Life with Braces
Life After Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, these braces straighten your teeth by connecting with metal archwires. With metal braces, you have the awesome option of adding colored ties (rubber rings that circle the braces) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Clear braces are tooth colored ceramic and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. Although they are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns, these braces have been used more recently by the younger children who feel the colored ties “pop” when placed on clear braces. While they are less visible than metal, they do require more attention to food selection, as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on front teeth than on the back chewing teeth.
The newest addition to our braces collection, the gold braces are more like a champagne color and tend to blend in with the color of teeth and gums. A very cool addition to this look is the gold archwires we use with these braces instead of the silver steel. Although color ties can be mixed in with these braces, most patients choose gold ties to hold in the wires.
Braces do take some time getting used to. Initially they will feel a bit sharp and intrusive to the surrounding tissues of the mouth. Teeth will also feel sore for the first few days, but will improve within a week’s time. The best advice is to use wax (given out at the first visit) around the braces to buffer the soft tissues and prevent irritation. If necessary, mild pain medication can be used, the same products and strength that are normally used for a headache. Although uncommon, a brace can become loose or a rubber tie can fall off. If this happens, just call the office to see what your next step should be. If the office is closed and the problem is painful or irritating, please call the office and follow the prompts to reach the doctor on call for further advice.
Yay!! Your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful. However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite complete. You see, teeth move throughout your lifetime with or without orthodontic treatment… It’s called the aging process. The good news is that we have a way to keep your smile looking its best or close to it. We have two types of retainers in our practice that we use based on the original position of your teeth. We call them FIXED and REMOVABLE retainers. Fixed retainers are “glued” to the inside surface of your front teeth and are non-removable while removable retainers are usually worn during sleep hours. While fixed retainers generally last three to five years, care must be taken not to bite on hard foods with the front teeth or the retainer may break or become loose. We recommend removable retainers be worn “night time for lifetime”!
Imagine orthodontic treatment that doesn't use wires or metal brackets, a treatment that has less discomfort and doesn't require you to largely change your current lifestyle. With Invisalign we can straighten your teeth and align your bite, all without having to deal with a mouth full of braces! Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable, and comfortable plastic retainers (aligners) that straighten teeth often faster and more efficiently than with traditional braces.
BENEFITS OF INVISALIGN
FEWER APPOINTMENTS NEEDED
IMPROVE ORAL HYGIENE
NO FOOD RESTRICTIONS
LIFE WITH INVISALIGN
Your adventure begins with a 3D scan of your teeth that allows the doctors to develop a customized treatment plan. Tooth-colored buttons are then attached to certain teeth to help execute proper tooth movement, and you are given your series of removable aligners to straighten your teeth.
Aligners must be worn 22 or more hours per day to work effectively. To avoid cavities or stains on the teeth, it is important to remove the aligners when eating or drinking anything other than water. Generally, patients change aligners every 1-2 weeks and come back into the office periodically to check progress.
After each series of aligners is completed, tooth and bite alignment are evaluated and if not ideal, a new scan is taken to fabricate new aligners to continue movement. Once the teeth and bite are properly aligned, attachments are removed and retainers are placed to help maintain your new smile.