Braces are arguably the most popular and most widely-used orthodontic treatment in the U.S. and around the world, helping teens and adults get the beautiful smiles of their dreams. And in addition to improving the way your smile looks, Scottsdale braces can make it easier to care for your teeth, so you just might enjoy fewer cavities — and a lower risk of gum disease.
At Dunn Orthodontics, we offer traditional and clear braces for Scottsdale, AZ, patients, providing custom treatment plans for optimal results every time. Here’s how Scottsdale braces can help you or your child enjoy a more beautiful smile — for life.
How do braces work?
Braces use an interconnected system of brackets and wires to gently move teeth (and teeth roots) over time. The brackets are attached to the front surfaces of your teeth using very strong dental glues or “cement.” Once the brackets are firmly attached and the adhesive has cured, the wires are threaded through the brackets, which “lock” the wires in place so they don’t slip. During regular office visits, your braces are adjusted by tightening the wires and then “re-locking” them in place. Each adjustment moves your teeth a tiny bit more toward ideal alignment.
Scottsdale braces have changed a lot over the past decade or two, and today’s braces use lighter materials so they’re less noticeable and a lot more comfortable. Plus, advances in design and technology have resulted in faster treatments, so our Arizona patients can start enjoying their beautiful smiles in less time than their parents or grandparents who wore braces.
Traditional braces vs. clear braces: What’s the difference?
Traditional braces and clear braces work the same way, but the materials they use are different. While traditional braces use metal brackets that are more visible, clear braces use brackets that are “see-through,” making them a lot less visible on your teeth. The brackets aren’t the only thing that have undergone a design change. Today, you can also opt for colored wires to turn your Scottsdale braces into a fashion statement, and you can change colors simply by having your wires changed.
What problems can be corrected with Scottsdale braces?
Scottsdale braces are a time-tested treatment option for all sorts of spacing and alignment problems, including:
- Crooked teeth
- “Twisted” or sideways teeth
- Open bites
- Gaps between teeth and other spacing problems
- Combinations of spacing and alignment issues
- Problems affecting bite patterns or bite “mechanics”
Most people tend to think of braces moving the visible portions of your teeth — the parts you see when you smile. But orthodontics moves your teeth roots, too, which is why it’s so important to have orthodontic treatment by a trusted Scottsdale orthodontist with lots of experience in treating all sorts of issues.
Am I too old for braces?
There’s no age limit on braces. As long as your teeth and jaws are strong enough to undergo orthodontic treatment (and the movements involved), you can enjoy all the benefits braces have to offer.
Are braces better than clear aligners?
Braces and clear aligners like Invisalign are both excellent options for correcting spacing and alignment problems, but while Scottsdale Invisalign is a good choice for lots of people, it can’t treat every type of orthodontic issue. Sometimes, traditional braces (including clear braces) are a better option. Once your evaluation is complete, we’ll be able to determine if aligners will work to help you achieve your goals, or if traditional braces are the way to go. There’s also a cost difference. Braces tend to be less costly than aligners, and dental insurance plans may pay for at least part of the cost of traditional braces, while many dental insurers don’t pay for any part of aligner treatment.
How long will I need to wear my Scottsdale braces?
That depends on the issues that are being corrected. Most people wind up wearing their Scottsdale braces for at least 18-24 months, and sometimes up to three years. In a few cases, treatment might take less time or more time. No matter what, you can rest assured that your treatment plan will be optimized for you — and focused on getting you the beautiful smile you want.
Are braces hard to take care of?
Braces are not difficult to take care of, but it will probably take a little practice to make sure your brushing and flossing habits are getting around the wires and brackets. Our team will provide you with some tips and guidance to help you brush and floss effectively. There are also simple “tools” you can use to make the process easier, like special rubber-tipped brushes to get around wires and brackets, and water flossers to gently clean between your teeth. It’s also important to avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, chewy or sticky to prevent damage to the wires and brackets. Of course, if you do break or bend a wire or bracket, we can fix it — just give our office a call right away so we can keep your treatment on track.
Will I need to wear a retainer?
Yes, once we remove your braces, you’ll need to wear a retainer for a while to ensure your teeth and teeth roots “adjust” to their new positions. Think of your retainer as a way to protect your investment in your smile and your bite pattern. Your retainer will be custom-fit to your mouth and made of lightweight materials for added comfort. At first, you’ll wear your retainer all day and all night. Eventually, you’ll wear it for less time. Some patients continue to wear their retainers a few nights a week while they sleep to ensure their smiles stay looking their best.
Beautiful smiles for Scottsdale, AZ, patients
If you’d like to enjoy a lifetime of more beautiful smiles (and maybe better oral health, too), braces can be a great way to make that goal come true. And at Dunn Orthodontics, we provide the custom treatment you need to get the best results in the least amount of time. To learn more about Scottsdale braces and how they can help you, call our Scottsdale, Arizona, office and book an appointment today.