Questions About Family or Cosmetic Dentistry?
• Upper front teeth protrude excessively over lower teeth or are bucked
• Upper front teeth cover the majority of lower teeth when biting (deep bite)
• Upper front teeth are behind/inside lower front teeth (underbite)
• Upper and lower front teeth don't touch when biting (open bite)
• Crowded or overlapped teeth
• Center of upper and lower teeth doesn't align
• Finger or thumb sucking habits continue after age 6 or 7
• Difficulty chewing
• Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
• Lower jaw shifts to one side when biting
• Spaces between teeth
When teeth are first moved, mild discomfort may result. The sensation usually lasts about 24 to 72 hours. Patients report a lessening of discomfort as the treatment progresses. Medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) may be taken to alleviate the discomfort.
Today, braces can be a fashion statement. At times, instead of traditional metal braces, contemporary looking braces can be used. For Self-ligating braces, which require no elastic ties, can possibly reduce the number of orthodontic visits. There are several types of so-called "invisible braces." Some of these are "clear/transparent" in color but work like traditional metal braces. In addition, there are a series of invisible mouth guard like appliances (not really braces) that patients can remove to eat and clean. The choice of appliance is somewhat dependent on the arrangement of the crooked teeth.
ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities! If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken. Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher. During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities. Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.). Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
Although treatment it is rarely needed at this age, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends an orthodontic screening for children by AGE 7. This is around the time that jaws are developed enough to predict if treatment will be needed in the future. Having an early screening allows pediatric dentists and orthodontists to assess and monitor the development of the patient before a problem occurs. When you have time on your side you can plan ahead and prevent the formation of serious problems by intervening when necessary.
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance by your doctor, specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process. (information from: Invisalign.com)
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No one may even notice that you're wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle. Invisalign aligners are removable. For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. However, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene. There are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth, an advantage over traditional braces. Plus, since your office visits during treatment don't involve metal or wire adjustments, you'll likely spend less time in the doctor's chair. Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straightened teeth will look when your treatment is complete. Instead of imagining how much better it can be, you'll be able to see it for yourself. (information from: Invisalign.com)
The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by your doctor; however, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen patient may vary and can be determined by your doctor. (information from: Invisalign.com)
Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist for cleanings and dental checkups. During orthodontic treatment, some dentists suggest adding an additional cleaning to the hygiene schedule to the common two times a year schedule.