The Truth about Getting Braces

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take a major step towards a beautiful new smile. Now your braces appointment is drawing closer on the calendar, and you might be wondering what to expect.  Here is a quick walk-through of the day you get your new braces. 

What happens first? 

Most of our patients attend their New Patient Exam and receive braces the same day! This convenient option allows you to devote one day to braces rather than having to conform your schedule to two or even three separate appointments. Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!

  1. Attend your New Patient Exam with Dr. Sturgill and our Treatment Coordinator. Dr. Sturgill will do a thorough exam to see what treatment option best suits your individual situation. We will take a few X-rays and photographs — all compliments of Dr. Sturgill, so no charge to you!
  2. Choose the best option to fit your needs. Our Treatment Coordinator will walk you through the options and pricing for your unique needs.You will decide together what the best choice is.
  3. Complete your paperwork. Are you ready to get started? If so, we can complete your initial paperwork and apply braces the same day!  We offer interest-free payment plans and autopay for your convenience.

What happens in the clinic? 

Now it’s time to head into the clinic to get started! Initial bonding may take an hour to an hour and a half. We recommend that mom or dad bring a book or some work to pass the time. Meanwhile, the patient can relax in one of our comfortable memory foam dental chairs while we get to work on your smile. 

Remember — do NOT be scared. Your appointment involves ZERO needles or shots. Looking at a tray of dental tools might be scary; but we promise there are no surprises and nothing painful!

  1. A dental assistant will begin by prophying (polishing) the teeth. This helps prep the teeth for the braces.
  2. Next we will apply etchant which helps clean the surface of your teeth. Afterward a primer is used to help the brackets adhere. You may see us using a “light wand” on your teeth. This is an LED light that helps the adhesives cure. Don’t worry — this light isn’t hot at all and won’t hurt one bit. Think of it as a flashlight. 
  3. Next we place the brackets. Our brackets are pre-pasted — which means that no human hands have touched them until they are placed in your mouth. We use the “Mercedes-Benz” of brackets because part of providing quality care starts with using the best products and materials available.  The brackets are made in the USA by 3M and utilize the latest technology in bracket prescription, adhesive, and biocompatibility.  Dr. Sturgill and an assistant will make sure that each and every bracket is placed perfectly. 
  4. Now for the fun part — You get to pick your rubberband color! We have a rainbow of colors for you to choose from. You can do all one color or get snazzy with multiple shades. You could pick ETSU or UT colors– or just your own favorite color! Have fun with it! 
  5. We will place the wires. For your first appointment, you will notice the wire is very thin.  This wire is a“high-tech” combination of nickel, titanium, and copper.  The precise combination allows for super-elastcity and heat activation.  What does this mean? Your wire will work at a lower level of force for months. This allows your teeth to move with less discomfort yet also allows your treatment to continually progress without having an appointment every 3 or 4 weeks. Instead, your appointment will be every 6-10 weeks. 
  6. If you have requested a custom mouth guard, we will take that impression now. We have multiple fun colors to choose from here as well. 
  7. You’re almost done! Next you’ll watch a quick hygiene video that teaches you how to brush and care for your new braces! Home care is a vital part of your treatment. We want you to leave our office feeling prepared for success. 
  8. Finally, don’t forget your Swag Bag. Before you leave, we’ll load you down with useful swag — like brushes, floss threaders, and wax — so that you can properly clean and care for your new smile. 

What happens at the end?

You’re all done! Now don’t forget to stop by the front desk to schedule your next appointment!

  1. If you’re comfortable with it, we would love to take your photo for our Facebook. Braces Day is a special day for us. We are so excited for you to be joining the Sturgill Ortho Family!
  2. Schedule your next appointment. Most likely, your first adjustment appointment will be scheduled anywhere from 3-12 weeks away. Your treatment plan is customized by Dr. Sturgill and unique to your needs so the interval varies from patient to patient. 
  3. Show off your smile! 

Soreness is normal after getting your braces.  We recommend taking some Tylenol or Advil to help mitigate it. Sugar-free chewing gum also helps reduce soreness. It’s also a great time to treat yourself to a milkshake or smoothie. Remember — if you have any questions about soreness or your new braces, you are always welcome to text or call our office. 

We hope you are as excited as we are for your first braces appointment! You will love your new Sturgill smile. In the end, the work and wait will be so worth it! See you soon!