How Often do I Need to See My Orthodontist After Orthodontics Treatment?
If you are planning to receive orthodontics treatment in the future, you may be wondering how often you need to go back for appointments. How often you go back often is up to your situation.
After any orthodontics treatment where teeth were moved, you will be receiving a retainer. This device keeps your teeth from shifting back to their old positions. Wearing the retainer as often as your orthodontist recommends is ideal- they are familiar with your teeth at this point.
The First Visit
A child needs to see the orthodontist by the time they are 7. This is so a specialist can catch any teeth that are misaligning early- the earlier the better and easier to fix the problem. At this age the jaw is also still growing, so an expander would be possible if needed.
During Treatment with Braces
If you currently have braces, you can expect to go to your orthodontist every four to eight weeks during treatment.
The orthodontist will adjust your braces, tighten the wires, or replace them. These appointments are for checking on the progress of your teeth and seeing how much they are moving. They may also offer you new rubber bands for your braces.
You can expect these appointments to be about 20 minutes long for routine check-ups and longer for adjusting treatment. You should do your best to stick to the schedule given to you by your specialist, so they can keep track of how your treatment is developing.
During Treatment with Invisalign
During treatment with Invisalign Teen or other aligners, you can expect to see the orthodontist every four to six weeks. Like with traditional braces, the specialist will check if your teeth are adjusting properly and if any changes to your treatment need to be made.
With Invisalign, you can expect one of the appointments to be dedicated to making a mold of your current teeth. X-rays and photographs will be taken, so do not expect a short appointment. This process is so that specialists can fit the aligners to you and easily see what teeth need to be adjusted.
Do not skip on appointments that your orthodontist recommends- they are just as important as they are with traditional braces. They want to be sure you are wearing them often enough and that they are working effectively. Otherwise, the dental orthodontist may remold your mouth for a new set of aligners.
During Treatment with Other Appliances
You may also be treated with expanders or headgear. You can expect to stop by the practice every four to eight weeks. Your orthodontist will let you know how often they want you to come in for an appointment.
No matter which form of treatment you are undergoing, your dental orthodontist will want to see you frequently enough that they can catch any mishaps occurring in your mouth. They just want to be sure that everything is running smoothly and may even ask you to come in more or less often, depending on your oral health.
After completing any form of orthodontic treatment, your specialist will likely give you a retainer to use at night. These ensure that your teeth do not move back into their crooked positions. Skipping out on your retainer could have negative consequences, they are crucial to post-braces care.
With removable retainers, your orthodontist will let you know when you should wear them. This is often all the time for 4-6 months after braces removal, then only at night. You can expect to have a retainer for about a year post-braces. Do not stop using it until instructed by your orthodontist, or you could reset your progress.
You will also need a retainer after using Invisalign. This is because, even though they move teeth differently than braces, your teeth are still being adjusted and could shift back to where they were. You do not want to undo the progress you made with your smile! So be sure to actively use your retainer.
It is normal to notice your teeth moving after having your treatment appliance removed. Your orthodontist will have recommendations for you post-treatment, you can expect more appointments.
Keep Your New Smile
To keep your new smile looking straight and pleasing, you need to continue to see your orthodontist after treatment. If you want to keep your teeth in place, then you are going to need to use a retainer.
You will also need to go back to the orthodontist’s office a few times a year, at least. This is so that specialists can make sure your teeth are not sliding back to their old place and that your retainer is still fitted correctly.
After going through the treatment process, you do not want to undo all that hard work- you were so patient to get here. Retainers can be annoying, but they keep your teeth in place while your mouth and bones heal from braces.
In short, be sure to schedule a few appointments in the first year that your braces come off. Then, after that, your orthodontist will make recommendations on when you should return.
During treatment, you can expect to be in the orthodontist’s office at least once a month. Typically you will need to return every 4 to 8 weeks with braces and every 4- 6 weeks with Invisalign or Invisalign Teen.
After completing your orthodontics treatment, you will still need to return to the practice for retainers and routine check-ups. For the first year after removing your braces, you should expect to attend a few appointments. There, your dental orthodontist will check that your retainer is keeping your teeth in place during the healing process and make any adjustments that they need to.
To conclude, be sure to visit your orthodontist as often as they request. Usually once a year, but sometimes more often. They are doing their best to ensure that your smile stays straight- you can trust their advice.