|Most people are familiar with the concept of orthodontic braces. However, some people are still unaware of the numerous options available today. Thanks to technological advancements and improved techniques, we here at New England Orthodontic Specialists specialize in a wide variety of braces and straightening appliances. During your consultation appointment, Diana Esshaki, DMD, MS and Neil Flückiger, DMD will be able to determine which appliance is right for you!
Traditional metal braces generally consist of three major components: brackets, a wire, and elastic bands. Each bracket is bonded to the front surface of a tooth. These brackets are then connected with a thin metal wire that is held in place by the elastic bands. Throughout your treatment, the wire is tightened to move your teeth to a more proper position.
Traditional metal braces can be very indiscreet and even stigmatized. For patients concerned with cosmetics, we may recommend ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, but the brackets are tooth-colored or even clear. In some cases, we also use a tooth-colored wire to improve aesthetics.
Clear aligner systems are a relatively new development in orthodontic treatment. The aligners are thin, clear trays that are custom-made using an impression, or mold, of your mouth. The trays put pressure on your teeth until they slowly move to a slightly better position.
Each tray in your series should be worn about 22 hours a day at two-week intervals. By the end of your series, your teeth should be in their proper position, or very close to it. Once your treatment is complete, we will fabricate a retainer, similar to your aligner trays, that prevents your teeth from moving back out of alignment. A retainer is an integral part of protecting your new smile!
Thanks to technological advancements and improved techniques, there are more orthodontic treatments than ever before. Even braces these days are less obvious and more comfortable. However, some people want a more discreet option. If your teenager needs orthodontic treatment, Invisalign Teen may be the answer! At New England Orthodontic Specialists, we understand that there is a certain stigma associated with wearing braces as a teen. Invisalign Teen is an excellent alternative for teenagers worried about cosmetics.
Learn More About Braces
Learning more about braces and Orthodontics will help you to feel more confident about the process you or your child is about to undergo. For many, the process can be confusing or difficult, which can cause stress or anxiety. Here at New England Orthodontic Specialists, we can provide you with everything you need to know about braces. This way, you can feel more comfortable about the upcoming procedure and overall straightening of your teeth.
Are Braces Needed?
The first step to orthodontics is to determine if braces are needed. The dentist will need to review your teeth and gums, taking x-rays, to determine if braces will be needed to ensure straight teeth and quality oral health. A plan will then be created to add the right oral appliance for your teeth to be positioned as straight as possible. With the right appliance, your teeth will be straightened in the quickest way possible.
Common Types of Orthodontics
There are two common types of orthodontic appliances that are used most often today, traditional metal bracket braces and aligners. With metal bracket braces, metal brackets are glued to the teeth and connected with wires and small rubber bands. The braces are adjusted over time to provide you with a straighter smile.
An aligner, such as Invisalign, can be used to straighten the teeth as well. This type of appliance is a tray that is inserted in the mouth, fitting over the teeth. A new tray, made of plastic, is inserted into the mouth every two weeks or so to help the teeth gently move into a straighter position.
Brushing and Flossing When You Have Braces
Once you have braces placed on the teeth, you have to care for your mouth differently. You will need to remove all parts that can be taken out before you begin brushing your teeth. Take time to brush each wire and teeth, then rinse out your mouth. For flossing, waxed floss works best as it is less likely to become caught in the braces. Carefully thread the floss under the main wire to begin.
When you have braces, the dentist will help you to know what types of foods you can and cannot eat. Certain foods are hard to consume when you have the metal brackets and wires in place. Knowing what to eat and what not to eat will help to keep your braces clean. When it comes to fruit, it is important to choose soft items. Hard fruits should be cut so they can easily be chewed.
With vegetables, you should avoid raw items like carrots or broccoli. You can always steam the veggies, so they are softer and less likely to become stuck in your braces. Meat can also be a problem. Stringy cuts of meat can become stuck and hard to remove. Choose more tender cuts to ensure the meat can be chewed and enjoyed without becoming lodged in your teeth.
If you are considering braces, learn more information about your options by calling the experienced professionals here at New England Orthodontic Specialists at (978) 529-3030 today!