An In-Depth Exploration of the Stages of Orthodontic Treatment

Get to know the stages of orthodontic treatment so you are better prepared for when you start your dental alignment

Sometimes, orthodontic treatment holds the keys to an amazing transformation of the smile. Unfortunately, not everyone takes advantage of that opportunity since they are wondering if treatment is really necessary.

Well, Fort Worth orthodontic treatment is necessary for those who suffer from dental issues like malocclusions or misalignments. The best way to know if you need orthodontic care is by attending an initial consultation with an orthodontist, who will be happy to tell you all you need to know about possible treatments.

How Do Braces Work to Straighten Your Teeth?

Just imagine that orthodontic appliances give your teeth a little push in the right direction. To achieve this, braces or aligners apply controlled and gentle pressure to your teeth, allowing them to remodel and slowly move. After some time, maybe a few months or years, the bone adapts to the new tooth position, resulting in a beautifully aligned smile.

Fort Worth Orthodontists are dental specialists who understand the biomechanics of the appliances and plan the force direction to achieve the desired tooth alignment carefully.

What Is Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontics can be considered as a journey toward a healthy and attractive smile, carefully organized in a series of essential steps that include an initial consultation, a treatment plan, follow-up appointments, removal of appliances, and finally, the retention phase.

What Are the Stages of Orthodontic Treatment?

In orthodontics, treatment usually involves three important stages, including planning treatment, the active phase, and retention. Let’s explore this further:

Planning Stage:

During the initial stage, the orthodontist will evaluate your dental situation. To achieve this, they can take X-rays and impressions of your teeth. Then, they will create a personalized treatment plan based on the previous evaluation, and they will determine what type of orthodontic appliance best suits your needs.

Active Treatment:

In the active phase, the dental professional will install the appliances on your teeth. After that, you should attend regular appointments, where the orthodontist will make necessary adjustments to your treatment.


Retention is the last stage of treatment, and it involves using a set of retainers to maintain the teeth in their correct positions.

Why Retention Is Necessary After Orthodontic Treatment?

After the active stage, the bone and tissues around your teeth will need time to adapt to their new positions. This is why retention is essential after completing your treatment; it will help stabilize your teeth alignment and prevent relapse.

How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Take?

It is important to understand that the treatment time is different for each patient since it depends on several factors, such as their age, the complexity of their dental issues, and their response to treatment. However, the average time of each stage of treatment can be approximately:

  • The active phase of treatment is about 12 to 18 months for most cases.
  • The retention stage can last for several months to a few years.

Remember that these are average durations of treatment, and only your orthodontist can give you accurate information about your specific dental case.

What Is the Average Cost of Orthodontic Treatment?

Now, you may be wondering how much orthodontic treatment costs. Well, the prices will depend on your case, including your location and the experience of the orthodontist you chose. In addition, there are payment plans and dental insurance coverage that can influence the final cost of your treatment. We can offer you an approximate national average cost for orthodontic appliances:

  • The cost of traditional metal braces ranges from $3,000 to $7,000.
  • Invisalign offers treatment from $3,000 to $8,000 on average.

You should take into consideration that these are just approximate prices, and the definitive cost of treatment can vary depending on where you live and the complexity of your case. However, the best way to find out the cost of treatment for your specific needs is to book an appointment with an orthodontist.

Should You See the Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment?

Yes! You should keep attending follow-up appointments with your dentist, even if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Having braces can make your hygiene routine more challenging since the appliances make more space for bacteria and food residue to accumulate. Regular visits to your dentist can help you avoid these issues because they will examine you and give you professional cleanings.

Dentists will help you remove plaque that can be hard to reach with regular brushing and flossing through these professional cleanings. As a result, you will maintain great periodontal health while preventing dental issues, such as cavities and gum disease. In addition, regular dental check-ups with your dentist will allow them to examine your mouth, look for signs of tooth decay, and provide you with treatment if necessary. Working closely with your orthodontist and dentist will ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout your orthodontic process.

What Is the Best Age for Orthodontic Treatment?

Although orthodontics can benefit patients of all ages, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that kids have their first consultation around the age of 7. This doesn’t mean that they will start treatment right away, but it will allow orthodontists to examine their teeth and prevent bigger issues in the future. It is true that younger patients, like kids and teenagers, will have faster results. However, orthodontics has no limited age, and adults can have effective outcomes as well; they just need to be more patient.

In conclusion, the ideal age for treatment will depend on your specific case and situation. Remember that it is never too late to achieve a healthier and straighter smile!

What Is the Purpose of Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment?

Interceptive treatment refers to an early intervention, typically focused on addressing orthodontic issues in children while they are still growing, which allows orthodontists to identify dental issues before they get more complicated.

This treatment has several benefits, such as guiding the development of the jaw and, minimizing potential treatment complexity, reducing the duration of orthodontic treatment in the future. Generally, interceptive treatment involves two phases:

Phase I:

In the initial phase, the orthodontist examines the kid’s dental structure; this will allow them to identify any potential issues. This phase of interceptive treatment focuses on creating space for permanent teeth, correcting bite issues, and guiding the growth of the jaw.

Phase II:

For the next phase, the orthodontist waits until the patient has all of their permanent teeth, usually in their teenage years. This phase involves a more complete orthodontic approach, like the use of orthodontic braces, to align the teeth and jaws.

Does Orthodontic Treatment Hurt?

Orthodontic appliances shouldn’t hurt; however, they can cause a little bit of discomfort, especially after their installation. This happens because the pressure and forces of the braces are moving the teeth into their correct positions. So don’t worry! This uncomfortable sensation means that your braces are doing their job.

In addition, you need to understand that the soreness is temporary, and it should stop in a few days after your mouth gets used to the pressure of your braces. We recommend that you eat soft foods during the initial stages of your treatment.

It is important to understand that experiencing severe pain is a sign that there is something wrong with your appliances, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your orthodontist.

Why More Adults Are Getting Orthodontic Treatment?

Nowadays, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of orthodontic care, especially among adult patients. Most of them didn’t have the opportunity to address their dental issues when they were younger, but now they are ready to invest in their oral health.

Let’s not forget that orthodontic technology has been advancing and creating more flexible treatment options, like removable aligners or clear braces, that suit a more mature and discreet lifestyle. So now, adults have more choices than ever to achieve the smile they always wanted.

In essence, grown-up patients acknowledge the importance of preserving the health of their teeth while also improving their aesthetics, which can boost their confidence in their social and professional lives.

Explore the Stages of Orthodontic Treatment with Perkins Orthodontics!

The team of Perkins Orthodontics is here to provide you with guidance in every stage of your treatment, from the planning phase to retention; they will help you achieve the smile of your dreams! In addition, they offer the best resources and most advanced technologies, giving you a wide range of treatment options. Dr. Evan Perkins will assist you in designing a personalized treatment plan that adjusts to your dental needs and lifestyle. So, don’t wait any longer! Schedule your orthodontic appointment today.