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Author Topic: Orthodontic Patient Guides  (Read 932 times)

Offline jay82

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Orthodontic Patient Guides
« on: 01. November 2021, 00:26:30 AM »
Back in the early 1980s, I was an 11-year-old kid just beginning my orthodontic treatment.  At one of the early consultation appointments, either the one where the orthodontist outlined his plan for my treatment or the one after that where my mother agreed to proceed with treatment and signed all the papers, the orthodontist gave me some items to read.

The largest of these items was an orthodontic patient guide.  It was an 11"x8.5" booklet that explained orthodontic appliances.  I say 11"x8.5" rather than 8.5"x11" because it was in a landscape orientation rather than the usual portrait orientation of a book.  It had a red or orange cover and was about ten or twenty pages in length.  One of the pages near the beginning had a detailed drawing of a set of teeth with metal braces -- all bands, which were still the standard at that time.  The drawing showed bands, brackets, archwires, ligature wires, elastics, headgear tubes, and all the other parts of braces.  The rest of the booklet explained other orthodontic appliances, including spacers, palate expanders, retainers, headgear, elastics, etc., with a page or two devoted to each appliance.  The drawings of the appliances were quite detailed and realistic.  There were also other drawings of orthodontic patients wearing the various appliances, and these drawings were rather cartoonish.  As my treatment progressed and I got an expander, then braces and headgear, I marked the pages that showed those appliances.  The booklet was definitely produced for a younger audience, rather than for adult patients.

The orthodontist also gave me a few other items, but the one I remember best was a card, probably about 6"x5", that emphasized the importance of good oral hygiene while wearing braces.  The card had four photographs, all closeups of teeth.  One was a photo of clean teeth with braces, and another was of the same patient after the braces had been removed, with two rows of straight white teeth.  Another photo was of braced teeth with poor hygiene, along with another photo of the same patient after braces, with stained teeth.  This card was a favorite of my mother, who placed it in the corner of the frame of the bathroom mirror to serve as a reminder to me to brush my teeth properly.

These items were the type that were purchased in bulk by the orthodontist and distributed to new patients.  One of my friends who went to the same orthodontist had received all the same items that I did.  When my younger sister began orthodontic treatment at the same orthodontist a few years later, she received similar but not identical items.

I don't know what I did with all this stuff.  For a while, it was packed in a box, along with a couple plaster models of my teeth, as well as my orthodontic bands, a couple archwires, my palate expander, my headgear, and a couple retainers.  Yes, my orthodontist let me keep all of that stuff.  I don't know what became of any of it.  It probably got lost in a move or during a home remodeling project.

I'm sure that today, new orthodontic patients are just referred to some webpage with all of this information, rather than being given printed material.  Anyone else remember getting stuff like this, way back when?

Offline bugbathe43

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Re: Orthodontic Patient Guides
« Reply #1 on: 01. November 2021, 15:44:52 PM »
I got the same stuff 30+ years the first time I had braces. It was 1987 and my Orthodontist must of had a lot of metal bands in stock because as a adult I had full bands for 3 years. I was one of a few adult patients he had at that time but we all had full bands and I was one of the lucky ones to also wear a headgear.