Posts Tagged ‘orthodontic treatment’

Choices in Straightening Your Teeth

Friday, June 13th, 2014

When it comes to achieving the smile you always wanted by straightening your teeth, you have a number of options these days. Patients have varying opinions about what they are willing to wear on their teeth during orthodontic work, so advancements in technology allow for other alternatives to the traditional metal braces.

Here are some common choices for teeth straightening:

Permanent braces

Made of metal or ceramics, these are the braces that probably come to mind first. Each bracket is permanently attached to the tooth for a secure fit. Permanent braces are highly successful for major realignments and restorative changes. Metal braces are durable but very noticeable in your mouth, while ceramic braces are somewhat less sturdy but can be colored to match your teeth.

Clear braces

Invisalign is a newer alternative to traditional braces, popular because they are made of clear plastic that makes them practically invisible. The trays gradually align your teeth as you’re wearing them, and are removable for eating and cleaning. Invisalign may not be the best choice for severe orthodontic issues, however, as they are most effective for minor to moderate treatment.

Lingual braces

Placed on the inside of your teeth, lingual braces are hidden from view. This type of treatment requires a very skilled orthodontist to properly install and adjust the braces, and not all patients are candidates. Lingual braces sometimes irritate your tongue and gums, so make sure you discuss this type of treatment thoroughly with your orthodontist to make sure you understand all the pros and cons.

Invisalign vs Traditional Braces

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Straightening teeth and correcting alignment used to mean a mouthful of metal braces. Thanks to advances in orthodontics, traditional metal braces are no longer the only option. Today there is a newer treatment called Invisalign, which consists of a series of customized aligners that gradually move your teeth into the correct position.

Benifits of Braces:

Invisalign provides a unique method of improving your smile, along with several other benefits that traditional braces do not offer.


The aligners are created from clear plastic, so they are practically invisible when worn. Unlike the bulky metal brackets and rubber bands worn with traditional braces, Invisalign retainers are hardly noticeable. This is very appealing to people who don’t want their braces to stand out in social or professional situations.


Invisalign retainers are not cemented to your teeth like metal braces. They can be removed for brushing and flossing, so that dental care is simple during your orthodontic treatment. You can also remove the aligners for special occasions like important social events or photographs. However, for the best results, you should follow your doctor’s instructions for the amount of time to wear the retainers.

Faster results

Treatment tends to take less time with Invisalign compared to traditional braces. Aligners are changed every two weeks to gradually move the teeth, which is a faster process than getting an adjustment at the orthodontist every six weeks or so with traditional braces. Often, patients undergoing Invisalign treatment achieve the desired results in only a year.

Tooth Extraction for Braces

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

If you are considering getting braces to improve your smile and the function of your mouth, you might require tooth extractions prior to getting the appliances on your teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend upon consultation that your treatment will be most effective after having some teeth removed. In fact, sometimes tooth extraction is the only way to achieve your goals for orthodontic treatment.

Reasons of Tooth Extraction for Braces

The most common reason for tooth extraction prior to braces is overcrowded teeth, in which space must be created to obtain proper tooth alignment. Doctors often recommend removing the teeth in sets of two or four, taking the same teeth from the top and the bottom at the same time. This helps create a symmetrical smile.

Another problem that can be aided from removing teeth is protrusion, which is when the upper teeth are out too far or the lower teeth are too far back. Tooth extraction can cause needed space to reposition the front teeth and stop the teeth and lips from protruding.

Overbites or underbites also sometimes require tooth extraction. When the upper jaw extends further than the lower jaw (overbite) or the lower jaw extends past the upper jaw (underbite), removing specific teeth can be helpful before moving the remaining teeth into better position. This can help prevent jaw surgery later.

If you and your orthodontist decide tooth extraction is best for you, often you will be referred to an oral surgeon. These specialists are trained to extract teeth with the ideal results and least pain. Usually you can return to your normal activities within a day or two of extraction, while following your doctor’s instructions for eating and oral care. Once your mouth has healed, you can return to your orthodontist to begin your braces treatment.

How to Know you Need an Orthodontist and How to Find One

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The best indication that you should visit an orthodontist is that you hide your smile or resist showing your teeth. If you are embarrassed about your mouth because your teeth are misaligned or crooked, then it’s time to seek the help of an orthodontist who can transform your smile into a straight and healthy one.

How can orthodontists help?

Orthodontists complete four years of dental school, plus several more years specializing in orthodontics. Orthodontists are trained in all aspects of giving you the ideal function and appearance for your mouth. They can treat malocclusion, which means that your bite doesn’t fit together as it should. Not only can you have the way your jaws line up corrected, but also the positioning of your teeth to make them straight and without gaps. Braces, aligner trays, headgear, rubberbands, and retainers are some of the tools that orthodontists may use during treatment.

What are some reasons to see an orthodontist?

You already know that an orthodontist can help straighten your teeth and correct your bite. These improvements will likely also enhance your overall oral health, since some mouth problems contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth loss. Your ability to speak and chew may also benefit.

At what age should you get orthodontist treatment?

Orthodontic treatment really doesn’t have an age requirement. Parents may begin taking their children for evaluations as young as age 7, just to catch problems early. Most children undergo treatment between ages 9 to 14, but it has grown increasingly common for adults to be treated as well. With advancements being made such as clear braces and hidden lingual braces, adults are more likely to consider orthodontic work. Each patient’s case is unique, but the average length of treatment is 1 to 3 years.

How do you choose an orthodontist?

Asking friends and family for recommendations is a good way to find an orthodontist. Some things to consider include office location, appointment hours, cost, office technology, staff personalities, and proposed treatment plan.

Dispelling Common Orthodontic Myths

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Starting orthodontic treatment can seem a little daunting. Understanding what is involved in having braces may help ease your mind. The following information will help you separate fact from fiction about what to expect from orthodontic therapy.

Some discussion about Orthodontic:

Myth: Getting braces will hurt.

Truth: You may experience mild soreness after the orthodontist places your braces, but this should subside after the first few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any discomfort.

Myth: I can’t play an instrument or participate in sports if I have braces.

Truth: Although you may have to get used to how your flute or clarinet feels with braces, you can continue to play your instrument during orthodontic treatment. The same goes for sports, but you need to speak with your orthodontist about a mouth guard. This soft, plastic device covers teeth and protects against injury.

Myth: After I get my braces off, my teeth will stay straight forever.

Truth: Once you finish with the active treatment phase, you will need to wear a retainer to keep teeth in their new position. Your orthodontist will fit you for the custom appliance and provide instructions for use. Often, patients start out wearing their retainers most of the day, but many move to a night-time schedule over time.

Myth: I’m too old for braces.

Truth: You can enjoy a beautiful, straight smile at any age. In fact, roughly 20 percent of orthodontic patients are 18 years or older. With options such as ceramic brackets, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear aligners, adult patients can preserve their mature images while achieving the sensational smiles they desire.

Kids and Invisalign

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

When it’s time to talk about braces for your child’s teeth, many kids cringe and cause a fuss. They don’t want to be teased for a mouth full of metal, deal with unsightly food getting stuck in their teeth, and spend years with an embarrassing smile. Now there’s an alternative to traditional braces called Invisalign, which eliminates many of the reasons kids reject the idea of getting braces.

Here are some of main reasons that Invisalign should be an easy sell to your kids:


The best advantage to Invisalign is that you can’t see it on your teeth. The clear plastic trays fit securely over the teeth, and are virtually invisible. Many people don’t even notice you are wearing Invisalign, which means no mocking from other kids or reluctance to smile.


You can take the Invisalign trays in and out of your mouth as desired. You’ll be able to clean your mouth just as you would without braces, so that it’s not only an easy process but also you have less risk for tooth decay or other problems related to poor hygiene.

No diet restrictions

Kids are especially thrilled with the fact that there are no limitations placed on their diets due to braces. Traditional braces restrict foods like popcorn, candy, and gum. Invisalign treatment allows you to eat as you normally would, so there’s less complaining from your kids during the treatment process.


Before you think that all these benefits mean that you’re giving up on the quality of orthodontic work, you can rest easy. Invisalign treatment effectively corrects alignment and straightening issues, and almost always in less time than traditional braces treatment requires. With Invisalign, the parents and the child are happy both during the treatment process and at the final outcome.

Deciding When your Child Needs Braces

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

You may have noticed that some kids begin orthodontic treatment at a young age, and others don’t begin until their teen years. The answer is that each patient is different, and the exact reasons your child needs braces will differ from other kids. Any way you look at it, you and your orthodontist will likely share the same goals for your child of a beautiful smile, healthy teeth, and confident attitude. Wearing braces can often help achieve those goals.

Reasons for braces

There are a variety of reasons that kids can benefit from braces. They straighten overlapping teeth or move crowded teeth to achieve the best alignment. Underbites, overbites, and other problems related to how the teeth fit together can also be corrected. Jaw problems and palate issues may be addressed so that the teeth fit better in the mouth.

When to get braces

Many factors contribute to an orthodontist’s recommendation as to when your child might benefit most from treatment. Most experts advise an initial orthodontic screening around age seven, when permanent teeth start erupting. Sometimes early intervention is helpful with young children to guide the teeth, palate, and jaw during growth. Palate expanders are an example of treatment that should be done early for the best results. Early intervention isn’t recommended for all kids, because some issues must be addressed after growth is complete. Your orthodontist can identify any problems that might be treated and suggest the ideal timing for correcting them.

What braces mean for your child

Even though braces are very common among young people today, your child may still have some hesitations about treatment. Appearance is a normal concern, but there are new technologies such as Invisalign or clear braces that are less obvious than traditional braces. Fun, colorful bands may be enough to entice some children to embrace the look instead of fear it. Playing musical instruments is possible for kids with braces, and participating in sports is also acceptable as long as your child wears a mouth guard for protection.

What to Know Before Visiting the Orthodontist

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

It’s a big commitment to get braces, so you want to be as educated as possible before taking this step. Here are some important things to know before going to the orthodontist for the first time.

Important points before Visiting the Orthodontist

Braces are more than just cosmetic.

Although the goal for many people in getting braces is to achieve perfectly straight teeth, that’s not the only advantage to orthodontic treatment. The appearance of your smile may be the first thing others may notice, but braces can also improve the alignment of your jaw and bite. Serious problems and pain can result from misalignment, as well as difficulties in cleaning overcrowded teeth.

Braces aren’t just for teenagers.

Often associated with adolescence, braces are no longer only popular with this younger age group. It has become a common solution for adults who want to straighten their teeth and improve their bite. Braces can improve your smile at nearly any age.

Consultations are usually free.

The first step in considering treatment is making a consultation appointment with an orthodontist. Your teeth and jaw will be examined, and any treatment options will be presented. Consultations are usually free, so visit several specialists to find the right one for you.

Treatment and costs vary.

Don’t rule out braces because you’re afraid of the cost or the length of treatment. Your specific case is unique to you, and both treatment and financial commitment vary from patient to patient.

Braces don’t hurt as much as you might think.

A common concern about braces is the amount of pain involved. You can expect some discomfort at first and after each adjustment, but the pain is typically short-lived and manageable.

Retainers after braces

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Your braces have been removed and your teeth are perfectly straight! It’s time to just enjoy your new smile since treatment is complete, right? Wrong! It’s time to wear your retainer so that your teeth stay in their new positions. A retainer is a custom-made appliance that continues to train your teeth to remain in place after your braces have been removed.

There are three types of retainers that orthodontists use to secure your new smile:

  • Hawley: The most popular style, this is the traditional metal wire attached to an acrylic piece that fits in the roof of your mouth. You can take it in and out as desired.
  • Essix: This type of retainer looks similar to Invisalign braces or to whitening trays. These are less noticeable than the traditional type, but are also flimsier and more breakable.
  • Bonded: This permanent retainer consists of a wire being glued to the back of your teeth, and it cannot be removed by the patient. Your orthodontist will decide how long it remains in place; some remove the retainer dependent upon wisdom teeth removal, and others keep the retainer in place forever. One downside to this retainer is that tartar is difficult for dentists to remove with the retainer in place, so it’s very important to brush and floss properly and to see your dentist regularly.

Your orthodontist will help you decide which retainer is best for you. No matter what kind it is, the key is to wear it regularly for the recommended timeframe. Initially, that will be all day long for a number of months. Later, you’ll be able to only wear it at night. Remember, if you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth will shift. It may be the last step of your orthodontic treatment, but it’s also one of the most important.

The Don’ts of eating with braces

Monday, June 9th, 2014

It’s not enough just to wear braces on your teeth; you have to hold up your end of the bargain. You must care for them as your orthodontist instructs, and that includes sticking to the diet guidelines. Some foods can loosen or break braces, which will probably mean you’ll have to wear the braces for a longer period of time. Follow these rules to achieve quicker treatment and a great smile.

DON’T eat hard foods with braces

Anything hard cannot safely be chewed with braces. Avoid items like raw apples and carrots, popcorn, nuts, hard candies, crunchy chips, corn on the cob, and ice.

DON’T eat sticky or chewy foods

Braces can be pulled apart by sticky foods. Don’t eat foods like taffy, caramels, gummy candy, jelly beans, caramel apples, and peanut brittle.

DON’T eat sugary foods

Braces make it harder to keep your teeth clean, and sugar can cause cavities, tarter buildup, and stains. Eat sparingly foods like soda, fruit juices, ice cream, candy, cake, cookies, and pie. If you do eat foods high in sugar, brush your teeth immediately afterwards.

DON’T eat highly acidic foods

Items high in acid content can lead to permanent stains and tooth damage. Avoid items such as sodas (even diet ones), citrus fruits, and lemon juice.

DON’T use your front teeth to bite foods

You can loosen your brackets by biting into foods with your front teeth. Cut meat off the bone from ribs or fried chicken, use a knife to cut corn off the cob, and tear or cut pizza into bite-sized pieces.

Check your profile here
Make your appoinment today
Connect with us on: