It’s an excellent time to be an orthodontic patient! Orthodontic technology has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years, and Designer Smiles is proud to offer our patients a wide variety of unique treatment options. We have an expert team in place to successfully treat a range of orthodontic issues in patients of all ages, including:
gaps between the teeth
We’re able to do this using several treatment methods, including traditional braces. Braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment and the most easily recognizable as well. But far from the bulky contraptions they once were, today’s braces are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and more efficient. This transformation has resulted in a better orthodontic experience for both patients and orthodontists.
If you’ve been considering braces as a way to improve your oral health and achieve a healthier smile, you may be wondering what options are available to you. When you schedule a free consultation with Dr. Benton and Dr. Barry, they’ll be able to determine which treatment option would be best for you and your unique smile. Let’s take a closer look at what types of braces are available, how they differ, and how this treatment staple can give you a beautiful smile you’ll want to share with the world!
What are traditional braces?
Traditional braces are made up of metal, or clear brackets that have been attached to the teeth then tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands or elastics. This method is exceptionally good at fixing complex tooth issues and can work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might. This has the potential to shorten your treatment time, although, of course, this will vary from patient to patient. In general, however, the average treatment time for braces tends to be anywhere from 18-36 months.
While the maintenance involved with traditional braces can have a learning curve in the early days, it gets easier with time and practice. A good dental hygiene routine is essential for oral health, and it’s even more critical for patients in braces since food and bacteria can get stuck in between the wires and teeth. For patients who struggle with brushing and flossing effectively while wearing braces, there are many accessories designed to make it easier. Waterpiks help rinse any hard to reach areas, and ortho picks can assist with flossing. We recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Sticky and crunchy foods can damage the brackets and wires, so patients in braces will need to avoid these kinds of foods during treatment. While it can take some getting used to, it won’t last forever! Any minor frustrations will be more than worth it once your braces come off and get a look at your beautiful new smile.
Patients in braces can expect follow-up visits in our office every 8-10 weeks or so throughout the treatment process. During these appointments, Dr. Benton and Dr. Barry will change the bands that are attached to the brackets and may replace the wire as well. These check-ups tend to be reasonably brief, so you can get back to school or work quickly! There can sometimes be a bit of residual soreness following these adjustments, but it should only be temporary.
These visits are a crucial part of the overall treatment plan. To help us ensure the very best results in the least amount of time, you should always try your best not to miss them!
Types of braces
Thanks to a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals, metal braces are very durable and long-lasting. Modern braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be, with smaller brackets and customizable bands in which you can choose. They have a long track record of delivering excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.
Sometimes referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces, ceramic braces function in much the same way metal braces do, with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. While ceramic braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re better able to blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option.
Although ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who have severe corrections that need to be made. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly subtle and efficient way to achieve a beautifully aligned smile.
Damon system braces are self-ligating, meaning they use a slide mechanism to hold the archwire. This specialized system reduces the amount of pressure exerted on the teeth and allows the teeth to move more freely, quickly, and comfortably. This innovative treatment option has several features, including:
- freedom of movement, which results in faster treatment times with gentler forces
- precision and effectiveness, reducing the need for many of the more time-consuming
- procedures used with traditional braces
- fewer adjustments required
- less discomfort than traditional braces
- smaller, more comfortable braces that are also easier to keep clean
Damon braces eliminate the need for elastic or metal “ties” by using a specialized clip to help the archwire guide the teeth into place. These clips reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth and require fewer adjustments since there are no elastics to replace. Using gentle, low-friction force means less discomfort, and the titanium wires that are used are very light, providing maximum comfort as they gently guide teeth into the desired positions.
As with metal braces, treatment time will vary from case to case. It does not tend to be any faster than conventional braces. The same number of appointments are required during treatment as well, making your Damon experience with us convenient and hassle-free. Damon braces are designed to be discreet, comfortable, and easy to keep clean. Without elastic ties to attract and collect plaque, dental hygiene is easy during treatment. Damon braces are also available in clear brackets for patients who want a smile that doesn’t sacrifice aesthetics!
Gold braces are made from high-grade stainless steel and plated in gold, giving you the option to stand out in a sophisticated way with your orthodontic treatment! The gold color of the brackets is slightly darker than the more traditional silver, so they can blend in better with your teeth and may be less noticeable.
There is no real difference between silver and gold braces other than the color, so it’s up to you to decide which aesthetic is more appealing. You’ll still be able to add different colored bands to the brackets to hold the wire in place for even more personalization.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
The Invisalign system consists of clear, removable aligners that are designed to fit comfortably over the teeth. Like traditional braces, these customized aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day throughout treatment, and replacing them every 1-2 weeks for the next aligner in the system.
Invisalign offers patients a bit more freedom and flexibility than regular braces do. There are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking, and it’s easy to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy since you don’t have to work around wires and brackets. You simply remove the aligner, then brush and floss the way you usually would!
Find the braces that work for you at Designer Smiles
Here at Designer Smiles, we know that every case is unique. What works for one patient may not be a good choice for another, and that’s why Dr. Benton and Dr. Barry create a customized treatment plan for every patient they see. They will take your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals into consideration when recommending the course of treatment that would work best for your smile.
If you’re in Oxford or the surrounding communities, we’d love to give you more information on how braces can give you a beautiful, healthy smile. Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Benton and Dr. Barry!