids

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