If you didn’t get a chance to straighten your teeth as a child or a teenager, there’s no reason why you can’t take action as an adult. More and more, we’re seeing new advancements in adults orthodontic technology that makes it easier, cheaper, and more convenient (think Invisalign!) to get started on the path to a new, straight smile.
While not all children have the benefit of getting braces when they’re young, some do, but as we age, our teeth still shift a bit leading to dental malocclusions (misalignment). Our team at 3V Dental Associates in Port Washington specializes in clear adult braces with a minimal appearance, making it easy for you to get started.
While orthodontics and Invisalign fall under cosmetic dental services, they don’t have to carry the “cosmetic” price tag. Ask our team about our special Invisalign discounts and ways to help you make that smile affordable!
What are the Different Types of Dental Malocclusions?
There are many types of dental malocclusions, including:
• Wide gaps
You may have one or more of these dental health issues, and that is why you must have a customized orthodontic treatment. The process of choosing the proper orthodontics for you will depend on several factors, including your types of misalignments, how much you can afford for the treatment and your personal preferences. It is also a good idea to think about what your orthodontist suggests so that you will understand the amount of care that is required for certain types of braces or clear aligners.
What Are the Types of Orthodontics Available?
Type 1: Traditional Metal Devices
In the past, there was only one type of orthodontic device, and you may remember seeing your friends wear traditional metallic braces on their teeth. These types of devices are still available today, but the good news is that the brackets are smaller and the wires are thinner. In addition, a computer software program will analyze your malocclusions to determine how the wires are placed on your teeth along with how the wires are tightened every few weeks. This can lead to a shorter treatment time than your friends had when they were younger. However, it is important to remember that children have softer alveolar bones in their teeth, so the pressure from the brackets will move teeth quickly. Adults have firmer bones in their gums, so it can take a longer amount of time to complete treatment. Affordability is one of the most important benefits from metal braces because other types of treatments can cost more. Caring for these traditional devices requires special care to avoid breaking the delicate wires or dislodging the metal brackets. You must consume a healthy diet, but you should also restrict certain foods that can damage the brackets or the wires. In addition, you must learn how to brush and floss carefully between the wires and the brackets.
Type 2: Clear Braces
Today, you can select clear orthodontic treatment, and these devices are made from plastic, porcelain or ceramic materials. These types of braces are perfect for adults who want to have a beautiful smile without having noticeable brackets and wires. Clear brackets and wires are also designed with computer software, and you must use caution to avoid damaging the items. In addition to having a list of foods that you cannot consume, you must also avoid artificial dyes or brightly colored foods and beverages that can stain the ceramic, porcelain or plastic materials of the wires and brackets. While flossing and brushing, you should select toothpaste, floss and mouthwash that won’t harm the brackets or the wires. An advantage from wearing clear braces is that you may feel less embarrassed about orthodontic treatment as an adult because the items are practically invisible.
Type 3: Self-ligating Devices
If you are a busy adult, then you may want to limit your visits to an orthodontist’s office when you need to straighten your teeth with devices that have wires. Damon braces are special types of devices that have numerous self-ligating brackets. You won’t need to cope with elastic o-rings that degrade or break, requiring you to replace the items. Without the o-rings, the wires can move easily through the brackets. This can make the items less uncomfortable on your teeth, reducing the discomfort in your jaw, gums and soft tissues of the mouth. A benefit of these devices is that the wires are made from lightweight metals such as titanium, nickel and copper. Caring for Damon devices is similar to caring for your regular braces, and you must also follow your orthodontist’s dietary guidelines to protect the items from damage.
Type 4: Lingual Braces
Today, it is also possible to have the brackets of your braces placed on the backs of your teeth. Many adults prefer this type of treatment because the brackets are nearly impossible for others to see. While this is a wonderful benefit, the process of adjusting to the brackets may become difficult because your tongue will touch the brackets while you talk and chew food. In addition, you may need to use extra care while performing oral hygiene because it is important to remove all of the food debris from the brackets that are located on the backs of your teeth. However, by using small adjustable mirrors, you can use flossing picks and other tools to dislodge the food debris. It is also a good idea to buy and use an oral irrigator that emits highly pressurized streams of water against your teeth along with the wires and the brackets, helping to keep your mouth clean.
Type 5: Invisalign Clear Aligners
When you have mild to moderate dental malocclusions, your dentist may recommend Invisalign clear aligners. One of the best benefits from aligners is that the items are invisible on your teeth when you care for the items properly. When you are able to wear aligners, you will receive 20 to 30 sets that are made in a series. Each set is designed in a different way to apply pressure against your poorly aligned teeth. You can wear each set of aligners for two weeks before switching to the next set. An important part of the treatment plan with Invisalign is wearing the aligners for most of the night and day. While the aligners are removable, if you don’t wear the devices enough, then your teeth will shift back into the wrong positions. You are permitted to remove the aligners while you brush and floss your teeth, making sure to clean the devices to keep the items invisible on your teeth. To protect the aligners, you should remove the devices while you chew food or drink beverages. Caring for Invisalign aligners is easy by using mild toothpaste to wash away any plaque along with making sure to insert and remove the items carefully. One of the advantages from Invisalign treatment is that you can remove the devices for special occasions such as a business meeting or an event such as a wedding. Clear Invisalign aligners are the most popular choice for adults.
You can read more about the Invisalign process here.
Dr. Irina Kellerman-Volk is a respected general and cosmetic dentist at our dental care center. She is a 1997 graduate of New York University College of Dentistry. She is a warm and compassionate person, and she dedicates her full attention, delicate touch, and excellent clinical skills to each patient she treats. With modern dentistry, virtually anything can be fixed or corrected in a person’s teeth and smile. But it takes the skill, artistry and experience of a true specialist, combined with the latest high-tech procedures to bring about the most dazzling results. She is a caring and committed professional who is dedicated to her patients dental health. Anyone who has been treated by Dr. Kellerman-Volk can appreciate her honesty, wit, and strong sense of family values.