Let's Talk Orthodontic!

Braces Education 101

Metal Braces

Traditional Metal 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, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

metal braces


Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

clear braces


Invisible (Clear) Dental Braces

Invisalign®

Clear appliances (such as Invisalign®) use a series of clear trays to straighten your teeth. From a distance the appliances are only slighly visible.  These appliances are used generally for minor tooth guidance. There are numerous draw backs including but not limited to:  Cooperation is a full time commitment (and your result is predominantly based upon this), expectations should be limited, speech may be affected, and braces may be required to complete treatment.

invisalign

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth and are therefore "invisible" when you smile. Lingual braces are 100% customized to match the shape of your teeth and therefore the metal appliances are created uniquely for you. Lingual braces afford patients the option of appliances for those who cannot have them show.  Patients such as athletes, models, actors, wind instrument musicians, and adults are great candidates for these appliances.

lingual braces

 


 

What Should You Know About Braces?

 

Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let's talk about what you shouldn't eat! If you've been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you'll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice

  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips

  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum

  • Hard foods: nuts, candy

  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new corrected positions.

Loose Wire or Band

Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Please call our office if you have any questions.

If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office on your next visit.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

Brushing

It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Athletics

If you play sports, it is important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.