If you are reading this article, it is safe to assume you need to be welcomed to the world of braces. Congratulations! You are on your way to a gorgeous smile!
Wearing braces can take a little getting used to. It’s not difficult to take care of them, but there are specific TIPS and TRICKS that, if followed, will ensure you achieve your most beautiful smile as quickly as possible!
Your teeth may become sore after braces are first placed in your mouth. You may also feel some soreness after adjustments. This discomfort is normal, and should subside completely within two to three days. There are, however, a couple things you can do to ease your discomfort.
(TRICK #1) Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol or Advil will usually provide immediate relief.
Some irritation to your cheeks or tongue is also common and should subside soon.
(TRICK #2) We will provide you with wax to apply to irritating brackets to lessen tenderness.
(TIP #1) However, if you feel something sharp poking you, or if sores develop, call us immediately so that we can properly adjust your braces for a more comfortable fit.
The rubber bands that are often attached to braces are called elastics. Their job is to exert pressure so that your teeth slowly move to the desired location. Constant pressure is needed to obtain the best possible results.
(TIP #2) Therefore, you must carefully follow your orthodontist’s instructions about how to wear your elastics to ensure that your treatment goes as planned. Any time you fail to follow your doctor’s instructions your progress will be delayed which will make your treatment time longer. Please follow directions!
(TIPS #3-9) to help with elastics:
• Always wear your elastics exactly as instructed. You are responsible for this portion of your orthodontic treatment!
• Remove your elastics only when brushing your teeth and while you are eating.
• Replace your elastics immediately after brushing and/or meals.
• Always carry elastics with you, so if one breaks, you can replace it right away. When your elastics supply is low, call the office and we’ll mail you an additional supply of elastics.
• If you forget to insert your elastics one day, don’t double up the next day! Just continue to follow your normal routine, and try not to miss any additional days.
• It is very important to change your elastics as directed. Elastics need to be changed as directed, even if they are not broken. Rubber bands quickly lose their elasticity. Once the bands lose elasticity, they no longer provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws to make the necessary changes in your bite.
• If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band becomes loose, or a hook breaks off, call our office immediately. Don’t wait until your next appointment. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible.
A palatal expander is a commonly used orthodontic device. It is used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together better.
You will need to make a few changes in your eating habits while wearing braces. Many hard foods can damage or break your braces.
(TIP #10) Hard or sticky foods are the most likely culprits when brackets or wires are damaged while eating. Habits like biting your nails, or chewing on pencils can also damage your braces. With proper care and attention you can avoid broken or damaged braces or appliances. If you have many broken brackets, your treatment time may become longer. Additionally, excessive replacement of broken brackets and wires can result in additional charges.
(TIPS #11-17) for eating with braces:
• Do not eat hard foods such as nuts, ice, or crisp taco shells.
• Cut hard fruits and raw veggies, such as apples or carrots, into pieces instead of eating them whole.
• Avoid eating popcorn, and cut corn off of the cob before eating.
• Avoid sticky foods of any sort.
• Absolutely do NOT chew gum, sugarless or otherwise.
• Minimize sugar intake.
• Minimize consumption of soda.
• Sugar Daddies
• Caramel Apples
• Sugar Babies
• Tootsie Rolls
• Now & Laters
• Corn on the Cob
• Pizza Crusts
• Carrots (uncooked)
You will probably notice that it is a little harder to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces. Food can get lodged in between brackets and between your teeth. It’s always important to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth, but when you wear braces these habits are especially important! If plaque remains on your teeth for any length of time, it will leave a permanent white scar on the surface of your tooth.
(TRICK #3) Therefore, brushing after meals should become a regular part of your daily routine.
• Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to the tooth. (TRICK #4) Brush the lower teeth using an upward angle from the gums and brush the upper teeth using a downward angle from the gums.
• Brush in small circles above and below the brackets.
• Brush each tooth and your gum line for about 10 seconds a piece.
• Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
• Braces are hard on toothbrushes and cause them to wear out faster! Replace your toothbrush as soon as the bristles start to fray.
• You may find a water pick to be helpful in cleaning your braces, but remember that it will not remove plaque and that brushing is still important.
• We recommend Sonicare toothbrushes, which are very effective in removing food particles and plaque.
• Don’t forget to floss… Every day!
• Carefully pull waxed floss between the wire and the braces, and around each tooth.
If you follow these tips and tricks, you will be on your way to a beautiful, bright smile in no time!
GENERAL EMERGENCY INFORMATION:
First call the office…. If we are in the office we will discuss what to do.
If we are not in the office the message will have an emergency cell phone number…
PLEASE check the office message first….
Then leave a message on the number we give on the office phone and you will usually be called by that evening to discuss your problem and make arrangements.
If you do NOT hear from us by late that night or certainly the next morning, please call the number AGAIN…. And remember… we don’t know your number so PLEASE TALK SLOWLY so we can understand… usually when a patient does not get a call back it is because we could not understand the number either because the caller was not clear or part of the number was cut off by static/interference!
Following this we have some helpful hints to evaluate and help your situation:
Call the office, first, to come in….
Bracket on tooth is loose: Please remember, a bracket cannot be “a little loose.” It is either on the tooth or not and if it is not on the tooth, it cannot efficiently move the tooth. If the bracket is not bothering the patient, call during office hours to make an appointment to have it bonded back on. If the bracket is annoying to the patient because, for example, it has turned on the wire, call the office to come in and we can remove the loose bracket and at that time an appointment will be made to have the doctor re-bond the bracket.
Buccal tube is loose: The buccal tube is located on the first permanent molar in the back of the mouth. If the patient has started with brackets on the front four or six teeth, use a toe nail clipper (a scissor will not work) and clip the wire as close to the back of the front bracket as possible. You will remove the loose buccal tube and the wire together. At least this will make the patient comfortable. Call our office and set up an appointment to have the buccal tube and wire replaced.
Pokey wire: Every patient is given wax and oral instructions on how to use it when their braces are first bonded on their teeth. Extra wax is available upon request at the office. If a wire is pokey, first, dry it off with a paper towel, gauze, clean dry wash cloth. It must be dry for the wax to stay in place. Break off a small piece of wax, about the size of a green pea and put it on the pokey wire. This will temporarily keep the wire out of the patient’s cheek. This doesn’t actually fix the wire so please call the office and even if we are not open for patients, there is someone available to fix the wire and make the patient comfortable.
Split Plate is Loose: If the patient should notice that the split plate is loose during the time that it is still being turned, STOP turning the plate until it can be seen. Call the office and get the phone number to let us know and discuss it. Often we will tell you to undo 2 or 3 turns to make the patient comfortable. If the turning is finished, call the office for further instructions on what needs to be done and we’ll usually just re-bond that side.
What is a removable brace? A removable brace is called a removable appliance because you can take it out. You should wear it all of the time, even at night and for eating. The only time you take it out is when you are cleaning your teeth and when you need to clean the appliance.
What is a fixed brace?
Fixed braces cannot be taken out on your own. They only come of your teeth at the end of treatment. Special brackets are stuck onto your teeth, through which a wire is passed to put force onto you teeth. Since you cannot take them out, you will need to pay extra special attention to cleaning your teeth while you are wearing the braces. Special brushes can be bought at the practice to make this easier.
What are retainers?
Retainers are designed to keep the teeth straight after your braces have been removed. They do not move your teeth, like a brace, but they do stop your teeth from trying to move back into the position they moved from. It is very important that you wear your retainers and follow the advice you have been given. If you do not follow the advice then your teeth will regress. What a shame if this was to happen after all the effort to give you a fantastic new smile.
When can I start treatment?
Once you have been seen for an initial consultation, and if you are ready and eligible for treatment, we will arrange an appointment for you to start your treatment.
How long do I have to wait for an appointment when my dentist has referred me?
We commit to seeing new patients referred to us within approximately 4 weeks.
What happens at the Consultation appointment?
At this appointment we take a look at your teeth. We may take x-rays, photographs and impressions of your teeth.
Do you treat adults?
Yes! We have an increasing number of adults who are realizing the benefits of orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance of their teeth, giving them a beautiful smile and better facial appearance. This leads to increased self esteem and confidence. Adult treatments are all done on a private basis.
How much does private orthodontic treatment cost?
The cost depends on what needs to be done and the treatment option which is chosen. We can only advise you at the consultation stage, and provide you with the overall cost of treatment most suited to you.
Remember orthodontics is an investment in your appearance, so it is worth having a consultation.
What payment plan do you offer for private treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your appearance. It can help with your confidence and your willingness to smile. We encourage our private patients to pay as you go on an interest free monthly payment plan . You can spread the cost of your investment in your appearance over the duration your treatment, making it simple and easy for you to budget.
We offer an interest free payment plan which can be spread over 12-24 months . Please discuss these options with the orthodontic team.
We also accept credit cards.
Can Private patients make priority bookings?
Yes! If you are a private patient, one of the benefits is being able to make bookings for several appointments in advance. This means that you will be able to choose appointments, which suit you well. The practice also reserves times during the week for private patients only.
For how long will I need to wear my braces?
The duration of the treatment depends upon your condition and what needs to be done. If you are receiving private treatment, then this will also depend upon the type of brace, which you have opted for.
How often will I need to visit the orthodontist?
As a rule of thumb, we see you every 6-12 weeks depending upon your brace and the stage of treatment.
Will it hurt?
Treatment may be uncomfortable after the tightening of your braces for a few days. This pain can be relieved with the use of painkillers, and this will be discussed by the team once you have started your treatment.
Will it affect my speech?
This will depend upon the type of brace, which you have. We will discuss this with you, once you have had your braces fitted.
Which foods should I avoid?
You should cut out all sugary snacks and fizzy drinks as they are not good for healthy teeth and gums. Try to drink plenty of water and milk between meals. Hard foods can cause breakages so they are best avoided. Breakages can lead to treatment time being prolonged and the inconvenience of repairs. So eat with care, and look after your investment.
Will my teeth stay straight after treatment?
At the end of treatment, your teeth will have moved from their natural position and have a tendency to move back. We will provide you with a retainer to prevent the teeth from moving back. We will provide with full instructions on how you can keep your smile looking beautiful.
Do I need to see my own dentist during my orthodontic treatment?
Yes! Please! We like to maintain a good relationship with your dentist throughout treatment and keep them informed as to your progress. We ask you to see your dentist for your regular check–ups to make sure that you have excellent oral hygiene and health.
Do I need to be referred by my dentist to have an appointment?
Not at all, we will keep your dentist informed after your first visit to us. We are delighted that many of our patients come to us through recommendation from previous patients.
Retainers are devices used primarily to hold teeth in place after an orthodontic treatment (such as braces). Retainers are typically made of wire or plastic. You may be asked to wear a retainer at night, in the day time or both. There are four basic retainer types; Hawley, Essix, fixed and night guard retainers.
Hawley Type Retainers – The Hawley retainer is the most common retainer type. It includes a metal wire that is attached to a plastic arch that fits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires are formed to surround the teeth to keep them in place and can be adjusted as necessary for proper fit and minor tooth movement. Most recently, innovation has allowed the metal wires to be replaced with a clear wire for more a more pleasing appearance.
Essix Type Retainers – The Essix retainer is another popular retainer type. This retainer is a transparent plastic device that has been vacuum formed to a mold specific to the patient. Essix retainers do not allow the upper and lower teeth to contact since plastic covers the entire chewing surface. Essix retainers are easier to wear than Hawley retainers and are less expensive. However, it patients suffer from Bruxism ( grinding of teeth), Essix retainers may not be a viable option.
Fixed Retainers – A fixed retainer is are semi-permanent retainers consisting of a wire that is bonded to the inner surface of the patient’s teeth. These retainers cannot be removed by the patient. Fixed retainers are often used after orthodontic treatments have significantly altered teeth placement and when there is a risk of the teeth migrating out of their desired positions. Fixed retainers are typically placed for over a year and are often permanent.
Night Guard Retainers- These retainers are often used to prevent damage from teeth grinding (Bruxism) at night. Instead of damaging teeth when the patient clenches or grinds his or her teeth, the mouth guard absorbs the force and wear caused by Bruxism. The retainer looks similar to the Essix retainer but has material properties designed to withstand the forces of Bruxism.
Do’s and Don’ts for Retainers
• Wear your retainers as instructed by your orthodontist. Failing to do so, may allow your teeth to move back to their previous position.
• Take your retainer out when you eat.
• When you remove your retainer, place them in their case.
• Do not wrap your retainer in a napkin. Someone is sure to throw it out.
• Brush your retainers as instructed to eliminate plaque and odors. Nobody likes bad breath. Your retainer can give you bad breath.
• Keep your retainers away from heat. This includes washing machines, dash boards, and direct sunlight.
• Do not put your retainer in your pocket. It is easy to break in when you sit down.
• Retainers are attractive to pets and children. Be sure to keep them in their case and out of reach of animals and children. Nothing good happens when your retainer ends up with a pet or young child.
• If retainers are broken, lost or melted, call your orthodontist immediately. Living without your retainer will allow your teeth to move.
• Remove retainers when swimming.
• Don’t move your retainer with your tongue. It is easy to break them this way.
• If questions or concerns come up, feel free to call our office.
Some people are embarrassed by their braces. Don’t be. Although you might think that your smile with braces is undesirable, this is usually your view and not the rest of the world’s opinion. In many situations, encounters with other adults will stimulate curiosity and admiration. If that doesn’t satisfy you, just remember that when they are removed, you will most likely have a smile that is better than most people’s smiles. The typical 18-24 month brace period will be well worth it.
The most difficult period with braces occurs during the first week or two after they have been implemented. During this period, you may experience sensitivity or soreness in your mouth. This is normal for the first week. Often times, rinsing with warm salt water is often sufficient to reduce the pain. If that does not work, take an over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil. If you experience irritation due to lip or cheek tissue rubbing on the appliance, applying wax to the appliance in the localized area often helps. If the pain persists, see your orthodontist for assistance.
During the first week or two, you may need to be careful about what you eat. It is a good idea to eat only soft foods. Avoid difficult to chew foods such as meats, hard crust bread and carrots. As your braces “settle in” you will be able to regain your normal eating regimen. However, you must realize that your braces are not iron clad. Avoid hard or crunchy foods like hard candy, popcorn kernels, etc. Additionally, chewy foods can be hard on your braces. Gums, caramels, tootsie rolls should be avoided. Cut your food up in small pieces and chew near the back teeth. Avoid chewing ice.
You should also keep in mind that your braces are always gradually moving your teeth. Your orthodontist has a “game plan” to move your teeth in the right direction and at the right pace. Over time, you will probably go through phases of this plan because your teeth movement is usually not linear. Your orthodontist may move a tooth in one direction during the first phase and then move it in another direction during a later phase. Therefore, it is vital that you follow his or her instructions carefully and consistently. This will assure the best results in the shortest period of time. By not following instructions, the length of time you have your braces on may be extended or the results may not be what you want.
Proper dental hygiene is even more important when you have braces than when you do not. Because the braces create additional surfaces and detail in which food particles and decay can form, it is vital that you brush and floss regularly. Usually, prescription strength fluoride toothpaste is recommended.
If for any reason you receive a significant impact to your mouth, as a result of an accident, sporting activities or from any other activity, thoroughly check your braces to make sure they have not been damaged or altered in any way. If you regularly engage in physical sports, you may want to have your dentist make you a custom mouth guard to wear during these activities.
Early Treatment (Ages 7-10)
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests an initial orthodontic evaluation at age 7: Why?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment, as different problems are better treated at different ages. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but we can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment. However, a short “Phase One” treatment is sometimes needed between ages 7-10 to help ensure healthy growth and development. At your child’s dental visits, your dentist should be able to tell you when the optimal time might be to see an orthodontist.
What makes this the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars have erupted, or come through the gums, establishing the bite of the back teeth. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships, as you bite and slide your teeth around. Also, the presence of erupting incisors (front teeth) can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or overly-gummy smiles.
What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment usually lasts about 6-12 months. While the ultimate goal of orthodontic treatment with children is the elevation of self-esteem and self-confidence, the primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant skeletal problems to prevent them from becoming more severe. This is typically reserved for width discrepancies between the two jaws, bony asymmetries, or Class III growth tendency (the tendency for the lower jaw to outgrow the upper jaw).
Why screen by age 7?
The posterior bite is established when the first molars (permanent back teeth) erupt, or come up through the gums, around age six. At this time, the doctor can evaluate the relationship of both the front and back teeth, as well as discover any functional shifts that may occur when the jaws slide and the teeth come together. Because the incisors (front teeth) will be erupting around this age, certain problems like crowding, deep bites, open bites thumb or finger sucking habits, and some facial asymmetries can be detected early.
For some, a timely screening will lead to significant treatment benefits; for most, this initial screening will provide a guide for a long-term treatment plan.
The benefits of early treatment
For those patients who have clear indications for early intervention, early treatment presents the opportunity to:
• Influence jaw growth in a positive manner.
• Harmonize width of the dental arches.
• Improve eruption patterns.
• Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors.
• Correct harmful oral habits.
• Improve aesthetics and self-esteem.
• Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics.
• Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth.
• Improve some speech problems.
• Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth.
Numerous clinical research trials have demonstrated that untreated malocclusions (an improper bite) can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping or being knocked out. Cross bites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. And, open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontic treatment does more than make a beautiful smile: it creates a healthy, functioning bite.
The pre-teen and adolescent years represent an ideal time to firmly solidify that glowing smile! When all or almost all adult teeth have erupted, The doctor will be able to work to create the coolest smile in town! Even if you didn’t have a screening as a child, now is the perfect time to have an evaluation.
Who hasn’t seen their friends walking to class sporting their school or holiday colors across their teeth? These are not the painful, bulky braces your parents wore in the 1960’s or 1970’s! Today’s braces can be decorated with cool elastic colors, or be nearly invisible – the color of “ice”. Every smile is unique and spectacular, and you get to help the doctor decorate your smile exactly as you like. The doctor is committed to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that is truly remarkable and lasts a lifetime!
Who is a good candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Were you the negligent teenager who refused to wear her retainer after orthodontic treatment or were you the one never allowed that glorious opportunity to sport a mouth full of metal down the school halls? Have you noticed that your teeth have continued to change as you’ve gotten older? Well, now is your time to bring back the healthy, beautiful smile!
Whether or not you’ve had braces before, you could be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment, if you have healthy gums and good bone structure around your teeth. And, the bonus is that these are not the painful, bulky metal braces of the 1960s and 1970s anymore. Today’s braces can be nearly invisible – the color of “ice”- or be completely clear, like Invisalign. You can also sport any color elastics on your braces to match your wardrobe, season, or sporting event. Why not start the road to a healthier, happier, smilier you today? After all, we are hoping you leave smiling with confidence!
Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
A smile can be improved at any age. As a child, early orthodontic screening and treatment can lead to dramatic improvement in long-term oral health, as well as increased self-esteem and confidence. But, braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Adults, with healthy gums and bone structure, can also benefit from orthodontic treatment. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for all age groups.
Orthodontic treatment as an adult can dramatically improve the health of your teeth and gums, as well as personal appearance and self-esteem. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, and abnormal wear of tooth enamel surfaces. Malocclusions, or bad bites, occur as a result of tooth misalignment or jaw discrepancies and can affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
The doctor uses the latest technology in orthodontic techniques and appliances, including metal braces, clear braces, as well as clear aligners, like Invisalign®, which are primarily used for milder cases of tooth movement. He will work with you to choose the most appropriate appliance to fit your needs.
The doctor thoughtfully offers the following to his patients who seek results later in life:
• A separate Adult Treatment Room for patients who prefer privacy
• Clear brackets in addition to the traditional stainless
• Invisalign™ treatment for limited tooth movement and treatment of relapse.
• State of the art technology which means minimal discomfort during tooth alignment
• Retainer treatment for minor tooth movement
• Braces on upper or lower arch only (limited treatment goals)
Technically proficient and friendly orthodontic team
Diagnosis and treatment plan by an Invisalign®-trained orthodontist
We will give you an initial examination to determine if Invisalign® treatment is right for you. If it appears that Invisalign® is an option, we will take photographs, x-rays, and an impression of your teeth. The doctor will then complete further diagnostic analysis to verify that Invisalign® will work for you and create a treatment plan that will determine exactly how the teeth are straightened. At that time, we will be able to let you know if you qualify for orthodontic insurance benefits and the estimated cost and length of treatment. When the treatment plan is complete, your records will be sent to Invisalign® along with your the doctor’s instructions. Using the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign® will translate the doctor’s instructions into a series of precisely customized aligners.
You will wear each set of aligners for about two weeks. Each set of aligners will gradually move your teeth closer and closer to the desired result. You will need to wear these aligners all the time except when you are eating, drinking, or cleaning your teeth.
No metal wires and brackets
Because there are no metal wires and brackets, Invisalign® is more comfortable than traditional braces. And because they are removable, eating, brushing and flossing are no problem. You can still enjoy your favorite foods, and smile without holding back. With Invisalign®, there’s nothing to hide.
In both clinical research and in orthodontic practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth. The doctor’s Invisalign® treatment takes about the same length of time as traditional braces and is far more comfortable. Thousands of patients are taking advantage of this revolutionary treatment.
Convenient treatment at our office
Throughout treatment, we will arrange for check-up appointments about every six weeks to make sure that treatment is progressing as predicted. As treatment nears completion, we will design a retention plan to help you keep your smile for life.
Talk to the doctor today to see if Invisalign® is right for you
You can sleep knowing that your treatment is being diagnosed and monitored by the doctor, an Invisalign®-trained orthodontic specialist. We will even be able to finish your case with tooth whitening dentistry if you desire, to give you a gleaming, bright smile. If invisible braces i are what you are looking for, you’ve come to the right place.
“What is Invisalign®?”
Invisalign® is the invisible way to straighten your teeth without braces. Invisalign® uses a series of clear removable aligners to straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets. Invisalign® has been proven effective in clinical research and we have used it successfully .
“How Does Invisalign® Work?”
I recommend you wear each set of aligners for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position I have prescribed. You’ll visit our orthodontics office about once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.
“How Are Aligners Made?”
The aligners are made through a combination of our orthodontic expertise and 3-D computer imaging technology. Invisalign® is as close to invisible braces as you can get. Call today to find out if Invisalign® is right for you.
“Why should I consider Invisalign®?”
Invisalign® can help you get the great smile you’ve always wanted because it’s…
Invisible, so no one can tell you’re straightening your teeth. Now you can smile during treatment as well as after.
Removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment; plus brushing and flossing are no problem.
Comfortable, because it has no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time in our office getting adjustments.
Invisalign® Can Work for You
The doctor has found that a vast majority of adults and adolescents can be treated with Invisalign®. Invisalign® treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, space closure, narrow arches, relapse, anterior intrusion, and limited treatment cases.
“How Do I Get Started?”
Getting started with treatment couldn’t be easier. In fact, you can be on your way to straighter teeth and a beautiful smile within weeks of visiting us.
Step 1: Visit Our Orthodontics Office
During this first step you will need to make an appointment with the doctor, an Invisalign® Certified Orthodontist. During the initial visit, the doctor will help you decide on your course of treatment. The doctor will take bite impressions of your teeth and send them, along with a set of precise instructions, to Invisalign®.
Step 2: Invisalign® Makes Your Aligners
Invisalign® uses advanced 3-D computer imaging technology to transform your bite impressions into a custom-made series of clear and removable aligners. There may be as many as 48 in the series or as few as 12, depending on your individual treatment plan.
Step 3: You Receive Your Aligners in a Few Weeks
During your next visit to the office, you will receive your first set aligners. The doctor will most likely give you a few additional sets for you to wear before you return for your next visit.
Step 4: You Wear Your Aligners
You’ll wear each set of aligners day and night for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months, but will vary from case to case. You’ll visit the office only about every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
Step 5: You’ve Finished The Treatment
Congratulations! When you’re finished wearing each aligner in the series, your treatment will be complete and you will have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
Frequently Asked Questions
“How much does Invisalign® cost?”
As with other types of orthodontic treatment, the cost of Invisalign® is heavily dependent on the complexity of a patient’s case. However, the cost is generally more expensive than traditional braces. For more information about specific cost information, call our office.
Does insurance cover Invisalign®?
Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, we have found that if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign® should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.
“How does Invisalign® effectively move teeth?”
Like brackets and archwires, Invisalign® Aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign® not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.
Will TMJ affect Invisalign® treatment?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular, or jaw, joint. Individuals can have a number of problems with the jaw joint, some of which can be aggravated by appliances and treatments like Invisalign®. To find out if your TMJ problem will adversely impact dental treatment, consult your Invisalign®-certified doctor.
How can I pay my monthly bill?
Will braces affect playing sports?
What are retainers and why will I have to wear one?
What is it like getting my braces on?
How can I eat right with braces to avoid breakage?
How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?
How can I pay my monthly bill?
We accept the following forms of payment:
MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express
You can pay your bill online, by phone, by mail, or in person. We can also set up an automatic debit from your credit card, checking or savings account.
Will braces affect playing sports?
You should be able to play just about any sport or activity you desire. However, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard in contact sports or any sport where there is a risk of getting hit in the face.
What are retainers and why will I have to wear one?
Retainers help keep your teeth straight at the completion of treatment. If not worn as instructed, you teeth may shift back. Retainers are particularly important right after the braces are removed, during the time the teeth need to be stabilized. Retainers should be worn as instructed by the Orthodontist. If your retainer(s) become lost, damaged, or broken please contact the office immediately.
What is it like getting my braces on?
Braces are attached quickly and easily to your teeth with a strong adhesive. This appointment normally lasts around 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Braces may feel a little awkward at first and your teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal. Some discomfort and soreness are also normal but should go away within the first few days or even hours. Some patients choose to take over-the-counter pain relievers for the first day to lessen the discomfort. You can also do this before your appointment and as needed afterwards.
It is a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you are becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.
How can I eat right with braces to avoid breakage?
Braces may become loose and wires bent and/or broken as a result of eating certain foods. Any breakage could result in a disruption of your treatment and possibly extend the length of time required to finish your case. A well balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth. You should avoid anything too hard, sticky or chewy. We also advise that you avoid any foods or drinks known to cause cavities. Consult your orthodontist with any specific food questions.
Foods to Avoid:
Hard or sticky candy
Whole apples (sliced okay)
How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?
It’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy during treatment. This can be achieved by avoiding any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should also brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals. Food can get easily caught in brackets and wires, so it’s important to brush and floss not only for healthy teeth but a clean smile. We also recommend you continue cleanings with your general dentist every 6 months.
We offer the full range of cosmetic dental services including contouring or minor shaping of teeth , whitening at home or in the office, bonding with tooth colored filling materials, veneers, crowns, and bridges in all ceramic materials, custom designed dentures and orthodontics.
The state of the art in lost tooth replacement is now implant supported restorations. Implants are proving to be the longest lasting restorations yet. Artificial tooth roots can support single teeth or full arches and can be removable or permanently cemented
The key to good oral health, to keeping your smile healthy and beautiful is prevention. We will help you to develop a personalized home care routine, have regularly scheduled professional cleaning and exams, and provide the best, most effective home care products at the lowest possible price.
Pedodontics, or children’s dentistry should be fun. Bring kids in as soon as they have teeth. Let them get used to the sights and sounds of the office before they have any problems. Get them on a good preventive program early. Remember, 90% of all dental problems from cavities to gum disease and even oral cancer can be prevented.
Gum disease is responsible for the most tooth loss after the age of 30. Many people are not even aware they have it. Nearly all adults have some form of gum disease. Periodontics is the branch of dentistry dealing with periodontitis or gum disease. We provide non surgical treatment for gum disease. The key to controlling periodontitis is excellent home care and frequent professional maintenance appointments. A home care regimen will be tailored to fit your needs. Advanced cases are referred to a specialist or periodontist.
When disease or injury damages the nerve inside a tooth, it becomes a candidate for a “root canal.” If there is severe pain, minor treatment is done to control the pain and infection. Then endodontics, or the root canal procedure can be done painlessly in just one appointment.
We provide all contemporary restorative dentistry procedures. Both the traditional metallic and the newer nonmetallic restorations are available. Fillings can restore smaller cavities while larger ones require inlays, onlays, or crowns.
If you have lost some teeth, we offer prosthodontic replacements. Removable partial dentures are the most economical option. Fixed bridgework is cemented permanently and requires a larger investment. Implant supported bridges or dentures provide the most secure and longest lasting replacements but with a proportionally higher investment.
Oral surgery procedures are a part of our mix of services. Single or multiple extraction’s can be done and temporary partial or full dentures can be placed immediately. You never have to go without teeth. We have nitrous oxide “laughing gas” and can arrange IV sedation if desired. Complex procedures are referred to an oral-maxillofacial surgeon.
When teeth are crooked, crowded or spaced, they can be aligned with orthodontics. Braces can prevent or minimize developing problems in young children. Usually braces are delayed until all the permanent teeth are in. Many of our adult patients have braces to gain the straight smile they have always wanted. There is really no age limit for braces!
You are never too old for orthodontic treatment! We are often asked if it is possible for adults to have orthodontic treatment. The good news is that the teeth will straighten essentially the same in children and adults and that the braces will not interfere with an adult lifestyle. In fact orthodontic problems can and should be corrected in adults who were not privileged to have orthodontic care in childhood.
Orthodontic problems become worse if left untreated and tooth loss can ultimately occur if some problems are left untreated. The cost of orthodontic treatment is often less than the cost to treat the more serious dental problems which result in later years because of the original orthodontic problems.
Adult patients seek orthodontic treatment in our office for several different reasons:
Esthetics: An attractive smile can help enhance self esteem and self confidence which can make a positive difference at work, school and in the community. The public is more aware than ever of the advantages to be gained from an attractive smile. You should not feel vain in desiring a nice, esthetic smile.
Health: Crooked teeth are harder to clean. This makes the gum tissue susceptible to gum disease and the teeth prone to more decay. Straight teeth are definitely healthier teeth.
Function: Teeth which are crowded, spaced, protruding or misaligned do not usually function or meet the way that they should. This can result in excessive wear of the teeth, deterioration of the supporting bone and gum tissue or stress on the joints.
Comfort: Misaligned teeth and jaw joints can cause pain and discomfort in the form of dental pain as well as numerous tempromandibular joint (TMJ) problems.
Stability: Teeth that are well aligned can be stabilized so that the teeth are less susceptible to shifting and “re-crowning”.
The good news is that orthodontic treatment has never been easier, more efficient or more comfortable than now. The advanced techniques and materials we currently use have greatly reduced the discomfort of treatment as well as the overall treatment time and frequency of office visits. Be sure to ask us about “Mini” braces, invisible braces, clear braces, removable appliance treatment, Computer imaging, heat-activated wires and the other advancements now available for our patients.
Orthodontic treatment not only straightens crooked teeth but it also plays an important role in the improvement of overall oral health. Our goal is to achieve balance and harmony between the teeth and other facial structures. We also want to help you reduce your chances of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss.
As you consider the cost of orthodontic treatment you should consider the benefits of this lifelong investment; a healthier and more attractive smile. We have many adult patients who now enjoy the substantial benefits of an attractive and healthy smile from their orthodontic treatment. They have said that their orthodontic treatment was the best investment they have ever made in themselves.
Unlike anything else you buy to improve your appearance, your new smile can last a lifetime!
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.
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! 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.
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.
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.
Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
Take your retainers out when eating…and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
Retainer replacement is expensive…with proper care they will last for years!
Remove retainers when swimming.
Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
Removable Expander Instructions
Wear your expander all the time. That means all day, during meals, and while sleeping.
Remove your expander only to brush your teeth. Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Fixed Expander Instructions
Turn your expansion screws as instructed. Insert the key into the hole and turn toward the arrow.
If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, stop turning the expander.
If you play sports, it’s 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.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of 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. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out that you can’t take care of. It’s important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place.