Traditionally, metal braces are what many of us consider when we think about ‘braces.’ While they are the most economical of all types, the disadvantage with metal braces are that they are still very noticeable to others.
Clear esthetic braces are transparent in appearance, making them practically invisible when compared with traditional metal braces. If you want an amazing smile but worry that metal braces will give you the “railroad track” look, then clear esthetic braces may be an excellent option for you.
Certain types of esthetic braces are made to match the color of teeth, however, these are still visible to a degree as all teeth are not the same shade of white. Clear braces differ from other types of ceramic braces in that the brackets are completely clear, minimizing their appearance.
The cost of treatment is based on the amount of adjustments needed and seriousness of each case. You can see our short pricing guide here. We also offer free consultations where you will find out your exact cost.
It is notoriously difficult for patients with braces to keep their teeth clean, but failing to create impeccable oral hygiene habits could result in some oral health issues in the future. This begins by replacing old toothbrushes with a soft-bristled toothbrush that has a small head. This will allow you to clean around the braces in a much more efficient manner. You can brush the teeth at a 45 degree angle with circular motions above and below the brackets. Patients with braces may find that they are going through toothbrushes much quicker, and you should immediately purchase a new brush once the bristles have become frayed or damaged.
If you fail to clean away all of the plaque, then you may develop permanent white scars. Continue cleaning your teeth multiple times a day, and do not skip your bi-annual checkups which should include professional cleaning. Patients that find it difficult to keep their teeth clean may want to invest in an electric toothbrush or waterpik as well.
Flossing after you have braces is a little more challenging than usual, but it is vital when it comes to great oral health. For most patients, waxed floss or dental tape will be ideal as unwaxed floss can fray and break. You start by carefully threading the floss through the wire, pulling it between the teeth, and then gently pushing it up towards the gum. Be careful that you are not putting too much pressure on the wire, which could cause the braces to come loose. You can then pull the floss up and down along each tooth four or five times, remove the floss, and then move on to the next set of teeth.
If you have found that it is difficult to thread the floss under the archwires, then you have two options. One option is to use a floss threader that helps you pull regular floss up between the teeth and the wire. The second option is to use pre-cut floss with a stiff end that will give you a better grip and more control over the floss.
Patients are often happy to hear that they can begin eating from the moment that they step out of our office, but there are some things to keep in mind. While the adhesive that we use to attach braces does cure fast, eating with braces will take some acclimation. Until you are completely comfortable eating with your new braces, you may want to stick to a diet that primarily consists of soft foods and liquids in those first few days.
Not only can the braces themselves be damaged by eating certain foods, but any lingering food debris can lead to discoloration and tooth decay. Patients who eat the wrong foods, damage their braces, or harm their teeth will increase the amount of time that it takes to finish their treatment.
Chewy Foods – You should completely avoid any chewy or sticky foods while you have braces. This includes gum, chewy candy, and certain breads such as bagels.
Hard and Crunchy Foods – Hard foods that should not be eaten include nuts, popcorn, chips, and ice.
Foods You Must Bite Completely Into – Any foods that you must fully bite into such as carrots and apples could damage your braces.
Some patients report that they feel no pain or discomfort, but minor tenderness and sensitivity is completely normal. It is also common to feel that your braces are sticking out or even irritating your lips and gums. If this is the case, then you should try placing some dental wax on the post or wires that are irritating the soft tissue. Within a short period of time, you will become used to having braces and most likely no longer notice that they are there. After the braces are initially put in, you should expect to have some discomfort within the first 8 hours. This pain will slowly dissipate over the coming week.
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
After the braces have been put on, we will then ask you to carry out some simple steps to minimize any discomfort in the future. In order to limit irritation or pain we may ask you to:
- Feel for the wire ends using your fingers and tongue. If they stick out too far and will irritate your cheeks or gums, then you should notify us before leaving.
- You should schedule your next appointment before leaving our office as well. We generally schedule appointments 4 to 6 weeks after contacting us, and delaying by just a few weeks may result in some complications.
- Double-check to see if you have enough cleaning aids, plastic bands, dental wax, and any other products you will need in the coming weeks.
- If you have any questions about your hygiene habits, then please ask us before leaving. Proper care is vital during those first few weeks.