You probably have many questions regarding your orthodontic treatment. We are here to answer them.
Below are some simple explanations of the different types of treatment, as well as some tips on how to make your treatment go as smoothly as possible. To learn how to look after your teeth once your braces have been applied, please watch our “Apply Braces Information” video below.
TYPES OF ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Movement of teeth can be achieved with fixed appliances (braces) or removable appliances (plates or Invisalign).
Conventional braces and Invisalign can perform all types of tooth movement, including placing the roots in the correct position for stability.
Removable appliances such as plates, on the other hand, can only tip the teeth, leaving the roots in the incorrect position.
Invisalign orthodontics is done with a series of clear plastic aligners, which progressively straightens teeth if they are worn 20-22 hour per day. Although Invisalign is more expensive it is now recommended in our practice because:
- The newest generation of Invisalign is extremely effective and is often the most ideal treatment approach
- The Invisalign aligners can be removed so patients who have Invisalign need to be very motivated and self-disciplined
- Invisalign aligners are removed for cleaning and eating making good oral hygiene easier to achieve so there is less chance of the gums swelling and cavities forming, than with conventional braces
invisalign is very effective
Orthodontic appliances consist of archwires, brackets, tubes, elastic ligatures (doughnuts), hooks and elastics. For a visual example of the above appliances, please download here.
Elastics are frequently used in orthodontics to correct your bite and align one arch with the other arch.
You must wear your elastics exactly as instructed
- Always carry extra elastics to replace elastics that are lost or snap
- If you forget to wear your elastics, do not compensate by wearing double elastics
- Wearing elastics can be uncomfortable. Discomfort will subside after a few days of continuous wear. Intermittent wear does not let you get past the uncomfortable period
- Not wearing your elastics as prescribed will effect the duration of treatment
Packets of elastics are colour-coded according to size and strength.
- You must wear the correct colour elastics in order to achieve the desired result
- Make sure to get enough elastics at your check-up to last you until your next appointment
- If you run out of elastics you can get more from our receptionist
Brackets are the attachments that are cemented to the teeth. There are a number of different types of brackets.
Metal brackets (the most common)
- Ceramic brackets (tooth coloured brackets)
- Lingual brackets (hidden brackets/on the tongue side of the teeth)
This is the main wire that links the brackets together. This wire is an active part of the treatment and is responsible for moving your teeth. This wire is replaced regularly and varies in thickness depending on the treatment requirements.
These are tiny wires that are twisted around some brackets to keep the archwire in place.
ELASTIC LIGATURES (DOUGHNUTS)
These are small rubber elastics used as ligatures to keep the archwire in the brackets.
The wax that we supply when you have your braces fitted, should be applied sparingly to the brackets in areas where the lips or cheeks are irritated by the braces. Sugar-free chewing gum can also be applied with the same effect.
Depending on the case we may attach a wire on the inside of the lower arch after your braces are removed. This splint will remain in your mouth permanently or until your wisdom teeth have erupted or have been removed. Upper splints are not often used because they get bitten off by the lower teeth.