What To Expect on Your First Orthodontic Visit

We look forward to meeting new patients at their first visit to our office.

Looking for A Great Orthodontist in Seattle?

Dr. Paul Nelson, like his father before him, loves making people smile.

The first appointment takes one hour so that we can complete a thorough exam and have time to discuss any concerns you may have. A digital x-ray and photographs are taken so that an accurate diagnosis can be made. These records allow us to clearly show any orthodontic problems that are found. We will review our findings with you and discuss potential treatment options.

During the appointment, we address questions about the basics of orthodontic treatment. Some of these questions include:

  • Is there a condition that orthodontics can address?
  • Is treatment indicated now or should treatment be delayed until appropriate growth, tooth eruption, or other factors have occurred?
  • What treatment procedures will be used to correct the problem?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What are the payment options?

We encourage you to ask questions as well!

At the end of the appointment, we will give you a letter with photographs that summarizes our diagnostic findings, as well as offering recommendations regarding treatment. If treatment is recommended, you will also be given a fee estimate and payment options.

If you'd like to fill out your New Patient paperwork in advance, please contact the office.

If you have orthodontic insurance, please bring your insurance card. By providing this information at your first visit, we will be able to give you an accurate estimate of your costs.

Please call us 206-784-5372 to schedule this initial evaluation appointment. We look forward to meeting you!

Taking Care of Your Braces

Now that you have your braces in place, it is just as important if not more important to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine. Braces, wires, retainers, and bands can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease. Click on each section below to learn more about how to continue a proper oral hygiene routine while in braces.

  • Step 1 Start with the outside of the teeth, with the brush at a straight angle. Use circular, vibrating motions.
  • Step 2 Clean the area between the gums and the braces by angling the bursh down (up for the lower jaw). Keep moving in a circular motion.
  • Step 3 Clean the rest of the outside teeth by angling the bruch up (down for the lower jaw).
  • Step 4 Carefully brush the chewing surface of both the upper and lower jaw.
  • Step 5 Finish by brushing the inside of the teeth.
  • Step 1 Floss at least once a day. The floss needs to be pulled under the archwire. A floss threader facilitates this. Start by pulling floss through the threader.
  • Step 2 Push the end of the floss threader under the archwire and pull the floss through.
  • Step 3 Pull the floss up between the teeth and gently move it up and down the side of both teeth. Remember to move it up all the way under the gums.
  • Step 4 Pull the floss out and use a different section of it for the next tooth.

When you are finished brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth carefully with water or an antiseptic mouthwash.

An antiseptic dental rinse can help minor gum inflammations and irritations from orthodontic appliances. Also used to cleanse canker sores, minor wounds, and other mouth and gum irritations, this mouth rinse removes debris allowing natura healing.

An interdental toothbrush (proxabrush) is another aid you might find useful in keeping your teeth, braces and gums clean and healthy. It can be used to clean under orthodontic wires

During the retention phase, it is important to brush your retainer each time you brush your teeth as they can accumulate food particles and plaque.

Once a day, you should soak your appliance in a glass of room-temperature water with a denture cleaning tablet, such as Polident or Efferdent. This will help prevent plaque build-up and oral infections and will keep your appliance tasting better. Do not use hot water as it can warp the appliance.

Your teeth may be a little sore the first week in braces, so we recommend sticking to a soft food diet until the discomfort subsides. While in braces, you can still eat just about anything although there are a few exceptions.

You should avoid hard foods, such as ice and pizza crusts, as well as sticky foods, including licorice and caramels. These foods can damage wires and brackets. It is also important to minimize foods high in sugar content, like ice cream and cookies, and reduce sugary drinks to one per day.

Want to learn more?

Visit our Ask Joe page for short videos and infosheets with important tips and facts.


Policies and Financial Information

Our objective is to achieve outstanding results in a comfortable, friendly environment. We are generally open 7:10 AM – 5:00 PM Monday - Thursday to serve you.


Your scheduled appointment time has been reserved specifically for you. We request a minimum of 24 hours notice if you need to cancel your appointment. We are aware that unforeseen events sometimes require missing an appointment. After missing your second appointment without notifying us 24 hours in advance, you will be subject to an additional fee.



We see patients beginning at 7:10 AM. These early appointments are very popular since they occur before school or work. To maximize the number of patients accommodated before and after school, these are shorter appointments. Longer appointments, including placing appliances, and more technical adjustments, are typically done during the middle of the day.



Our office is committed to helping you maximize your insurance benefits. If you have insurance, we will be happy to assist in determining the coverage you have as well as file claims and answer questions. Orthodontic coverage is often a separate benefit in a dental insurance contract. To capitalize on your benefits, coverage must stay active during the entire course of treatment. Insurance may not cover charges for lost or broken appliances.


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