All About Braces
In addition to not looking good, crooked or misaligned teeth can also lead to oral health and overall health problems. Fortunately, braces can fix these problems and Art of Smile - Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics will do so with the most technological advances. Many people today have mistaken notions of how braces work, so let us share with you what you can expect if you become a patient.
What's the Procedure For Getting Braces?
The first step is a consultation where Dr. James asks you about your health and what medications you're currently using. She will also do a clinical exam, take pictures of your face and teeth, and make a digital scan of your teeth. We will use this information to determine if braces are the right options for you. If so, a 3D x-ray will help us develop a detailed treatment plan and prescribe an appliance system for you.
Once you receive your braces, you'll still need to come in for periodic adjustment appointments so we can make sure they're putting the right amount of pressure on your teeth. Dr. James and the team will make the necessary adjustments to move your teeth closer to their intended positions.
How Long does Braces Treatment Take?
The length of braces treatment varies, but most patients wear them for 1 to 3 years. After they are removed, most patients must wear a retainer regularly for 8 - 12 months until the teeth are stable in their new position. When the teeth are stable, nighttime wear provides maintenance that teeth need to avoid normal changes that occur through the aging process.
Can Adults get Braces?
Teeth function the same regardless of age. Since the tooth straightening process of braces is the same for all ages, both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment. One thing to note is that since adult bone structure is finished growing, there may not be as many options for bite correction as there are in adolescent treatment. As a result, some corrections in adults may need other procedures in conjunction with their braces.
Can Braces Patients Play Sports?
Braces patients can play any sports, but we prescribe mouthguards for athletes who play contact sports. Specifically, orthodontic mouthguards are made to fit over the braces to protect soft tissue and teeth in case you get hit in the mouth. After your orthodontic treatment is completed, a custom made mouthguard is recommended for the most ideal fit and comfort.
What Happens once the Braces are Removed?
After removing the braces, Dr. James will polish your teeth free of any adhesive. Final x-rays, photos and a digital scan of your teeth will be taken to examine the results of your orthodontic treatment and evaluate your wisdom teeth, so the appropriate recommendation for their care can be made. If the wisdom teeth are unable to erupt normally, it may be suggested to have a consultation with an oral surgeon to consider having them removed.
Dr. James will also provide you with an upper and lower retainer, a custom-made oral appliance that keeps your teeth in place after braces are removed. Until your muscles, gums, and bone structure adapt to the changes, your teeth can still move out of place, this is called relapse. They can also shift after a long period of time if a retainer is not used nightly.
For more information, please contact our office: 215-800-0015.