How to Maintain Clear Braces

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If you wish to improve the appearance of your smile but are not interested in wearing a set of metal braces for the next few years, you may be pleased to know that there is a more subtle option available to you. Clear braces are a recent development in orthodontics that allow patients to have their cake and eat it, too, working their way toward straighter, more beautiful teeth while avoiding the gawky look traditional braces impart.

 

To clarify: clear braces are not the same as an invisible aligner tray; they are identical to traditional braces in every way with the exception of the material they happen to be made from. The process of properly maintaining them and ensuring that they last sustainably for the entire duration of your treatment is, therefore, quite similar; while orthodontic appointments for this type of treatment do tend to be frequent and usually include an in-office cleaning, our Rocklin orthodontist will encourage you to take extra care when it comes to your personal oral hygiene routine at home. Brushing, flossing, and using a non-abrasive mouthwash goes without saying, and patients will usually be outfitted with a set of small brushes designed to fit underneath the wires and around the brackets; using these regularly eliminates the possibility of plaque and tartar buildup in these areas, greatly reducing the odds of tooth discoloration while you wear your braces. Avoiding any type of whitening products and treatments during this time is also highly recommended.

 

As they are made of a light-colored, semi-translucent material, ceramic braces are also much more prone to becoming stained themselves than are traditional metal braces. It’s not difficult to avoid staining your brackets – the same habits and substances that have the potential to stain your teeth may also have the same effect on your braces. Avoiding drinking red wine, indulging in dark coffee, and smoking or chewing tobacco products are all highly encouraged. Not only will these things stain the brackets themselves, but they will also stain the area around the brackets, leaving the spot of tooth hidden behind much whiter than the surrounding enamel.

 

One other precaution to take in defense of your ceramic braces would be avoiding situations and activities which could result in physical trauma to the teeth, mouth, or head. Not only do these things open you up to the risk of cracking a bracket or having one get knocked out of your mouth entirely, collisions which do not result in damage to the brackets themselves can bend the wire guiding your treatment which has the potential to set your regimen back months, or even years.

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How to Maintain Clear Braces

Invisalign and How It Works

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Invisalign is an orthodontic appliance that is preferred by many patients today. This is usually true for many reasons. The benefits of Invisalign include:

  • Discretion – the aligners used are virtually see-through
  • Comfort – the aligners are also seamless, without the bulkiness and pointiness of traditional braces
  • Removability – the appliance is easily removable, so patients can eat their favorite foods and clean their teeth without difficulty

Where braces work by pulling the teeth into place, Invisalign aligners push the teeth together. Our Rocklin orthodontics team will supply you with your first aligner, which will begin applying pressure to the teeth. It will be worn for about two weeks before the patient much move on to the next one in the set. Each one will apply pressure in order to slowly move the teeth toward more correct, healthier positions.

While it may seem like the process takes a long time, it has been proven that orthodontic treatment works best when exacted slowly. Depending on the patient’s specific case, treatment can take between twelve and eighteen months.

Invisalign is best for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Talk to our orthodontist to see if this appliance will work for you.

Invisalign and How It Works

Am I a Candidate for Invisalign Express?

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Invisalign offers three different types of treatment. Most patients benefit most from Invisalign Full, which involves twenty to thirty aligners over the course of twelve months. Invisalign Teen is meant for younger patients who require specific benefits. Other patients qualify for Invisalign Express.

Invisalign Express Candidates

This treatment has very specific restrictions. Only patients with very minor flaws can benefit from Express. These minor flaws include:

  • Less than two millimeters of spacing or crowding per arch
  • Less than two millimeters of correction to the midline required
  • Less than 1.5 millimeters of dental expansion needed
  • Minimal rotation of the cuspids, bicuspids, and incisors

Due to the mild nature of these orthodontic flaws, Express treatment is typically much shorter other options. For example, Invisalign Full requires twenty to thirty aligners over the course of twelve to eighteen months. Express, on the other hand, only requires about ten aligners over the course of six months. Patients should keep in mind that they are in charge of wearing their aligners for at least twenty hours per day. Failure to do so can result in a lack of orthodontic progress and an elongated treatment.

A consultation appointment is needed to determine candidacy. If you are interested in Invisalign treatment, schedule one with our Rocklin orthodontics expert today.

Am I a Candidate for Invisalign Express?

What are Aligners?

Junge Frau setzt lächelnd Zahnspange in den MundTraditional braces have two main components – brackets and wires. The brackets are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth, and the wires are run through them. Both are made of metal, with small rubber bands holding them together. It’s no secret that this doesn’t make a great look. Invisalign fixes this problem by using a different type of appliance.

Invisalign treatment uses aligners, which look and fit like mouth guards. They are different from braces in basically every way. Invisalign aligners are clear – very nearly see through. This makes it easier to correct orthodontic flaws with the teeth in a discreet way. Patients can continue with their everyday lives without the distracting addition of noticeable brackets. Invisalign aligners are also removable, meaning favorite foods don’t have to be avoided, as there is no metal for anything crunchy or sticky to get stuck in.

Every patient will receive at least six custom aligners from our orthodontist in Rocklin, each slightly different from the last. They are to be worn for about two weeks, long enough for them to apply pressure to the teeth and push them a small amount. Each one will move the teeth a bit more, until they reach their intended, healthier spaces.

What are Aligners?

How Does Invisalign Compare to Other Options?

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Many patients come to our office asking which orthodontic appliance would be best for them, with a specific preference in mind. The usual debate is between Invisalign and braces. Our orthodontist in Rocklin wants patients to be knowledgeable about how Invisalign compares to other orthodontic options.

The main difference between Invisalign and braces, the two most commonly used appliances, is the look that comes with them. Traditional braces are made of metal brackets and wires placed on the front of the teeth, making them very noticeable. On the other hand, Invisalign is nearly see-through, meaning patients can possibly go days without anyone noticing they are undergoing treatment.

Another major difference between Invisalign and any type of braces is the way they correct the placement of the teeth. With braces, the dentist tightens the wires periodically to pull the teeth into place. Conversely, Invisalign aligners envelope the arches, and push the teeth into healthier positions.

Lastly, as most patients are aware, Invisalign aligners can be removed to eat, drink, and clean the teeth. Braces, however, remain on the teeth until the end of treatment, and can only be removed by a professional. This naturally means the treatment experience is very different between the two appliances. For more information about these treatments, talk to our Invisalign dentist.

How Does Invisalign Compare to Other Options?

How Metal Braces Work

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Though there are several, more modern orthodontic appliances available today that are often preferred by patients, traditional metal braces are the best at correcting a vast amount of issues. They may not be clear or comfortable, but they are the most useful and effective. The following explains how metal braces work.

After an exam and decision to proceed with traditional braces, our Rocklin orthodontist will take an impression of the teeth and any other images if necessary. These will be used to track the progression of the teeth throughout treatment. They will then proceed to bond metal brackets to the teeth, either on one arch or both. Brackets used today are typically smaller than those used in the past. A metal wire is then threaded through them. It is this wire that works to move the teeth into correct places. The patient must attend regular appointments to get the wire tightened. The pressure created by the tight wire forces the teeth to move. The teeth rearrange best when moved slowly, so regular tightening appointments over the course of several months are required for correct treatment.

The ends of the wires and the brackets can be abrasive against the soft tissue of the mouth. Our expert in metal braces in Rocklin can provide patients with wax or other solutions for this problem. Basic medications are sufficient in alleviating pain from the pressure.

How Metal Braces Work

Costs of Getting Invisalign

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment option that continues to gain popularity. Those requiring straighter and better spaced teeth can enjoy their treatment without the discomfort and unappealing look of traditional metal braces. The Invisalign company has even created different versions, Full, Teen, and Express, thus providing care more customized to their wide variety of customers. If your orthodontist has recommended Invisalign for you, you might be wondering about the cost.

The price you will pay for Invisalign is dependent on several factors. Where you plan to receive your treatment can affect the cost, as the prices for orthodontic appliances tend to be higher in big cities than small towns. The severity of your case will determine how long the process will take, which will in turn affect the overall costs. Patients should do their best to wear their aligners a minimum of twenty hours a day, and to not lose them. Failure to do so can prolong the treatment, require payment for replacement aligners, and increase costs.

During your consultation, your orthodontist will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth, and construct a plan to follow over the course of the next several months. After this process, they should be able to give you a solid idea of your Invisalign cost in Rocklin.

Costs of Getting Invisalign