Let Your Orthodontist Help You Choose the Right Orthodontic Options

There are a lot of different orthodontic treatment options available to you if you hear that you or your child need braces. Aside from the traditional metal braces that we have known forever, there are other choices like clear braces and plastic aligners. With so many things to choose from, how can you know if you have picked the right one? By talking to your orthodontist about your preferences and using his or her knowledge of what options are out there as well as what you need, you can be sure you will find the right orthodontic option for you.

Types of orthodontic options for adults

Braces are needed to help with misaligned bites and crooked teeth so you have optimal oral health for a lifetime. If you don’t have teeth that can be cleaned properly, it can lead to cavities, gum disease, or tooth loss. Braces straighten your teeth and align your teeth and jaws to prevent any problems from occurring.

There are several types of orthodontic treatment options available today. Your treatment plan will all depend on what you need. Some of the types of braces and treatments include:

  • Clear aligners
  • Metal braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Retainers

A lot will depend on the size and shape of your jaw, what kind of work needs to be done in terms of your teeth – i.e. are there gaps or a bite alignment issue that need to be corrected? – and the size of your teeth.

One factor you won’t notice is age. There is no such thing as a maximum age!

For children, the American Association of Orthodontists or AAO recommends that their first visit to the orthodontist is at age 7. If nothing else, this helps your orthodontist determine a baseline. They can examine your child’s jaw and make sure that all of the adult teeth will be able to come in correctly. If some work needs to be done to help your child have enough room for their teeth, now is a great time to seek orthodontic options for crowded teeth. Generally speaking, kids wear braces between ages 10 and 14.

If one of the orthodontic options Aventura your child needs means some jaw adjustment has to be done, there is something called a Forsus appliance that helps move either the upper jaw or the lower jaw. It is comprised of springs attached to the braces that take the place of headgear. If the upper jaw is too small, there are palate expanders that are worn on the inside of the upper jaw to gently make it wider and give more room to the teeth. That way they don’t have to pull teeth when the upper jaw’s teeth are too crowded.

Metal and ceramic braces

When it comes to orthodontic options, traditional metal braces are the ones we are all the most familiar with. They are composed of a series of small stainless steel brackets that affix to the front of the teeth and then small wires called arch wires are run through the center of the brackets. These wires will vary in thickness and shape (i.e. round versus square) during the course of treatment. If you have some jaw issues that need to be corrected also, there may be metal bands with the brackets attached placed around the back teeth on the top and bottom so that additional appliances or elastics can be used to help guide the teeth into their new positions. These elastics are affixed using small posts that stick up from the metal brackets. Regardless of the type of bracket you have, the arch wires are then held in place by small rubber bands.

Ceramic braces work a lot like metal ones do, except that the brackets are made from a tooth colored ceramic material so they are much less noticeable. The wires are still made of metal so that they have the strength to do the work of applying pressure to the teeth to guide them into place. Tiny rubber bands called ligatures are used to hold the wires in place, just like you would find with metal braces. You can even get these in fun colors that match your mood or the season.

Another type of orthodontic options is self-ligating braces. Self-ligating braces are a lot like the familiar metal braces but instead of using the tiny rubber bands to hold the arch wire in place, they have tiny clips that snap into place to hold the wire. There are some ceramic braces that can use this type of anchor as well. These types of braces are also considered to be easier to keep clean.

Because they don’t have the little bands and rely on a clip, self-ligating braces are not as sturdy as other kinds of orthodontic options North Miami so they may not be able to do everything that traditional metal braces can. But, because the little rubber bands don’t have to be changed out, you end up with fewer visits to the orthodontist and you might even get done with your treatment a little faster since the pressure on the teeth is steady and constant.

After the braces come off, most people are given retainers to wear that will help hold the teeth in their new spots until the bone sets. Orthodontists recommend that you typically wear them every day for six months to a year, all the time, before switching to night only wear so you prevent having your teeth move into the previous positions.

While you have your braces on, one thing that is not optional is dental care! It’s really important that you keep your teeth clean and that you visit your dentist regularly. Another way to care for your teeth is to use a fluoride rinse that helps keep the teeth strong and also helps rinse out any particles of food that might be stuck in there. When you have braces, you need to be even more careful about brushing and flossing so food particles don’t sit on the teeth and cause decay. Flossing is easier if you use the little tiny brushes that go between the teeth or if you use special floss threaders designed for braces or other dental work. You can ask your dentist what he or she would recommend.

To brush your teeth around all of those brackets, start along the underside of the brackets and angle your brush at a 45 degree angle and use small circles as you move along the brackets. Then do the same along the top of the brackets.

Lingual braces

When thinking about orthodontic options Aventura, another type that is available is lingual braces. Lingual braces are the same as traditional braces of either metal or ceramic, but the big difference is that they attach to the back of the teeth instead. They are great because they are basically invisible, but because they are on the backside, they can be harder to keep clean. They are also a lot more expensive. Since the backs of teeth are curved and not flat like you find on the front, each bracket has to be custom made. Also, adjusting takes more time so you won’t have appointments that are just in and out.

They are sometimes used on children, but most of the time they are an orthodontic option for adults because they are invisible.


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Tula Garcia

Dr. Ivanov was amazing. When I first got my braces I was scared it was going to last 4yrs for my teeth to look better but it only lasted 2yrs and the results are beyond amazing. I’m really happy with everything and would absolutely recommend him to anyone. Thank you so much.

Kimberly Martinez

Very good experience. The attention was great. The doctor is very punctual and they don’t make you wait, which for my busy schedule is super important. Also, the time the doctor told me I had to wear the braces was the exact time I needed and I was very happy with the results. Definitely recommend him.

Laura Jimenez

Dr. Ivanov was amazing. He was very understanding and took the time to explain, every step of the process for my daughters braces. I am proud to say with great care her braces were finally removed and the end result is the beautiful smile she now has. Thank you

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Clear aligners

Another type of orthodontic options North Miami is clear aligners, known often by the brand name Invisalign. These are plastic trays that you can take out when you want to eat or brush your teeth, then put back in. They are clear and fit closely to your teeth, so a lot of times no one will know you are wearing them. They do take a bit of adjustment time, but once you get used to them, they generally do not cause the level of discomfort that metal braces will since there are no small brackets to catch on the inside of the mouth.

You will wear them almost all the time every day for about two years, and a new aligner is switched in every two to three weeks. The aligners move the teeth into position much like braces do, but more gently.

These orthodontic options Miami are great for people who have basic alignment issues or gaps they want to close. If more extensive jaw alignment is necessary, they are typically not the best choice. Also, they only come in sizes for teens and adults, so kids are not able to use clear aligners.

Many times at the end of treatment patients are given plastic retainers that can also be removed for eating and cleaning. They are thin and often colored to match the gums so they aren’t very noticeable. They are formed to fit the teeth and palate exactly so they can hold the teeth in place and not let them drift away while the bones of the jaws finish hardening. Some retainers are affixed to the teeth but these are less common.

Mouth guards

Something your orthodontist might recommend is wearing a mouth guard. If you are into sports, this is a must! You will want to wear a mouth guard to both protect your teeth and all of the orthodontia you have. There are two kinds – one is more generic and you buy it to cover over everything. The other is one that you heat up either in hot water or the microwave and then bite into so it fits your particular mouth perfectly. This one will provide better individual protection for everything you have. Your dentist might also be able to custom make a mouth guard for you that will be a further step up. The AAO recommends wearing a mouth guard of some sort during sports activity regardless of what kind you choose.

Dental options orthodontics

There are some other choices to make, like what office to choose. A modern up to date office with a friendly staff is important. Everyone working there should be skilled and also caring. Sometimes you can find an office that has both a dentist and an orthodontist in the same building, which makes it very convenient.

Flexible scheduling is also very important. You want to be able to make all of your appointments so be sure to find an office that offers times that work for your schedule to maximize your treatment options.

Your dentist may have some dental options orthodontics as well, including veneers to correct small teeth or bridges to help fill in gaps. Implants are another option for filling in missing teeth.

Orthodontic payment options

Braces can be expensive. They generally run between $3,000 and $8,000 dollars, though some like lingual braces will cost more. Many orthodontists will be more than happy to work out a payment plan to help with making it possible to afford braces.

Another one of the orthodontic options to pay for braces is through your dental insurance. A lot of plans cover at least part of the cost for teens and children who need braces. Alternatively, if you have Medicaid or CHIP, you often will have coverage for your kids if their teeth or bite are out of alignment and it is medically necessary for them to have braces.

Some dental schools will be willing to give you a discounted treatment so long as you are willing to be treated by the students. Don’t worry, your treatment will be overseen by a licensed orthodontist at every step.

You might have a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account through your employer. You can often tap into these accounts to pay for your braces, also. Check with your benefits administrator and/or your orthodontist office on how that works.

Summing it up

Choosing from the various orthodontic options which type of braces or clear aligners you want is part of putting you on the path to a great smile and a healthy mouth. There are types available for everyone, so no matter what you have going on in your life, you can find a solution that works. With an improved bite, your teeth will wear correctly and last a lot longer. So ask your orthodontist today what orthodontic options are available for you so you can get started.

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