For most people, achieving a healthy, beautiful smile is the reason for choosing to receive orthodontic care. If you’re self-conscious about your smile, having braces will greatly improve the way you look and feel.
When your treatment is complete, you will have the smile you’ve always dreamed of as well as the confidence to show it off! We also want you to feel comfortable and confident throughout your entire orthodontic experience, so our practice is dedicated to making sure that you receive the quality care you deserve.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances are made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to the proper position.
Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can now choose from brackets that are clear or metallic, and in some cases, the color of your appliance. Wires are far less noticeable, and the latest materials are designed to move teeth faster with more comfort. Today, any age is a great age to wear braces!
Duration of Treatment
Depending on several factors, including age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your case is, treatment time varies and can last between one and three years. A big factor to a successful treatment is you, the patient! The more involved and diligent you are, the quicker and more efficient your treatment will be. For children, receiving interceptive, or early treatment, can also help provide a quicker treatment time later on in life.
Before beginning your orthodontic care, your doctor will discuss all of your options and provide an estimate for how long your full treatment may take. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment and learn more about orthodontics and the treatments we provide.Back to Top
Types of 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 by 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.
Clear aligners are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth like braces. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable; so, you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, this helps to make brushing and flossing less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.
Orthodontic Results - Actual Patients
SureSmile clear aligners are a system of clear, removable trays that straighten teeth. They are a great alternative to traditional orthodontics if you want a straighter smile but do not want to wear metal braces, to finish off treatment if you already have traditional braces, or if you have had treatment in the past and want to make corrections to your smile.
Using SureSmile technology, your orthodontist will create a 3D digital model of your teeth. This model is then sent to suresmile, where the aligner designs are printed out using a 3D printer. Each aligner is custom-made to fit over your teeth and designed to move teeth gradually into their proper positions.
Just like braces, clear aligners use gradual force to control tooth movement, but without any metal wires or brackets. The aligners are made with a strong plastic material and are fabricated to fit your mouth. Each aligner is created a little different, so each time you switch aligners, your teeth move a little more.
Aligners are worn for at least 20 hours each day, and for two weeks apiece, before you switch to a new aligner. The length of your treatment depends on the severity of your case; it can take anywhere from six months to two years.
Advantages of orthodontic treatment with SureSmile clear aligners:
- Since the design of SureSmile aligners is fully adjustable, we can customize aligners as needed throughout your case.
- Our SureSmile aligners are easier to keep clean, which makes it easier to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
- SureSmile clear aligners are comfortable and less likely to irritate your gums and cheeks.
If you’re interested in orthodontic treatment with SureSmile clear aligners, schedule an appointment and learn whether this is the right treatment option for you. Your consultation is the first step toward achieving the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
You've worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!
Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of Retainers
Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.
- Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed.
- Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. This clear retainer may fit over the entire arch of your teeth, or only from canine to canine (clip-on retainer). It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth.
- Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While the device is usually required no more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.
Pros and Cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
- Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
- A fixed retainer is great if you don't want to keep track of it, or if you don't want to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn.
- Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.
- Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
- Clean the retainer 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 your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its 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 it faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
- Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
- Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.