When you’re getting ready to begin your orthodontic treatment, you’re very likely going to have a number of questions about what you can expect during the various stages of wearing braces or Invisalign. Of course, everyone is different and there’s no simple answer when it comes to providing an exact timeline of what sorts of experiences you’ll have. However, there are many experiences common to patients undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign.
Once you decide to undergo treatment, you’ll visit your orthodontist for your initial consultation. At that appointment, we’ll examine your teeth, take moulds or x-rays of your mouth and jaw, and make our recommendations about the best course of treatment to help you reach your smile goals.
At your next appointment, you’ll either have the brackets bonded to your teeth and the wires attached, or you’ll be given your first set of Invisalign trays. After you first start wearing your braces or Invisalign trays, you’ll experience a slight bit of discomfort over the first few days, but that will subside quickly.
Several weeks after you begin your treatment, you’ll be fully used to your braces! That means that smiling, eating and speaking will all feel normal. You’ll also start to notice subtle changes to your smile with the first wire or tray.
Weeks 4 – End of Treatment
If you’re wearing braces, you’ll visit the orthodontist for wire adjustments every eight to ten weeks for the duration of your treatment. For patients with Invisalign, you’ll change your aligner trays every two weeks, and visit your orthodontist about once every two months.
Last Week of Treatment
For patients wearing braces, you’ll visit your orthodontist for your debonding appointment and check up. At this point, you might need a retainer to maintain the stability of your healthy new smile.
4-8 Weeks After End of Treatment
This is the point when you should visit your dentist for a full check-up and cleaning. Leaving your appointment for this length of time after your braces are removed or you stop wearing your Invisalign trays ensures that any tenderness or sensitivity you felt during treatment is gone.
12 Weeks After End of Treatment
You’ll visit your orthodontist again three months after the end of your treatment, and you’ll need to bring your retainer along with you. At this appointment, we’ll help you to protect your smile and keep it straight by confirming that you’re wearing your retainer as we recommend.
6 Months After End of Treatment
This is when you’ll have your final check-up, and we’ll ensure that you’re following our advice and taking great care of your new smile so your results last a lifetime!
To learn more about what you can expect and how to ensure your treatment goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, download our FREE guide on “What to Expect During Orthodontic Treatment: A Timeline”.