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How do I choose which orthodontic product best suits me?

Posted in Braces, Children, General, Invisalign, Treatment Process

So, you've been told you have an orthodontic problem; the next step is to choose a treatment plan. Orthodontic treatment is a significant time and financial commitment. You'll want to double-check that you're using the correct product. Our dentists in British Columbia and Alberta describe some of the most commonly used devices and products in this article.

What are some popular orthodontic products?

Which orthodontic treatment option or product will work best for you will likely be determined by the nature of your orthodontic issue, its severity or complexity, and other factors. Financial considerations are also an issue. These are just some orthodontist- and dentist-recommended orthodontic treatment options that are typically used to help straighten patients' teeth. You and your orthodontist or dentist will need to make the decision regarding which one works for you.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces have received some upgrades in the last few decades as a result of advances in orthodontic technology, becoming more streamlined, lighter in structure, and weight than in the past.

Braces, which are made of high-quality stainless steel and have metal brackets connected by a thin archwire and tiny elastics, apply pressure to your teeth to gradually move them into their prescribed positions. Braces can be used to correct a wide range of simple and complex orthodontic problems, such as misalignment, excess spacing, overcrowding, crooked teeth, and crossbite.

Braces are fixed, so you can't take them off to eat, drink, brush, or floss. Though braces treatment will necessitate the elimination of certain foods from your diet (for example, very hard or sticky foods), you will not have to do the mental work of counting your hours of wear time during the day as you would with clear aligners (see below).

Ceramic Braces

These braces work much like traditional braces. The difference is that the brackets are made out of tooth-coloured ceramic, making them appear to be transparent.

These braces are a popular option for adults who require orthodontic treatment but may not be candidates for clear aligners. They have a lower profile than traditional braces. Keep in mind, however, that the elastics can become discoloured and will necessitate extra care when brushing and flossing.

Clear & Removable Aligners

Invisalign Clear Aligners are a popular alternative to braces for adults who require orthodontic treatment but prefer a less noticeable option. Invisalign Clear Aligners are removable, so you can remove them to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Many patients find that they fit into their lifestyle and allow them to continue eating the foods they enjoy.

However, for them to work, you must wear them for 22 hours per day, so sticking to your custom treatment plan and remembering to track your daily wear time, meal times, and any time your clear aligners will not be worn is critical.

You'll also need to brush and floss your teeth before putting your braces back on to prevent bacteria from becoming trapped between your teeth and the aligners and causing tooth decay and cavities.

Retainers

A custom-made retainer, which is typically made of wires and clear plastic, can be either fixed or removable. They are mostly used to keep your teeth straight after braces or clear aligners treatment. If yours is removable, wear it at all times at first, except when eating or brushing your teeth.

Like braces, retainers also require careful care and maintenance to work as they should and keep your teeth in place.

Palate Expanders

Commonly used for patients with overcrowded teeth, palatal expansion and tooth extraction are two common options.

Though tooth extraction was once more common, orthodontists today will often recommend a palate expander, which is a custom fit to your palate and applies pressure to the backs of your upper molars, gradually moving your teeth apart.

Over time, this expands your palate, making it possible for other types of braces to be used to correct the position of misaligned teeth.

Forsus Appliances

Orthodontists and dentists can now screen children as young as 7 years old to see if they qualify for early orthodontic treatment. If they are, various appliances, including a Forsus appliance, can be used to treat them.

The Forsus appliance has a spring that attaches to braces to bring the upper or lower jaw into position. These have largely replaced the use of brace headgear and are frequently used to correct stubborn overbites.

Are you wondering which orthodontic product best suits you? Contact our British Columbia and Alberta orthodontists today to book a consultation.

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