All About Braces

It is our goal to keep your mouth healthy, your teeth fully functional, and your smile bright — and we are proud of all the services we offer to do exactly that. At the same time, we want you to understand all that modern dentistry in general has to offer you. To that end, we have assembled a first-rate dental library in which you can find a wealth of information on various dental topics, including:

Cosmetic and General Dentistry

Cosmetic & General Dentistry

From a thorough professional cleaning to a full smile makeover, there is an amazing array of services that cosmetic and general dentists offer to make sure your teeth stay healthy, function well and look great. If your smile is not all you want it to be, this is the place to start. Read more about Cosmetic & General Dentistry.

Emergency Dental Care

Emergency Dental Care

When you have a dental emergency — whether it's caused by a sudden accident or chronic disease — your teeth and/or the tissues of the mouth that surround them need to receive proper care right away. It's also important to be aware, before you're actually in the situation, of what you can do to ensure the best outcome. Read more about Emergency Dental Care.

Endodontics

Endodontics

This is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the inside of the tooth — specifically the root canals and sensitive, inner pulp (nerve) tissue. When this tissue becomes inflamed or infected, a root canal procedure may become necessary. But contrary to the popular myth, a root canal doesn't cause pain, it relives it. Read more about Endodontics.

Implant Dentistry

Implant Dentistry

If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants offer the comfort and security of a permanent replacement that looks and functions just like your natural teeth. Dental implants also help preserve the tooth-supporting bone in your jaw that naturally deteriorates when even one tooth is lost. Read more about Implant Dentistry.

Oral Health

Oral Health

Oral health is an essential component of general health and well-being. Good oral health means a mouth that's free of disease; a bite that functions well enough for you to eat without pain and get ample nutrition; and a smile that lets you express your happiest emotions with confidence. Read more about Oral Health.

Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene

A major goal of modern dentistry is to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. By following a conscientious program of oral hygiene at home, and coming to the dental office for routine cleanings and exams, you have the best chance of making this goal a reality. Read more about Oral Hygiene.

Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery

The word “surgery” often brings to mind a stay in the hospital, general anesthesia, and perhaps a lengthy recovery period. However, the experience of having oral surgery is usually very different from that. Some common oral surgery procedures include: tooth extractions, dental implant placement, and biopsies of suspicious oral lesions. Read more about Oral Surgery.

Orthodontics

Orthodontics

Adults and kids alike can benefit from the boost in self-confidence that comes from having a great-looking smile with beautifully aligned teeth. Orthodontic treatment can even improve chewing, speaking and oral hygiene in certain cases. And with today's virtually invisible orthodontic appliances, it's possible to keep your treatment a private matter… until your new smile is unveiled, of course! Read more about Orthodontics.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry

It's never too early to get your child started on the path toward a lifetime of good oral health, and there are many services to do exactly that. Monitoring your child's dental growth and development, and preventing and intercepting dental diseases along the way, is the primary focus of pediatric dentistry. Read more about Pediatric Dentistry.

Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal Therapy

If you want to keep your teeth for life — a completely reasonable goal in this day and age — you need to make sure the tissues that surround them are also healthy. Should gum problems arise, you may need periodontal therapy to restore diseased tissues to health. Read more about Periodontal Therapy.

Technology

Technology

In the field of dentistry, new technology is constantly changing the way diseases are diagnosed, routine procedures are performed, and illnesses are prevented. Although they may seem unfamiliar at first, new and improved dental technologies offer plenty of real benefits for patients. Read more about Technology.

Braces are usually custom-made and are prescribed and designed by the orthodontist according to the problem being treated. Other orthopedic appliances are designed to correct jaw-growth problems. These appliances, which include headgear, bionator, Herbst and maxillary expansion appliances, use carefully directed forces to guide the growth and development of jaws in children and/or teenagers.

Braces

Braces place a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, and are designed to slowly move teeth through their supporting bone to a new desirable position. Braces can either be removable or fixed (cemented and/or bonded to the teeth). They are usually made of metal, ceramic or plastic.

Today's braces are generally less noticeable than their predecessors: a metal band with a bracket (the part of the braces that hold the wire) placed around each tooth. Today, the front teeth typically have only the bracket bonded directly to the tooth (instead of surrounding the tooth). This greatly diminishes the old characteristic "tin grin."

Brackets can be clear or colored, depending on the patient's preference. In some cases, "lingual braces" are bonded behind the teeth.

Wires are also less noticeable than their stainless steel predecessors. Some are made of technologically advanced alloys of nickel, titanium, copper and cobalt. Some are even heat-activated. All kinds of new wire materials are designed to exert a steady, gentle pressure on the teeth, so that the tooth-moving process may be faster and more comfortable for patients, and ultimately, reduce the number of appointments needed to make adjustments. Clear orthodontic wires are currently being tested and developed, but are not on the market yet.

Care of your braces

Generally, those who wear braces need to practice good oral hygiene in much the same way as those who don't. Of course, wearing braces creates unique problems. For example, avoid hard and sticky foods. Don't chew on pens, pencils or fingernails because chewing on hard things can damage the braces, almost ensuring longer-than-needed treatment times and cost. After application of braces, your orthodontist will show you how best to care for your teeth, gums and braces. This includes tips on how often to brush, how often to floss, and, if necessary, other cleaning aids that might help you maintain good dental health.

About pain

Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed. Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. After the braces are on, teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces.

Patients can usually manage this discomfort well with whatever pain medication they might commonly take for a headache.

Braces and your active lifestyle

Those who wear braces and play any contact sports should always wear a protective mouth guard.

Playing wind or brass instruments, such as the trumpet, will clearly require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments.

Retainers

Retainers are needed after orthodontic treatment and removal of braces because the teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adapt to the treatment changes. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements last for a lifetime.

Space maintainers

What is a space maintainer? Baby molar teeth, also known as primary molar teeth, hold needed space for permanent teeth that will come in later. When a baby molar tooth is lost, an orthodontic device with a fixed wire is usually put between teeth to hold the space for the permanent tooth, which will come in later.