Welcome to our adventures in brackets. For all of you sports fans out there, no I’m not referring to basketball championships, though with 11 and 12-year-old girls at hand, it may be an experience of comparable drama. Over the next several months, I will be documenting my family’s journey through choosing and walking through our orthodontic needs, getting braces, what to expect, and more.
Following their regular six month dental cleaning, the dentist recommended my two oldergirls visit an orthodontist for some overbite issues and an evaluation. Having been through the infamous “phase one braces” to correct my middle daughter’s cross bite, I knew I was looking for a single doctor and single location practice, so the girls would see the same doctor throughout their entire treatment, and if we broke a bracket or needed something on Monday night, there would be someone in the office close to us that could fix it Tuesday morning.
While each orthodontic practice is different, there are some basic things that will happen at the initial consultation.
- Insurance Information and patient history. Some practices will take your insurance information over the phone and check on your coverage before you arrive, as well as have patient information sheets on the website for your to have ready before your visit.
- Meet with a treatment coordinator for initial x-rays, pictures, and concerns.
- Meet with the orthodontist to discuss the recommended plan of treatment and answer questions.
- Review and finalize the cost and payment plan.
Most orthodontist offices are ready to put braces on the day of the consultation. Since I was doing two VERY different girls, I decided two separate appointments would be best for our family.
The following week, my oldest daughter Grace and I made our way to orthodontists office, and she was taken back to get her braces! I finished up some financial paperwork with the treatment coordinator, and met some of the staff in the office. The staff reassured her that the second day would be the most uncomfortable, and that she would be feeling much better in a few days. We chose to use ibuprofen to help with the initial pain.
A few days after Grace got her braces, it was time for my middle daughter Taylor to get her braces. Taylor told me she was feeling really nervous about keeping her mouth open for so long, and wanted to know if I could tell the girl who would help put on her braces. So, early that morning, I contacted the practice to let them know she may need some extra encouraging. When we arrived, it was obvious they had taken my request seriously. She wanted me to go back with her, which they graciously allowed. Two ladies attended to her, taking the process slow and reassuring her every step of the way. While Taylor didn’t experience near the soreness that Grace did, she struggled more with getting back in the groove of being able to chew food normally. With her, acetaminophen was a better pain reliever for the first two days.
Things to expect the first few days in braces:
- Soreness that can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Starting out with a diet of soft foods and working up to eating a regular diet.
- Small sores on the inside of your mouth from the brackets rubbing. To avoid these, use orthodontic wax in the first few weeks of your treatment
After the first week, our biggest challenge has really just been remembering to brush, brush, brush those teeth, and figuring out what foods to avoid. Thankfully, life in brackets hasn’t been as drama filled as this mom originally thought it would be. Look for next month’s post highlighting what to expect for the first appointment.
Our orthodontic experience is at Starling Orthodontics in Brentwood, where we are receiving discounted orthodontic treatment in exchange for including them in the blog. Nonetheless, all information and content are an honest review of the experience.