Here at Gulfside Dental, we offer traditional and clear orthodontic braces to help solve issues related to having a crooked smile. Having straight teeth is important to not only have a beautiful smile, but also having teeth that function optimally.
For most people, achieving a healthy, beautiful smile is the reason for choosing to receive orthodontic care. If you’re self-conscious about your smile, having braces will greatly improve the way you look and feel.
When your treatment is complete, you will have the smile you’ve always dreamed of as well as the confidence to show it off! We also want you to feel comfortable and confident throughout your entire orthodontic experience, so our practice is dedicated to making sure that you receive the quality care you deserve.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances are made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to the proper position.
Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can now choose from brackets that are clear or metallic, and in some cases, the color of your appliance. Wires are far less noticeable, and the latest materials are designed to move teeth faster with more comfort. Today, any age is a great age to wear braces!
Types of Braces
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth by using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Clear (Ceramic) Braces
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene, as ceramic braces are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth rather than on lower teeth.
Clear aligners are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth like braces. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable; so, you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, this helps to make brushing and flossing less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. At Gulfside Dental, we offer both Invisalign and Invisalign Teen.
Duration of Treatment
Depending on several factors, including age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your case is, treatment time varies and can last between six months and three years. A big factor to a successful treatment is you, the patient! The more involved and diligent you are, the quicker and more efficient your treatment will be. For children, receiving interceptive, or early treatment, can also help provide a quicker treatment time later on in life.
Before beginning your orthodontic care, your doctor will discuss all of your options and provide an estimate for how long your full treatment may take. Contact your local Gulfside office today to schedule an appointment to learn more about if orthodontics is right for you.
Choosing to straighten your teeth is a big decision that affects not only your appearance, but your lifestyle as well. As an adult, you may be looking to improve your smile for business and social reasons, or even for a special occasion like your wedding day. Or perhaps you’re a teen or the parent of a teen looking for an effective yet modern-day solution. Either way, Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® can provide a simple way to accomplish this without having to put your life on hold.
Sure, there are other options out there for straightening your teeth, but none offers the level of comfort, convenience and confidence that you’ll find with Invisalign®. And no matter what stage you’re at in life, you’ll appreciate how our cutting-edge approach to treatment has minimal interference in how you live, but has a significant positive impact on how you look and feel about yourself.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF STRAIGHT TEETH
You may be surprised to know that the benefits of having properly aligned teeth extend far beyond a confident smile. According to the American Dental Association, straightening your teeth can actually significantly affect your overall dental health. Think about it — a smile can hardly be perfect if it’s not a healthy one. Fortunately, with Invisalign®, having a confident smile and reducing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease go hand in hand.
HOW INVISALIGN WORKS
Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners for 20-22 hours a day will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
1) Talk to an Invisalign provider
During the consultation, you and your doctor will discuss your case in detail to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign now addresses many cases, from simple to more complex. Your doctor will determine if Invisalign is right for you. (Take the Smile Assessment ahead of time to see if you might be a good candidate.) This will also be your opportunity to ask any questions about Invisalign, costs , dental/orthodontic insurance, or any other concerns.
2) A customized treatment plan is created for you
Your doctor will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign will use to create a digital 3-D image of them. From these images your doctor will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth, and tell you the approximate length of treatment. Using the same technology your doctor will be able to show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move with each stage of treatment. While every case is unique to each patient, treatment typically takes approximately a year for adults. For teens the length of treatments is comparable to that of braces.
3) Receive your custom aligners based on your personalized treatment plan
Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear aligners is then created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won’t irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. Simply wear them throughout the day, and remove them when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. And because they’re virtually invisible, most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them.
4) Wear a new aligner every two weeks
Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage of your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups with your doctor, usually only every six weeks or so. For best results and a timely outcome, you should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment. At every stage, you will be able to see how much closer you are to having the smile that reflects the real you.
5) Reveal your new smile & keep it looking great with retainers
Congratulations! This is the time when you celebrate. You have reached the end of treatment and you will be smiling more than ever.
Once your treatment is complete, protect the beautiful new smile you have invested in. You will need retainers to keep your teeth in their new position. Ask your doctor which type of retainers will be best for you.
Call your nearest Gulfside Dental location today to schedule a free orthodontic consultation, and take the first step to a new you!