Fowler Orthodontics

The Top 7 Questions to Ask During Your Orthodontic Consultation

So, you’ve decided it’s time to get that perfect smile you’ve always wanted, or maybe it’s your child who’s ready for some orthodontic care. Either way, the first step on this journey is an orthodontic consultation. 

But stepping into an orthodontist’s office for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. What should you expect? What questions should you ask to ensure you’re making the best decision for your dental health?

Here at Fowler Orthodontics, we believe that the more informed you are, the better your orthodontic experience will be. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on the top questions to ask during your orthodontic consultation. 

By the end of this article, you’ll feel prepared and confident, ready to take the next step towards a healthier, more beautiful smile. Let’s dive in and explore the essential questions that will help you navigate your consultation like a pro.

Question 1: What Are My Treatment Options?

One of the first questions you should ask during your orthodontic consultation is about the treatment options available to you. Orthodontics has come a long way, and there are several effective methods to correct teeth alignment and bite issues. 

Understanding your options will help you make an informed decision about which treatment best suits your needs and lifestyle.

  • Braces: Traditional metal braces are the most common and effective treatment for many orthodontic issues. 
  • Invisalign: Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move your teeth into the desired position.
  • Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces work similarly to traditional metal braces but use clear or tooth-colored brackets that blend in with your teeth.
  • Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are attached to the back of your teeth, making them invisible from the front. 
  • Self-Ligating Braces: These braces use a special clip instead of elastics to hold the wire in place, reducing friction and potentially shortening treatment time. 
  • Retainers: While retainers are typically used after braces or Invisalign to maintain alignment, they can sometimes be used for minor adjustments. 

Each patient is unique, and we tailor our treatment plans to meet your specific needs. By understanding the pros and cons of each treatment, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your goals for a beautiful, healthy smile.

Question 2: How Long Will My Treatment Take?

Another critical question to ask during your orthodontic consultation is how long your treatment will take. 

Understanding the timeline helps set realistic expectations and allows you to plan accordingly. The duration of orthodontic treatment varies based on several factors, and here’s what you need to know:

Severity of the Issue: The complexity and severity of your orthodontic issue play a significant role in determining the length of treatment. 

Type of Treatment: Different orthodontic treatments have varying timelines. Traditional braces typically take between 18 to 24 months, while Invisalign may offer faster results in some cases, often ranging from 12 to 18 months. Lingual braces and ceramic braces follow similar timelines to traditional braces, depending on the complexity of the case.

Patient Age: Age can influence treatment duration. Generally, younger patients’ teeth move more quickly because their jaws and teeth are still growing.

Patient Compliance: Your commitment to following your orthodontist’s instructions greatly impacts the treatment timeline. 

Question 3: What Will the Treatment Cost?

Cost is a significant factor when considering orthodontic treatment, so it’s essential to ask about the financial aspects during your consultation. Understanding the treatment cost upfront can help you plan and make informed decisions. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Factors Influencing Cost: The cost of orthodontic treatment can vary widely based on several factors, including the type of treatment, the severity of the orthodontic issue, and the length of treatment. Traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign, and lingual braces all have different price points.

Comprehensive Cost Breakdown: During your consultation, ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs involved. This should include the cost of everything individually. 

Payment Plans and Financing: Many orthodontic practices, including Fowler Orthodontics, offer flexible payment plans to make treatment more affordable. 

Insurance Coverage: If you have dental insurance, it may cover part of the orthodontic treatment cost. Bring your insurance information to the consultation!

Question 4: How Often Will I Need to Visit?

Knowing how often you’ll need to visit your orthodontist is essential for planning your schedule and ensuring you can commit to the treatment process. Regular visits are crucial for monitoring progress and making necessary adjustments. 

Here’s what you should expect:

Initial Phase: When you first get your braces or aligners, you’ll likely have more frequent visits to ensure everything is correctly placed and to address any initial discomfort. 

Regular Adjustments: For traditional braces, you’ll need to visit the orthodontist every 4-8 weeks. 

Invisalign Check-Ups: If you’re using Invisalign, you might have slightly less frequent visits, around every 6-10 weeks. 

Emergencies: Occasionally, issues like broken brackets, loose wires, or lost aligners can occur. In such cases, you’ll need to schedule an emergency visit to address the problem promptly. 

Retention Phase: After your braces are removed or you’ve completed your Invisalign treatment, you’ll transition to wearing retainers. 

Special Circumstances: If you have a more complex case or require additional appliances like expanders or headgear, your visit frequency might vary. 

Question 5: What Can I Expect During Treatment?

Embarking on orthodontic treatment can feel like a big step, and knowing what to expect can help you feel more prepared and at ease. 

Here’s a breakdown of what you can anticipate during your orthodontic journey:

Initial Fitting:

  • Braces: If you’re getting braces, the initial appointment involves cleaning and drying your teeth before attaching the brackets with a special adhesive. The process usually takes about 1-2 hours.
  • Invisalign: For Invisalign, you’ll start with digital scans of your teeth to create custom aligners. Once your aligners are ready, your orthodontist will ensure they fit properly and give you detailed instructions on how to wear and care for them.

Adjustments and Progress Checks:

  • Regular Visits: Throughout your treatment, you’ll have regular appointments for adjustments and progress checks. 
  • Frequency: Expect visits every 4-8 weeks for braces and every 6-10 weeks for Invisalign.

Discomfort and Adaptation:

  • Initial Discomfort: It’s normal to experience some discomfort or soreness when you first get braces or start wearing a new set of aligners. 
  • Adjustment Period: Your mouth and lips will need some time to get used to the new appliances. Speaking and eating might feel a bit awkward initially, but most patients adapt within a week or two.

End of Treatment:

  • Removing Braces: Once your teeth have moved into their final positions, your orthodontist will remove the braces. This process is typically quick and painless.
  • Retention Phase: After braces or Invisalign, you’ll enter the retention phase, where you’ll wear a retainer to keep your teeth in place. This phase is crucial for maintaining your new smile.

Question 6: Are There Any Lifestyle Changes I Need to Make?

Starting orthodontic treatment often requires some adjustments to your daily routine and habits. These changes help ensure that your treatment progresses smoothly and that you maintain optimal oral health. 

Here are some lifestyle changes you might need to make during your orthodontic journey:

Dietary Adjustments:If you’re getting braces, you’ll need to avoid certain foods that can damage the brackets or wires.

Oral Hygiene:Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is more important than ever with braces. 

Managing Discomfort: You might experience some discomfort after getting braces or following adjustments. 

Physical Activities:If you play contact sports, wearing a mouthguard is essential to protect your braces and teeth from injury. 

Time Management: Regular orthodontic appointments are crucial for monitoring progress and making necessary adjustments.

Adapting to Changes: Both braces and Invisalign can affect your speech initially. 

Question 7: How Do I Care for My Braces/Aligners?

Proper care for your braces or aligners is essential to ensure they work effectively and maintain your oral health. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to take care of them:

Braces Care:

  • Brushing: Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Flossing: Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under the wires.
  • Rinsing: Rinse with an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash to help reduce plaque buildup and strengthen your teeth.

Aligners Care:

  • Cleaning: Clean your aligners every morning and night using a soft toothbrush and clear, unscented antibacterial soap or a specialized aligner cleaner. 
  • Brushing and Flossing: Always brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in to prevent trapping food particles and bacteria.
  • Handling and Storage: When removing your aligners, handle them gently to avoid cracking or damaging them.

By following these care tips, you can ensure that your braces or aligners remain effective and your treatment progresses smoothly. 


Navigating your orthodontic journey can be much smoother when you’re armed with the right questions and information. So make sure to remember these questions to ask your orthodontist during the consultation.

At Fowler Orthodontics, we believe that every patient deserves personalized, high-quality care. We’re here to answer all your questions and guide you through each step of your orthodontic journey. Whether you’re considering braces, Invisalign, or other treatments, our goal is to make your experience as comfortable and effective as possible.