orthodontists | Crane & Seager Orthodontics in Fort Collins and Loveland, CO

What Do Orthodontists Do on Your Child’s First Appointment?

Braces are popular, and that’s why approximately 4 million people wear them at any given time. 

Braces offer nicer, straighter teeth and are effective for kids and adults. In fact, braces are the only option you have if you want straighter teeth. 

If you’re interested in braces for you or your child, you can schedule a consultation visit to learn more about the process. First, however, you might wonder what happens at a consultation visit. 

Most people wonder about this as they prepare for their consultation visits. This guide will explain what orthodontists do during the first visit so that you can prepare for it. 

Review the Patient’s Medical History

So, what is an orthodontist, and what do they do? Orthodontists are dentists that specialize in correcting the placement and alignment of teeth. They do this by offering braces to their patients. 

If you’re interested in braces, you must schedule a consultation visit with an orthodontist. This visit consists of several steps and begins with the doctor reviewing your medical history. 

The clinic staff will give you paperwork to complete before meeting with the orthodontist, and the doctor will review these documents.

The goal is for the orthodontist to evaluate your health and dental records to determine if you’re healthy enough for braces. They may ask you some questions when you initially meet with the orthodontist to learn more.

You might be able to speed this up by completing all the paperwork at home and submitting it electronically to the clinic. Otherwise, you can fill it out while in the waiting area. 

Examine the Patient’s Teeth

Next, a family orthodontist will look at your teeth. Orthodontists know what to look for before proceeding with a patient, which includes several things:

  • Number of baby teeth remaining
  • Spacing of teeth
  • Tooth placement and alignment
  • The jaw
  • Bite 
  • Overcrowding

As the orthodontist examines your teeth, these are the things they’ll evaluate. Every person’s mouth is slightly different, which means everyone has different needs.

Some people have teeth that are easy to straighten and align, while others have more complex situations. The doctor will know the severity of your situation by examining these things during your consultation visit. 

During the examination, they might ask you questions about your teeth. For example, they might ask if you have any jaw pain. They might also inquire about baby teeth you still have if you’re an adult. 

Take Pictures and X-Rays

The next thing you can expect is pictures and x-rays. An orthodontist can’t provide orthodontic care without taking the right steps before placing the braces on your teeth. 

Therefore, they’ll begin by taking pictures of you with a camera. One of the purposes of this step is to see your teeth before and after braces. If they take pictures of you with a camera, they can compare the results.

Orthodontists use these pictures to show their patients the before and after pictures when completing orthodontic care. Additionally, they might use these for advertising purposes with your consent. 

Secondly, they take additional pictures of your teeth, but this type is through x-rays. X-rays of your teeth show your teeth, roots, and jawbone. 

The x-rays can reveal more information about your situation. For example, x-rays can reveal if you have congenitally missing teeth.

This condition is quite common, but orthodontists need to know if you have it before placing braces on your teeth. People with this condition don’t have all their permanent teeth. They might be missing one or more. 

The x-rays also reveal more details about your bite, jaw, and mouth space. 

Many orthodontists also take panoramic pictures. A panoramic picture is one large picture that shows your entire mouth. 

Make Impressions

The next thing you can expect at this visit is impressions. Impressions offer a mold of your teeth. 

Orthodontists may make these in several ways. The standard way is with putty. They’ll place putty in a tray and ask you to bite down on it.

You’ll have to hold this in your mouth for several minutes as it hardens. Then, when it’s hard enough, they’ll remove it from your mouth and have a replica of your mouth.

The other way they do this is through digital impressions. If an orthodontist has the technology for this, they’ll use the digital machine instead of putty. 

The purpose of the impressions is to have more details about your mouth and its needs. Your orthodontist uses a combination of all these details to create a personalized plan for your orthodontic treatment. 

Create a Plan to Share With You

Finally, the orthodontist will create a plan for your teeth. This plan consists of several things.


First, you’ll learn about your options, including the types of braces you can choose. They’ll explain the pros and cons of each option and help you pick the best one. 

Length of Treatment

Secondly, they’ll explain how long you’ll need the braces. People with minor problems might need them for 9 to 12 months. People with major issues might need them much longer. 

Primary Objectives

A clinic that provides quality orthodontic care will also explain the primary objectives of the treatment.

The main objectives for you might be to adjust your bite and align your front teeth. However, the objectives for others might be different. 


The orthodontist will also explain the costs of the plan and payment options. Many clinics offer payment plans to help people afford braces. 

The last thing you’ll do at this visit is to schedule an appointment to get your braces. The appointment needed to apply your braces might take one to two hours or longer.  

Orthodontists Offer Treatment Plans for All Ages

If you’re unhappy with your teeth or feel that your child needs braces, you can visit the best orthodontist. Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth with braces and can help you have a great smile.

Are you interested in scheduling a consultation visit in Fort Collins or Loveland, CO? If so, contact us at Crane & Seager Orthodontics