When your child goes to the dentist, they may recommend orthodontic treatment to help keep your child's teeth healthy and free of decay. Some children will need orthodontic treatment to help correct their bite, straighten teeth, and correct other dental issues. You as the parent should know what to expect from your child's first orthodontic appointment so you and your child are fully prepared. Here are some things to expect:
Addressing Medical Paperwork
Just like any other medical appointment, you will first go through the intake process in which you fill out paperwork, provide insurance information, and discuss payment options. Some practices may require you to pay for your child's treatment upfront, but others may have payment plans. Use the first appointment to discuss any questions you have about billing.
Introducing You to the Staff
Once you get signed in, the practice may take an opportunity to introduce themselves to you and your child, especially if your child has some anxiety about the treatment. The point of an introduction is to help you and your child become familiar with the environment and know what to expect. At this time, the dental assistant or even the orthodontist will look at your child's teeth to determine which options are best for your child's needs.
During the first visit, the dental assistant will begin to collect important information. This could include X-rays, pictures of the teeth and jaw, and models of the mouth. This helps develop the proper treatment plan for your child.
Once your child has been examined and all necessary records have been gathered, you will then have the chance to ask any questions about your child's treatment. You may want to ask how the treatment is beneficial to your child and how children normally respond to orthodontic treatment. You may want to know if now is the best time to have the treatment or if waiting a few years will be more beneficial. In addition, you should ask about the possible need for tooth extraction. You should also ask about the frequency of visits needed to treat your child or otherwise get an idea as to how long the process may take.
Be mindful that your child's care will vary from others based on your child's needs. Some problems take longer to correct. If your child's bite is even and does not need serious corrections, your child's treatment process may be much shorter compared to more serious issues.
If your child needs orthodontic care, be sure to do your research. Reach out to pediatric dental specialists to learn more.