Did you know your smile is the first thing most people notice about you? It’s not surprising — located right in the middle of your face, it’s hard not to notice someone’s smile. And it’s also no surprise that when your smile looks great, you feel more confident, more self-assured and even more attractive. Straight teeth are the cornerstone of a great-looking smile, which is why so many people — teens and adults alike — turn to Goodyear braces to improve the way their smiles look.
How do traditional braces work?
Traditional braces — both metal braces and newer ceramic braces — have been used to successfully straighten teeth for decades. These braces use wires and brackets, either attached directly to the teeth or to bands that surround each tooth. Over time, the wires exert pressure on your teeth, gently shifting them into position from the roots up.
Modern Goodyear braces are less conspicuous than the ones your parents (or grandparents) may have worn. Brackets tend to be smaller, and they can be made of tooth-colored ceramics to “blend in” better with your natural tooth material. Clear braces are also available. These braces use brackets made of clear plastic so they’re nearly invisible on your teeth. You can also “change up” the look of your braces with wires of different colors, turning your braces into a fashion statement of your own.
In addition to newer looks, braces are more comfortable that they used to be. The special wires they use help maintain a gentle pressure that moves teeth more effectively — and with less discomfort — compared with braces from a decade or more ago.
What should I expect during my Goodyear braces treatment?
Braces treatment begins with a consultation, when you’ll learn all about your treatment plan and, of course, you’ll have a chance to ask plenty of questions. At the next visit, your braces will be put on. That means either having your brackets applied directly to your teeth or to special bands that go around your teeth. In either case, the brackets or bands will be secured to your teeth with really strong adhesive, so you don’t have to worry about them coming loose.
Wires are attached to the brackets, and during each checkup visit, the wires are gently tightened. It’s these slight adjustments that keep your teeth moving into their correct positions. Most of our patients see us every four weeks or so for an adjustment. Sometimes, adjustments can cause a little minor discomfort for a day or so afterward. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever either before or after your visit can help relieve any soreness you might feel. Braces usually are worn for about two years, but some patients will complete their treatment earlier than that while others might need to wear their braces for a little longer.
Will I need to wear a retainer?
Yes, once the braces come off, you’ll wear a retainer for a while. The retainer helps protect your “new investment” by keeping your teeth in their new positions while the bone around the tooth roots “fills in.” At first, you’ll wear your retainer for most of the day and night. Over time, you can reduce the amount of time you wear it. Many patients go on to wear their retainers regularly while they sleep as an added measure to keep their smiles looking their best.
Are braces hard to care for?
It’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment so your smile emerges healthy and beautiful. And it can be a little challenging at first to learn how to brush and floss around the wires and brackets. But the good news is, with just a little practice and patience, you can nail down the techniques you need to keep your braces, your teeth and your gums squeaky clean.
Once your Goodyear braces are on, our team will review some tips and tricks to make brushing and flossing easier for you. Plus, there are tools you can use to clean around your brackets and wires, including brushes with rubber tips, water flossers and even special rinses designed to clear away bacteria that can cause decay and gum irritation. Other than that, the best way to keep braces in good shape is to avoid foods that are hard, chewy or sticky. That’s because these foods can get stuck in your brackets or even break your wires. Of course, if you do run into any type of difficulty, our team is just a phone call away — and we’re always happy to help.
Braces vs. clear aligners: Which is better?
Both braces and clear aligners can straighten teeth, but while clear aligners might seem appealing, they’re not always the right choice. Traditional braces can do a better job correcting some types of issues, including more serious alignment issues and “twisted” or very crooked teeth. People with a combination of crowding, spacing and alignment issues might also have better results with traditional braces. That’s because braces’ wires and brackets may allow your orthodontist to refine your treatment for specific areas of your smile.
Some patients find they prefer the “permanent” attachment of braces rather than having to remove aligners for meals and brushing. Plus, clear aligners like Invisalign tend to cost more than braces, which can be a big factor for some patients on tighter budgets. At Dunn Orthodontics, our team will review all your options during your consultation visit so you can make the best choice for your needs. That way, you can feel more confident in your decision and in your results.
Take the next step toward a beautiful smile with braces in Goodyear, AZ
As a leading orthodontist practice in Goodyear, Arizona, we’re committed to providing top-quality, customized care for every patient. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all treatment plans. Our team knows every patient is different — and that means every treatment plan needs to be different, too. Getting straighter teeth means enjoying a lifetime of beautiful smiles — and it can help you enjoy better oral health, too. To learn more about braces and other orthodontic treatment options we offer at Dunn Orthodontics, call our office at 602-864-0004 and schedule your consultation visit today.