Braces From Your Sioux Falls Orthodontist
What a difference straight teeth can make! A great-looking smile can boost your self-confidence and have a positive impact on social and professional opportunities. Orthodontic treatment is the original smile makeover tool — and you will be happy to know that you're never too old to take advantage of it. But it isn't all about looks: Properly aligned teeth help you to bite, chew and even speak more effectively. They are also easier to clean, which helps keep your mouth free of tooth decay and gum disease.
If you have problems with your teeth, your dentist may recommend you see an orthodontist to prevent serious dental problems in the future. Patients with bite problems or alignment issues may need braces to alleviate or resolve the problem. To know if you need braces, consult an experienced orthodontist near you, so they can discuss the cost and what to expect after the treatment. You may see an orthodontist even without a referral from your dentist.
FAQs About Braces
What Are Braces?
Braces are dental devices used to correct misalignment issues and other problems with your teeth. You may need braces when you have crooked teeth or when there are a lot of gaps in your teeth, or misalignment of your bite. Braces are also commonly used to treat cosmetic issues, but most importantly to improve dental health and function. The great thing about braces is they correct cosmetic and functional issues at the same time!
You may not be eligible to have braces if you have serious dental problems. To know if braces are right for you, contact an orthodontist for a consultation. If you have cavities or gum problems, our dental team will help you treat them first before you get your braces.
How Do Braces Work?
Braces can help straighten and align your teeth by exerting constant light pressure on them. They don’t hurt, but you may feel a little discomfort when your orthodontist fits the braces. If you just got your braces fitted and feel a little discomfort, you may want to take Ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve the discomfort.
Some patients may only need a year to wear braces, while others may need to wear their orthodontic devices for 2-3 years. The average time patients wear braces is 2-2.5 years. Contact an orthodontist to determine how long it takes to get the desired results. If you need to wear braces, it’s important to know how to properly care for them to avoid repairs or replacements. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing your teeth, and make sure you floss right after. Consider using mouthwash as well.
Watch your diet; avoid alcohol, soda, and dark-colored beverages as much as possible. Don’t smoke, as it can lead to discoloration of your braces as well as have a negative impact on your dental health. Also, avoid eating hard and crunchy food to prevent damage to your braces. Follow aftercare instructions to ensure your braces stay in place.
What Age Is Best for Braces?
Braces are for children and adults. It is recommended to start seeing children at age 7. This allows us to monitor growth and development as well as for early detection of abnormalities. In some cases treatment may be needed in two phases. If early orthodontic treatment is needed (Phase I) to help address growth patterns and help with growth of permanent teeth. Braces will likely also be needed again when all the permanent teeth have grown in (Phase II). The average age for all permanent teeth to be in is around the age of 12. If early orthodontic treatment is not needed your orthodontist will monitor growth and tooth development until all teeth are in and braces will only be needed once.
Our advice is to see an orthodontist right away if you have alignment issues with your teeth. The sooner you get help, the sooner our team can provide you with a comprehensive plan for your smile.
How Long Will I Need Braces For?
How long it takes for braces to straighten your teeth depends on the condition of your teeth. It may take longer if you have serious misalignment issues. Some people may need up to 3 years to see their desired results.
Types of Braces
The amazing thing about orthodontics is that it harnesses the body's natural ability to remodel its own tissue. With the application of light, constant force, orthodontic appliances gently reshape bone and move teeth into better positions. Some examples of these appliances are traditional metal braces, inconspicuous clear or tooth-colored braces, and clear aligners, a relatively new option for adults and teens.
Below are the two types of braces you can get. We also offer clear aligners as an alternative to traditional braces. Which braces are best for you depends on your preferences and the type of dental problem you need to correct. Our orthodontist in Sioux Falls can check the condition of your teeth and recommend the most effective treatment.
Metal braces are usually referred to as traditional braces. Compared to clear braces, metal is most durable. The clear braces are also quite durable but are made of ceramic. Metal braces are made with stainless steel. A series of wires will be used with the brackets to straighten your teeth, you may also need to wear rubber bands to align your bite. If you prefer your braces to be less visible you may want to go with the clear braces or discuss if clear aligners are a good option for you.
Clear braces use brackets made of ceramic or plastic which, except for the slim archwire, are hardly visible. To determine which type of braces is best for you, please don’t hesitate to visit one of our clinics. We offer a free consultation!
Clear Aligners: An Alternative to Braces
Removable clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are an alternative to fixed orthodontic appliances. They consist of a series of clear plastic “trays” that fit over your teeth exactly; each one moves your teeth a little bit, until they are in the proper position.
Which Option Is Right For You?
Whether fixed or removable, each type of orthodontic appliance may have advantages or disadvantages in particular situations. The best thing you can do is to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Wermerson, our Sioux Falls Orthodontist. Our team will perform a thorough checkup of your teeth, identify problems that will need to be fixed, and recommend if getting braces or clear aligners is right for you. After a complete examination, Dr. Wermerson will discuss the best treatment options for your individual situation.
Benefits of Braces
Crooked or gapped teeth can make you self-conscious about your look. Wearing braces can help straighten or align your teeth, boost your self-confidence, help alleviate discomfort, correct bite issues, and in some cases even improve speech. If your dental problem prevents you from properly brushing and flossing your teeth, wearing braces can fix this problem. After a successful treatment, it’ll be much easier for you to clean your teeth, helping to prevent other problems such as cavities or tooth decay.
How much braces cost depends on the severity of the misalignment and the treatment time needed to address all your alignment needs.
Bite Problems and How to Fix Them
Orthodontic treatment can resolve a number of bite problems, which often become evident by around age 7. These include underbite, crossbite or excessive overbite, where upper and lower teeth don't close in the proper position; open bite, where a space remains between top and bottom teeth when the jaws are closed; and crowding or excessive spacing, where teeth are spaced too close together or too far apart.
To correct bite problems, teeth need to be moved — but doing that isn't as hard as you might think! Teeth aren't fixed rigidly in their supporting bone; instead, they're held in place by a hammock-like structure called the periodontal ligament, which is very responsive to forces placed on the teeth. Orthodontic appliances move teeth by careful application of light, constant pressure. This force can be applied via metal wires that run through small brackets attached to the teeth (braces), or via the semi-rigid plastic of clear aligners.
Orthodontics is for Children — and Adults!
Having orthodontic treatment in childhood is ideal in order to take advantage of a youngster's natural growth processes to help move the teeth into proper alignment. Like the rest of the body, the teeth and jaws are now changing rapidly. So at this time it's possible (for example) to create more room for teeth in a crowded mouth by using a "palatal expander" to rapidly widen the upper jaw. This phase of growth modification can shorten overall treatment time and ensure the best result if additional orthodontic appliances are needed.
But remember, healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so you've never “missed the boat” for orthodontic treatment. In fact, about one in five of today's orthodontic patients is an adult. Several new technological developments — including tooth-colored ceramic braces and clear aligners — have made orthodontic appliances less evident, and enhanced the treatment experience for grown-ups. Before treatment, adults are carefully examined for signs of periodontal (gum) disease, which will be brought under control before treatment begins.
Retention & Post Orthodontic Care
Once your orthodontic treatment is completed, it's extremely important to wear a retainer as directed. That's because teeth naturally tend to drift back to their original locations — which is the last thing you want after you've gone to the trouble of straightening them! Wearing a retainer holds your teeth in their new position long enough for new bone and ligament to re-form around them, and helps keep your gorgeous new smile looking good for a lifetime.
Get in Touch With Us!
Properly aligned jaws and teeth are the foundations of a healthy mouth, good oral health, and a beautiful smile. Orthodontic treatment can also help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, corrective straightening, and other conditions that negatively impact oral health over time. If you are considering orthodontic treatment and want to discuss your options and the results you can expect, call Wermerson Orthodontics in Sioux Falls, SD today at (605) 274-0555 to schedule a consultation!