Questions from patients
An orthodontist is a dental health professional who can diagnose and treat irregularities in the alignment of your teeth and jaw. These individuals will correct conditions, such as malocclusion, that a dentist is able to identify but unable to treat. These professionals can also predict problems you might have with your alignment, mouth or jaw in the future. Staff use fixed and removable devices to correct the position of your teeth, including braces and retainers.
As a profession, orthodontics involves the correction of a number of common issues, including crooked or crowded teeth, bite issues and jaw misalignment. A dentist might first notice your alignment problem during an exam and refer you to an orthodontist for treatment. If your teeth remain misaligned, you can have a number of other issues, like more difficulty caring for your dental hygiene.
Thanks to professional treatment for crooked, unevenly spaced teeth or a misaligned jaw, you can improve your quality of life in the following ways:
- Being able to eat and chew food more easily
- Speaking with clearer pronunciation
- Having a confident smile with a more evenly proportioned chin
Traditionally, children and teenagers are the primary orthodontic patients, but an orthodontist can work with patients of any age. According to the American Academy of Orthodontics, your child should have their first visit to the orthodontist by the age of 7.
When you’re young, your teeth move more easily, but as long as your teeth and gums are healthy, you’re a candidate to get braces or another treatment at any age. As orthodontic treatments have advanced, more adult patients are getting braces and alternative treatments.
Several types of braces are available for patients, and your orthodontist will determine which kind you’re a good candidate for:
- Metal braces
These braces are the traditional style of braces with brackets and archwires. They’re made from high-grain stainless steel and include elastic bands with many fun color options you can combine to personalize your braces. Metal braces include the installation of brackets in a painless, noninvasive procedure you can have without the need for any anesthesia.
- Self-ligating braces
This option has more opportunities for customization than metal braces. The brackets can be made of ceramic or metal, and they can also be clear, offering more discretion. These braces are installed with a clip to reduce the pressure on your teeth. The procedure for getting self-ligating braces is simple, painless and can be performed without the use of anesthesia.
- Damon braces
Damon braces are a type of self-ligating braces with a slide mechanism. They rely on the self-ligating system instead of elastic bands. As the teeth move, this mechanism makes micro-adjustments so they can realign in a more precise way. Wearing Damon braces may result in a shorter treatment time.
- Ceramic braces
Clear ceramic braces are designed to blend in with your teeth, so you can smile with more confidence while you’re getting your teeth straightened. Ceramic braces are brittle, which makes them slightly harder to work with for orthodontists.
Clear aligners like Invisalign are different from braces, but they also work to straighten teeth and have become popular in recent years. They’re a particularly effective option for adult patients with mild malocclusion.
During the installation procedure, you might need to have tooth-colored attachments secured to your teeth. You can remove your clear aligner trays when you want to brush your teeth, eat or drink. You’ll change your aligner trays on a weekly basis until you have completed your treatment.
- Metal braces
Your treatment could take up to two years to complete. How long you’ll have to wear your braces depends on the:
- Type of braces or treatment
- Condition of your teeth and gums
- Severity of your misalignment
The cost of your treatment will depend upon the procedure. You can use a payment plan to complete the full cost or get financing with a third-party service. If you’re getting braces, multiple payment options should be available so you can have access to the required treatment.
If your insurance plan offers a policy for braces or another orthodontic treatment you need, practices like Nicolas Orthodontics will accept your coverage. Having an insurance policy can make your treatment easier to pay for because you’re only responsible for your co-pay and any out-of-pocket costs. Your insurance might cover a specific treatment without covering certain medications or similar treatments, so it’s a good idea to check with your insurance beforehand.
After you get braces, you have to keep brushing and flossing your teeth to maintain good oral hygiene. It could take longer to complete your usual routine, especially after you’ve just gotten your braces and are still getting used to them. Maintain the health of your teeth and gums by:
- Regularly brushing and flossing
- Using a water flosser
- Checking your braces for sneaky food particles
You need to wear your retainer after completing your braces treatment so your teeth will stay in the correct positions. If you lose your retainer, you can request a new one from your orthodontist. Care for your retainer by:
- Rinsing and cleaning it regularly
- Avoiding leaving it out in hot conditions
- Keeping it away from pets
- Storing it securely in its case
If you’re seeing an orthodontist for your braces treatment, you still need to regularly see your dentist. Annual visits are recommended for hygiene treatments and exams. Your dentist has a distinct role in your orthodontic care.
Do you need braces or another orthodontic treatment? Nicolas Orthodontics offers premier care to patients of all ages in Boca Raton. Our team is experienced and professional, and we strive to maintain the highest standards in a welcoming environment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.