Stages of Orthodontic Care

Orthodontic treatments are highly successful and prevent a myriad of future problems. At Elk Grove Kid’s Dentist and Ortho, we value patient understanding of the orthodontic process. Although they vary in method and treatment time, all treatments are essentially composed of three parts.

1: Planning

At this stage, the orthodontist conducts multiple evaluations to devise a personalized treatment plan. These examinations most likely include:

X-rays verify the location of the teeth roots. They also show the position of unerupted adult teeth and are a reliable way to predict future movement.

Medical evaluations ensure the gums are healthy and the teeth are free of cavities. It’s best to treat any issues and repair damage before attempting to move the teeth.

Photographs show progress after the treatment is complete. It’s fun to show patients exactly how their teeth have improved through these helpful images. It allows dentists to keep records of their work.

These pre-treatment examinations help your orthodontist choose the right course of action.

2: Active

The phase where our dentists utilize a variety of devices to shift teeth into improved positions, with the most common appliance being braces.  There are a variety of bracket types, such as porcelain or self-litigating. Braces may also be used in conjunction with rubber bands. These add extra tension to the teeth and help pull them and the jaw into proper alignment. Clear aligners, like Invisalign®, are another aesthetically-pleasing option. They move teeth into straighter positions over time. This option is discreet, but not recommended for patients with moderate to severe malocclusion (crookedness).

Another orthodontic appliance is the palate expander. This pushes the top teeth away from each other and essentially makes the roof of the mouth much larger. Depending on the case, an orthodontist may suggest oral surgery in preparation for the use of these devices.

Patients may experience slight discomfort and tenderness as the teeth shift. This is normal and often goes away within hours of the braces being tightened.

3: Retentive

Once treatment is complete, it is essential to maintain the position of teeth. In most cases, this calls for the continued wear of retainers. Without them, the teeth may respond to pressure from the tongue and shift into unsightly positions. Retainers ensure the teeth stay straight. After the braces are removed, patients must wear retainers for at least 22 hours a day for the first year and then continue to wear them every night afterward.

Orthodontic Excellency in Elk Grove, California

If you have any questions regarding orthodontic treatment, feel free to contact our office. We offer friendly service and compassionate care. We look forward to hearing from you!

Elk Grove Kid’s Dentist and Ortho: Creating Beautiful Little Smiles 


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