The Smile is how we show how we are.
As much as the eyes are the window to the soul,
a beautiful smile is what makes for a best first impression.
A beautiful smile is important in how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us.
Studies show that people with straight teeth are treated better in social situations,
also that most people with croocked teeth leave a negative first impression.
Your orthodontist will use braces to treat problems like croocked or crowded teeth,
overbites and underbites, incorrect jaw position and disorders of the jaw joints.
This will not only alter how your teeth and lips look,
but in many cases it can also change how your complete face profile looks too.
However, wearing braces and orthodontics treatment are not only about looking and feeling better about yourself. If problems are left untreated, they can lead to tooth decay, gum diease, hadeches, earaches, neck pains as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems.
To be treated by a specialist orthodontist is often less costly then the additional dental care required to treat more serious problems that can develop in later years.
Its never too late or too early to invest in braces and ultimatly invest in yourself.
Types of braces
Contrary to popular belief, patients today face a rather wide variety of braces to select from when considering orthodontic treatment. They differ according to aesthetics, speed of treatment, placement and of course price.
Although cost effective, removable appliances are not suitable for most types of orthodontic treatments and rely heavily on patient cooperation. Today, they tend to be used for pre-treatment of children before using another type of appliance, or as a post-treatment retainer appliance which serves to prevent the teeth from regressing into an unwanted position.
Conventional braces are the most widely used type of orthodontic appliance. Metal brackets are glued on the outside of the teeth and an orthodontic wire is tied into these brackets by rubber ties. The wire, which is exchanged by the doctor at various appointments during the treatment, eventually straightens out the teeth into the correct position.
These braces are generally suited for most types of treatments. Their advantage is a slightly lower price, which however, comes at the cost of more frequent visits to the orthodontist and a higher patient discomfort during the treatment.
The Damon System is a new generation of braces, high-tech orthodontic archwires and in general a new way of treating patients. Just as conventional braces, Damon braces are glued on the outside of the teeth, but with the difference that they have a built in mechanism that holds the orthodontic wire inside the bracket and thus eliminates the need to use rubber ties.
This means that the wire inside the Damon bracket is not forcefully bound by the ties, but instead is allowed to move freely. The doctor is therefore allowed to use a whole new array of high-tech archwires, which exert a significantly lower force on the teeth over a much long period of time than the wires that have to be used with conventional braces. In practice, this means the treatment is less painful, faster, and overall requires less visits to the doctor.
In addition, thanks to the mechanics of the whole system, it is possible to apply a new treatment approach which often requires less tooth extractions, less use of palatal expanders and achieves a natural smile individual to each patient, while even improving overall facial features.
Because of the high demand for orthodontic treatment among adults, companies have been eager to come up with more aesthetic treatment options in recent years.
Braces from aesthetic materials – They work according to the same principles as their counterparts from metal, with the difference that they are made out of ceramics which resembles the color of the tooth hence making them hardly visible to the outside world.
Here, the distinction between conventional and Damon braces applies as well –
Damon CLEAR braces
have a unique fully ceramic self-closing mechanism, which delivers all of the benefits of the Damon System in addition to the aesthetics. Moreover, although all ceramic braces are immune to staining from food (coffee, tea etc.), it does not apply to the white rubber ties used with conventional ceramic braces which get stained and visible after a short period of time. Because Damon CLEAR braces do not use these ties, the problem is eliminated.
Lingual (hidden) braces
Probably the most aesthetic option of orthodontic treatment. With this appliance, the brackets are glued on the inside of the teeth making it impossible for the braces to be seen at all. The drawback of this option is the price – because the appliance is more complicated and requires more time of the orthodontist, it can often be several times the cost of a more standard treatment. As well, because the braces are glued on the lingual side, they often impede speech of patients.
Instead of braces and wires, this technique uses thin aligner foils worn throughout the day, which are custom made for each patient. A progression of foils which are exchanged every couple of weeks ensures that teeth are aligned without virtually anyone but the patient knowing that he or she is in treatment. Although also highly aesthetic, the problem is that aligners lack the mechanical capabilities of braces with wires and allow the doctor to make only very small corrections, which means their application at this date is only limited to very minor treatments, while equaling lingual braces in their price.
How long do I wear braces?
An orthodontic treatment is generally split into two main parts.
The first part is the active treatment when the patient wears some type of braces until his teeth are straightened out into the correct position. How long does active treatment take? The answer to this question is unfortunately individual to each patient depending on how much the teeth need to be corrected. Treatments can last from a couple of months for small corrections to up to 3 years for very complicated cases. It is best to consult directly with an orthodontist who will be capable to provide a precise estimation.
However, it is possible to say that the same corrections may be achieved faster (i.e. an active shorter treatment time) by using more modern materials and treatment approaches. For example, studies show that most treatments using Damon braces in conjunction with the Damon treatment technique are completed faster than with conventional braces using conventional techniques and require less visits to the orthodontist – which is especially valuable for professionals who have limited possibility to fit so many visits into their busy schedule.
The second, passive part of orthodontic treatment is called retention.
After the orthodontic appliance is removed and the patient finally has the desired beautiful smile, the doctor needs to ensure that the teeth do not regress into some unwanted position. Our bodies change constantly and it is no different with our teeth – if left untouched, most patients would experience some form of relapse.
To prevent this, the patient usually receives some type of a retainer device – a removable appliance, a transparent aligner (both worn over night, not necessarily every night) or a fixed retainer, which is typically a small piece of thin wire glued on the inside of the teeth (find picture) (worn permanently). They prevent the teeth from moving and thus preserve the achieved result. Again, depending on each patient and the treatment he or she had to undergo, the passive part of orthodontic treatment may take a year or two up to a lifetime for some patients. An orthodontist will be able to provide a more precise answer.
Cost of braces
Orthodontic treatment in general is very time intensive for orthodontists (from treatment planning, to placing and adjusting the braces during the numerous visits during the process) and requires the use of specialized medical materials. Although treatment is partially covered by insurance, the amount reimbursed to the doctor is relatively small for several reasons. The insurance does not cover the orthodontic material used by the doctor and only reimburses acts performed by the doctor during treatment. Unfortunately, the rates for these acts are long outdated and do not reflect the current price levels they should reflect. Patients are therefore required to finance a significant portion of the treatment cost privately.
The amount the patient pays in the end varies greatly and depends on three main factors:
• The concrete pricing policy of the doctor.
Everybody charges differently according to his or her skill and will
• The amount of treatment that needs to be done.
More complicated cases tend to be more expensive
• The types of braces used.
Aesthetic options, or options that speed up treatment and increase patient comfort are more expensive than standard conventional braces
It is best to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist close to you to find out what options you have and how much they would cost.
Adult Cosmetic Braces
Adults and braces?
Experts say it’s never too late.
These days, adults make up nearly half of orthodontic patients hoping to finally get the perfect smile they’ve always dreamed about.
Braces have evolved considerably in the last 15 years. the days of being a true “metal mouth” are over and more lightweight and cosmetically friendly options are out there.
But why now?
Maybe the reason is as an adult you can afford braces when your parents couldn’t or you are simply more conscious of the cosmetic and health benefits of having straight teeth.
Most people want a great smile, and adults know that it can make a great difference not only in their personal but also their professional lives. Many say the payoff is worth the temporary inconvenience and expense of braces.
Cosmetic braces are usually divided into these cathegories :
Ceramic braces, Lingual braces and aligners.
Ceramic braces are very similar to metal braces, the biggest difference is in the material.
The braces are clear or tooth coloured, depending on the brand. From a distance it is hard to notice them at all. The most aesthetic solution is probably offered by the braces Inspire Ice, instead of mimiching the colours of tooths, they are crystal clear and virtually dissaper on the tooth.
Inspire ice braces are usually prefarred by teenagers and young adults. Here is the the difference between tooth coloured easthetic braces annd crystal clear brace.
Another interesting type of easthetic braces, very poplar among adults,
is the Damon System Clear Braces.
It is an option strongly prefared by professional adult patients since treatment with these braces requires less overall treatment time and fewer visits,which is of great help for patients who cannot take so much time off or for whom time off is expensive. The Damon system philosophy takes in great consideration the actual facial changes that take place due to orthodontist treatment.
Adult patients report looking younger and better, the change not being limited to straight teeth but to an effectect expert like to call „bracelift“
Lingual braces are the ultimate aesthitic solutions because, the braces are places from the inside of the mouth!
The most known type of lingual braces are called Incognito, the braces are specifically created for the shape of your tooth and are place on the lingual side (from the inside of the mouth).
Lingual braces are surely the most aestheic solution, unfortunatly they come at a price: lingual braces are considerably more painful than normal braces (due to their position inside the mouth they irritat the tongue), they also change the way people speak (different range of movement of the tongue), they are more difficult to clean than normal braces and the final results are not as precise as with normal braces. Overall for cases that are not so complex, and where complete aesthetics is more important than disconfort, lingual braces are a good option. The last disadvantage over ceramic braces is the cost. Prices diffear from doctor to doctor, however lingual braces are always more expensive than metal or ceramic braces. As a side note, there are many types of lingual braces, so if you consider them you may want to look into cheaper solutions than Incognito (for exaple StB, Harmony, Forestadent, Magic, etc..)
Aligners are a different trend in orthodontistry. Aligners are a „no braces“ treatment.
The system uses a set of plastic aligners as in the picture below, to move the teeth. Aligners are rigid and changed after a few weeks, different shapes of aligners move the teeth.
Aligners are also a very aesthetic solution, which offeres a rage of advantages and disadvatages.
The biggest advantage is that you can actually take them off!
However,treatmet success is not guaranteed if you take them off for more than an hour a day.
Aligners are very aesthetic, made of transparent plastic, at a distance they go completly unnoticed.
However, aligners can get stained due to wine, coffe and smoking.
The main limitation with aligners is the fact that thay can for now be used to treat only very minor problems an that they are very pricey. Aligners are usually the choice of adults with high aesthetic and confort standards, with very minor orthodontics problems who are willing to pay a premium price.
The most known brand of aligners is Invisilign, however it is also the most expensive. There are other very good options on the market you can explore like Hi 5, Orthocaps, eClinger.
Taking in consideration all factors in easthetic braces for adults we can draw some conclusions:
Classical ceramics braces are divided into crystal clear (Inspire ice) and tooth coloured. These are the cheapest aesthetic solutions and offer precise treatment for all types of orthodontics cases.
Damon Clear braces, are a type of ceramic braces that work faster results with fewer visits to the doctor. This is the rpeffered solution for professional adults who want the best possible treatment, great aesthetics in the shortest period f time. This system is also associated with pleasing changes i the faces of patients, the „bracelift“.
Lingual braces offer the best aesthetics of all, however at the price of disconfort, speach problems, less precise results and higher price.
Aligners offer arguably the best confort of all (no braces) and very good aesthetics (clear plastic). The biggest drawback is that their treatment spectrum is very limited and the price is quite high.
Life with braces
Living with braces requires you take care of them and be mindful about certain things trhoughout the whole treatment
Eating with Braces
During your treatment you will have to be careful about eating certain foods, braces can be ruined if proper care is not
Foods to avoid with braces
• Chewy foods – bagels, licorice
• Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice
• Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum
• Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
• Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces
• Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
• Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts
• Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
• Meats/poultry – soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
• Seafood – tuna, salmon, crab cakes
• Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
• Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
• Treats – ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness caused from braces and appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, dont despair, your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact your orthodontist as soon as possible so that he can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Take Care of your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.
Playing Sports with Braces
You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. There are specialized mouthgards designed for athletes with braces! Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact your doctor right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
Common problems treated with orthodontists
When the lower jaw extends out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.
The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.
The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.
Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.
Widely Spaced Teeth
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic issue.
Characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward. The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite.
Occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.
Misaligned Dental Midlines
Caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.
Insert your Address and find an orthodontist near you
During the first appointment, the doctor will examine your situation, take an impression of your bite and make a diagnosis of your problem.
Toghether with the doctor you will decide what treatment plan you want to follow.
In more complicated cases you may decide to solve only some of the problems, the ones that cause more disconfort , as to make the treatment even shorter.
Make sure to discuss the choice of brace with your doctor!
According to your needs and means yu will have to decide if you want a metal or estheti treatment, and if esthetic , be sure to evaluate all options as there are many posibilities in the market, but not all could be the best choice for you.
If still uncertain of the opinion of your doctor, or the treatment plan he would like you to follow, it is perfectly ok to consult another specialist before you make your choice.
This is particularly true in case of reccomended tooth extractions (some doctors may be much more prone to extractions than others).
Life with braces also requires certain changes in hygene and eating habits, make sure to properly ask your doctor for advice before you leave the office, also you can have have a look at our „life with braces“ section.
Here is a table that can help you choos the best types of braces for you