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Orthodontic treatment can have a tremendous effect on both your oral health and your confidence in your smile. Although most people think orthodontic treatment always starts in the kids’ dentist office, that is no longer the case. Adults can and do get orthodontic treatment to fix parts of their smile that they are unhappy with and to achieve better health. During your next dental check-up in Lake Stevens, WA, find out if you are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment. If you decide to go forward with care, here are the three phases you can expect to go through.

Girl with orthodontic treatment


Your first few visits with your dentist or orthodontic may focus strictly on planning your treatment. During these appointments, your dentist will take a complete medical history, perform an oral exam, and take molds of your teeth. He or she may also take computer-generated photos of your head and neck and X-rays of your teeth and jaws. Using this information, he or she will talk to you about your treatment options and develop a care plan that will help you achieve your goals.

Active Treatment

The active treatment phase of orthodontic care is the part in which you are wearing your braces or aligners. During this phase, you will need to see your orthodontist on a regular basis for adjustments and to ensure that your treatment plan is progressing as expected. The number of times you need to see your orthodontist and the length of the active treatment phase depends on the kind of treatment you’re receiving and the nature of your orthodontic issues.


The retention phase is one of the most crucial parts of orthodontic treatment because it ensures that you keep the results you achieved during active treatment. Your orthodontist will create retainers for you to wear after your braces are removed or you finish with your aligner treatment. Retainers, which are removable in most cases, prevent your teeth from shifting back to their pre-treatment positions. Your orthodontist will advise you how long you need to wear your retainers.