There comes a point in almost every teen or adult’s life when they are at the dentist and they are told that they could benefit from an orthodontic treatment. It’s rare for people to be born with perfect teeth. Most people can actually benefit from braces or another orthodontic treatment. At Chesterfield Family Dental, we offer both traditional metal braces as well as Invisalign treatment in our Springfield dental office to treat orthodontic problems like crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth as well as bad bites. Fortunately, metal braces have become sleeker, smaller and more comfortable over the years, making this less scary of a treatment option. Find out if traditional metal braces are the right solution for you.
What are Braces?
Traditional metal braces are an orthodontic treatment that has been used for years to correct the alignment and bite of teeth. The treatment consists of metal brackets being bonded to the teeth with a metal wire that connects them all together. The wire works with the brackets to pull your teeth into their desired position at small intervals at a time. The process is quite simple! In some cases, patients may need to wear rubber bands to realign their bite. This is the main difference that separates Invisalign treatment from metal braces.
The metal brackets and wires can be uncomfortable at times. Brackets can easily break if you eat the wrong foods or aren’t careful enough and it’s common for wires to occasionally pop out or poke you. Our staff does their best to help educate you how to avoid these problems from occurring to make your treatment go as smoothly as possible. A metal braces treatment typically takes patients anywhere from a year to several years for a complete treatment. This all depends on the severity of your orthodontic problems.
Am I a Candidate for Braces?
If you are a candidate for Invisalign, then you are definitely a candidate for metal braces. Candidates for orthodontic treatment should have gapped, crowded, or crooked teeth or a bad bite. This can include an overbite, crossbite, or underbite. Through the use of both the braces and rubber bands, we can solve all of your orthodontic problems with metal braces. In some cases, our patients might have severe orthodontic problems that may require a more skilled orthodontist or even surgery. We can happily refer you to another dentist if necessary.
Traditional Metal Braces Procedure
The procedure for getting metal braces isn’t too long of a process. It begins with a brief consultation with Dr. Buzbee at our Springfield dental office. During this consultation, he will examine your teeth as well as inspect your x-rays. This will help him determine if metal braces can treat your orthodontic problems. If he gives you the green light, he will have you schedule your first appointment where we install the braces.
During the installation, we take x-rays, before photos and impressions of your teeth. After this is done, our assistants will begin bonding the brackets to your teeth. After they are bonded per Dr. Buzbee’s approval, we attach the wire and ligatures to your brackets. Your teeth will feel very sore following this appointment for several days. We recommend taking over-the-counter pain medicine and eating soft foods to help with the pain.
Now that your brackets and wires are attached, you will visit us about every 6 weeks to have your braces tightened. This will include changing out the colors of your ligatures and putting on a stronger wire if necessary. Dr. Buzbee has a strategic plan to every movement of your tooth and we follow this plan exactly for the perfect end results. It’s possible that we instruct you to wear rubber bands on your teeth in a certain formation. This is to train your jaw to bite together correctly and therefore treat a bad bite. It’s important to follow our instructions for rubber bands, otherwise, your treatment can run longer than you want.
You will notice that your teeth are sore for a few days after each tightening. This is normal. This process will continue for the rest of your treatment. During your second to last visit, we will take impressions for your retainer. After we remove your braces, it’s important to wear your retainer for the amount of time we advise so that your teeth don’t move back to their original position. Eventually, you will only need to wear your retainer at night and then only a few nights per week.
Metal Braces Care
Caring for your teeth while you have braces is very important! During your treatment, we recommend patients use an electric toothbrush to ensure that all food particles are removed from the hard to reach places. As difficult and annoying as it can be with braces, please remember to floss your teeth. There are special flossers you can use to floss your teeth or invest in a water pick. This will help you remove food and bacteria from in-between your teeth that may cause cavities without care.
If you happen to break a bracket or a wire is poking you during your treatment, don’t wait. Give our dentist a call and we will squeeze you in to fix these problems as soon as possible. If a wire or your brackets are scraping up your cheeks, tongue or lips, you can use dental wax to cover the sharp edges. After a few weeks of having braces, you will notice that your skin gets tougher and the sharp edges of your braces no longer bother you.
Ready to Straighten Your Teeth?
Having straight teeth brings so many benefits to your dental health as well as your appearance. Stop pushing off your orthodontic treatment and get started with metal braces today. Our Springfield dentist is happy to give you a healthy and beautiful smile with braces. Give us a call or fill out our online form to start your journey to perfect teeth!