Every year, millions of Americans embark on an orthodontic journey with braces. That’s a lot of beautiful smiles in the making! At Orthodontic Specialists, we’re treating more patients than ever before in our Cincinnati-area offices. This is largely due to the technological advances we’ve seen in the last several years. Today’s patients have more options than ever before for improving their oral health, including a range of effective and affordable treatments!
The improvements we’ve seen in orthodontics mean we can offer every patient a more rewarding experience, from the first visit to the last. Have you been considering orthodontic treatment for you or a loved one? There’s never been a better time to explore how braces can transform your smile! Let’s take a closer look at the different treatment options we have available and how they work to correct misaligned teeth and jaws.
What are braces? How do they work?
Braces have been around in one form or another for centuries! In fact, the basic design of the braces we use now has been around since the early 1900s. That means they have a long history of successfully correcting various orthodontic issues. They can be beneficial in cases that are more severe or complex.
Traditional braces are composed of metal or clear brackets affixed to the surface of the teeth. These are connected by wires and tiny rubber bands that are sometimes referred to as “ligatures.” Over time, these components work together to gently move the teeth into the desired positions.
Braces can sometimes align teeth more quickly than other methods might, although this will vary from case to case. Every smile is unique, and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way. In general, however, patients can expect to spend anywhere from 12-36 months in braces, depending on their specific needs.
Like anything new, traditional braces can come with a learning curve! Food restrictions are a good example of this. To protect the braces, patients need to avoid eating anything crunchy or sticky throughout the treatment process. It can be frustrating to give up some of your favorite foods, even if the end result is more than worth it!
Some braces patients have a hard time with oral hygiene in the beginning, too. The brackets and wires create nooks and crannies that trap food debris and bacteria, and these can be difficult to clean effectively. Fortunately, there are a number of accessories designed to make this an easier process! Oral irrigators can help rinse hard-to-reach areas, while ortho picks can assist with successful flossing. We recommend that our patients brush every morning, night, and after every meal for the best results. Flossing every night before bed is also essential for keeping the teeth and gums healthy.
Follow-up visits are another important part of the treatment process. Patients in braces should expect to see us every 4-8 weeks or so. During these appointments, one of our doctors will check that the teeth are moving according to the treatment plan and make any necessary adjustments. They may also change the bands attached to the brackets and replace the wire. We do our best to get patients in and out so they can return to work or school as quickly as possible!
What types of braces are available at Orthodontic Specialists?
Our practice is proud to offer patients of all ages a range of treatment options, including the following.
Modern metal braces are much lighter and more comfortable than they used to be. They’re also customizable! Patients can choose from a variety of fun-colored elastics to add a pop of personality to the treatment process. Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do, metal braces are often a slightly more affordable option. These orthodontic mainstays are a top treatment year after year.
Invisalign clear aligners
The Invisalign system is actually the most popular alternative to traditional braces, but we think it’s worth knowing about, too! Invisalign consists of a series of clear removable aligners that are custom designed to fit comfortably over the patient’s teeth. Like traditional braces, these customized aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions over time. However, they don’t require any brackets, bands, or wires to do so.
Patient compliance is an important aspect of any treatment process, but it’s essential for success with the Invisalign system. Patients must wear the aligners 20-22 hours every day to move the teeth successfully. They’re also responsible for replacing each aligner for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks in order to keep up with the movement of the teeth.
These removable aligners do offer patients a little more flexibility than traditional braces. They’re designed to be taken out when eating or drinking, so there are no food restrictions. It’s also easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Patients simply remove the aligner, then brush and floss as they normally would!
Choose the best braces for you at Orthodontic Specialists
You only get one smile, and it’s as special as you are! That’s why our orthodontists create custom treatment plans for every patient. When you schedule a free consultation at one of our convenient locations, an experienced orthodontist will examine your smile and let you know which treatment option would be the best fit for your smile!
With offices in Colerain, Eastgate, Florence, Hamilton, Hebron, Kenwood, Liberty Township, Oakley, and West Chester Township, it’s never been easier to achieve a beautiful smile! Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our expert team and take the first step towards improved oral health.