Millions of people across the country and around the world have braces to straighten their bites and give them more beautiful smiles. And today, it’s not just teens who are wearing Phoenix braces — plenty of adults have them, too. That’s because adults are beginning to recognize the very real benefits offered by braces — not just cosmetic benefits, but benefits to their oral health, as well. As a top orthodontist practice in Phoenix, AZ, we offer braces for preteens, teens and adults, because we believe people of all ages deserve to have the smile of their dreams.
How braces “work”
Braces use a system of brackets and wires to gradually move your teeth into their new positions over time. The brackets are adhered to the surfaces of each tooth using a very strong “cement” or adhesive designed specifically for braces application. Once your brackets are in place, the orthodontist threads a wire through each bracket, connecting your teeth. During your office visits, the orthodontist adjusts your braces by tightening the brackets and wires, so the pressure exerted on your teeth is consistent.
You’ll see the visible portions of your teeth moving into place over time, but it’s important to remember that Phoenix braces move the entire tooth, all the way down to the root. Each adjustment puts your teeth one step closer to their ideal position and alignment. As the tooth roots move, the jaw bone remodels itself around the root, providing a stable, secure “anchor” to hold your tooth in its new position.
What can Phoenix braces treat?
Braces have been around for a long time, and they still remain the treatment of choice for many patients who want to enjoy more beautiful smiles and better oral health. At Dunn Orthodontics, we use braces to treat many types of spacing and alignment problems, including:
- Open bites
- Teeth that are overcrowded
- Teeth that are spaced too far apart or unevenly spaced
- Teeth that are out of alignment
- Teeth that are crooked or sideways
- Bite-related problems
Although each brace or bracket is connected by wires, your orthodontist can treat each tooth individually, so your treatment can be completely customized for your needs.
What is treatment like?
The first step in getting braces is having a consultation appointment. During that visit, we’ll evaluate your teeth, jaws and bite pattern to determine the best course of treatment to help you reach your goals. You’ll also have X-rays and impressions, or molds, of your teeth to help guide your treatment over time. If your teeth are very crowded, we might recommend extractions to make room before your Phoenix braces are applied.
At the next visit, your braces will be applied. Your teeth will be cleaned and the orthodontist will select the right bracket for each tooth, adhering the brackets to your teeth one by one. Once the brackets are all in place, the orthodontist will thread the wire through them, attaching the wire to each bracket so your braces are interconnected. Throughout treatment, you’ll visit us about once every four weeks for an adjustment. Since the wires are tightened a tiny bit at each adjustment, you’ll have some discomfort for about a day. Eating soft foods can help reduce discomfort, and you can also take an over-the-counter pain medicine if you need it.
Most patients wear braces for about two to three years. Afterward, you’ll wear a retainer for some time while your jaw bone fuses with your tooth roots. Many patients continue to wear their retainers a couple of times a week while they sleep to keep their smiles looking their best.
Traditional braces vs. clear braces: Understanding the difference
Some people are confused by the difference between traditional braces and clear braces, but the fact is, both types work the same way to straighten your teeth. The term “traditional” usually refers to metal braces, since these are the type of braces that have been used for the longest amount of time. With metal braces, both the bracket and the wire are metal-colored. This is the traditional choice. Today, though, many patients prefer clear braces that use clear or “invisible” brackets to hold the wires in place. As the name implies, clear braces are much harder to detect, and many people prefer them for that reason. Other people like to flaunt their braces, choosing brightly-colored wires to make them stand out. With today’s Phoenix braces, you’ve got lots of options, and you can decide which one is best for you.
Caring for your Phoenix braces
Many patients worry that having braces will make it difficult to care for their teeth. It’s true, brushing and flossing with braces does take a little practice and patience, but it doesn’t take long to adapt to a few new techniques. Our team will provide you with tips about how to keep your braces and your teeth and gums clean and fresh. Mouth rinses, water flossers and special brushes can help clean hard-to-reach areas. Before you know it, your new care routine will become a familiar habit.
How old is “too old” for braces?
Braces and aligners don’t have an age limit. The only consideration is your oral health. As long as your teeth and jaws are strong enough to handle the pressures that are applied to them during a course of treatment, you can have braces or aligners. At Dunn Orthodontics, we also offer Phoenix patients another option: Six Month Smile braces. These braces only straighten your front teeth — the ones that are visible when you smile. Many adults who are concerned with the way their smiles look opt for Six Month Smile braces to improve their smiles without having the more extensive treatment offered by braces and aligners. During your consultation visit, we’ll discuss all your options and find the one that matches your needs and goals.
Beautiful smiles for Phoenix patients: It all starts at Dunn Orthodontics
Braces are an investment in a lifetime of beautiful smiles and better oral health. At Dunn Orthodontics, we offer state-of-the-art braces to help our Arizona patients get the smiles of their dreams. To learn more about Phoenix braces and how they can help you, call our office at 602-864-0004 and book an appointment today.