Everybody wants a great-looking smile, and for good reason. Not only does a beautiful smile make you feel more confident and more attractive, but it can also have a big impact on the impression you make on other people — at school, at work, and in your social life, too. Of course, no one is “born” with a perfect smile; nearly all of us need some professional help at some point. And for a lot of people, that means getting braces. More than 4 million people wear braces in the U.S., including about a million adults. Every year, that number increases. That’s because Glendale braces do more than make your smile look its best — they just might improve your oral health, too.
Traditional braces: What are they and how do they work?
Traditional braces are simply a term for braces that use brackets and wires to move your teeth. The reason they’re called traditional is to differentiate them from more recent advances, including removable aligners. The term traditional is also often used to describe metal braces rather than other materials like ceramics, which are also more recent “inventions.”
No matter what words you use to describe them, braces all work the same: Brackets are attached to your teeth using very strong dental adhesives. Then, a special wire is “threaded” through them. This wire is adjusted throughout your treatment. Each adjustment alters the pressures on your individual teeth, gently moving them into their proper positions over time. Modern braces are a lot more comfortable and a lot less noticeable than the ones your parents or grandparents wore. The brackets and bands tend to be smaller, which means they’re less likely to cause irritation on your lips or gums. And their design is less noticeable — in fact, today you can opt for tooth-colored ceramic brackets that blend in with the natural color of your teeth or clear braces that use “see-through” brackets, so only the wire shows. Some patients feature their braces as a fashion statement, choosing colorful wires that can be changed out at a future adjustment.
Even though the design of your Glendale braces may look the same, the technology behind that design has changed a lot during the past couple of decades. Today’s braces use gentler, more uniform pressure to move your teeth, so they’re a lot more comfortable than the ones your parents may have worn — and they often “work” faster, too.
Can braces improve my oral health?
Braces can certainly improve the way your smile looks, but they may also improve your oral health by reducing your risks for cavities and gum disease. That’s because straight teeth are easier to care for — when your teeth are straight and evenly spaced, brushing and flossing work better to remove food debris, plaque and bacteria that cause both decay and gum disease. Plus, there are fewer places for food particles to get trapped in the first place.
Are traditional braces better than Invisalign?
Clear aligners are popular among a lot of patients because they’re completely clear and virtually invisible while they are being worn. The aligners are also removable for meals and for brushing and flossing. While Invisalign “invisible braces” can be a great option for some patients, they’re not always the best choice. Considering your goal is to get a great-looking smile (and, ideally, a lifetime of better oral health), you want to be sure you get the treatment that’s best for your unique needs. The Invisalign system can treat a wide array of alignment and spacing problems — but it can’t treat every problem. Sometimes, braces are just a better option. At Dunn Orthodontics, we perform a careful evaluation right at the beginning of your care plan to make sure the treatment you receive is the best one for your needs and your treatment goals. One other consideration: Regular braces tend to be less costly than Invisalign — and when you have braces, there’s a better chance your dental insurance will cover the costs of your care, at least partially.
What happens during Glendale braces treatment?
Your treatment starts with a consultation visit when we’ll carefully examine your teeth and recommend the course of treatment that’s right for you. At your next visit, your braces will be applied using a really strong adhesive. We’ll give you plenty of information and guidance to help you care for your braces, too.
At your monthly checkup visit, we’ll adjust your braces, slightly tightening your wires and making any other adjustments to keep your teeth moving in the right directions. After your adjustment, you might have some minor discomfort for a day or to as your tooth roots start to shift, and you can take over-the-counter pain medicine to relieve it if you like. Most patients wear their braces for about two years, but your treatment might take a little more time or a little less.
How will braces affect my lifestyle?
At first, it’s common for patients to feel like their braces are obtrusive and noticeable. But you’ll be surprised how quickly you adjust. Caring for braces is straightforward — you’ll brush and floss as usual, and see your dentist for routine checkups. Brushing and flossing around the wires and brackets takes a little practice, but most patients get the hang of it pretty quickly. You can also use a water flosser to keep your braces really clean.
The only other concern most patients have is their diet — specifically, avoiding specific foods. It’s true, with Glendale braces you will need to avoid foods that are really hard or sticky. That’s because these foods can get stuck in your brackets or break your wires. If that happens, don’t worry — just give our office a call and we can schedule a fast repair.
Will I need to wear a retainer?
Yes, once your braces are removed, you’ll need to wear a retainer while your teeth adjust to their new positions. At first, you’ll wear your retainer for most of the day (and while you sleep). Eventually, you’ll be able to decrease the amount of time you wear it. Many people decide to wear their retainers a couple of times a week while they sleep for years afterward, just to make sure their smiles continue to look their best.
Top-rated orthodontic treatment in Glendale, AZ
At Dunn Orthodontics, we offer state-of-the-art braces treatments for patients throughout the Glendale, Arizona, area, providing truly custom-tailored care for the best possible results. If you’re ready to learn how Glendale braces can help you enjoy a lifetime of gorgeous smiles, give us a call at 602-864-0004 and schedule your consultation today.