Braces 101 Monmouth County
Getting braces is a decision that is faced by most people at sometime in their life. While some are lucky enough to have straight teeth through genetics, many children and adults commit to orthodontics to get the smile and bite they desire.
Ceramic braces? Invisalign? Traditional metal? These days, there are many choices available.
The type of braces you get depends on a number of factors and the extent of your treatment, such as:
- The severity of your bite or tooth crookedness problems
- If extractions are necessary
- If jaw surgery is necessary
- If headgear or other special appliances are necessary
- The amount of time you will need to wear braces
Types of Braces
Ceramic brackets are made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally do not stain. Three popular brands are Clarity and Transcend, made by 3M Unitek; and Mystique, made by GAC. Adults like to choose ceramic because they “blend in” with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal.
Metal brackets are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. At first they may irritate your gums, but after a few weeks, when your cheeks get “toughened up” they are not a problem anymore. Most traditional metal braces require an elastic o–shaped rubber band, called a ligature to hold the arch wire onto the bracket. Sometimes orthodontists use metal tie wires (little wires which are twisted around the bracket) in place of elastic ligatures.
Invisalign braces are great for people who do not have severe problems. The “braces” consist of strong plastic trays that are fabricated especially for you. They are indeed invisible. If your bite is not severely off and your teeth are not severely crooked, then Invisalign would be a good choice. You would be able to get your teeth straightened without anyone seeing that you are wearing “braces”! This appeals to many adults, especially people who wore traditional braces as children and then need more treatment later in life. However, if your bite is very bad, if you need extractions or require headgear or other appliances, then Invisalign will not work for you; you will need to wear traditional braces.
To get the most benefit from your braces and orthodontic treatment:
- Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating… and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but these do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing aloud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive… with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
Read More About Retainers
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