If you think you’ll be the only parent wearing braces on your teeth at the same time as your teenagers, think again. One out of every five patients wearing braces is an adult. Advances in orthodontic treatment have allowed wearing braces as an adult to become an appealing and realistic option. It’s not too late to change your smile so that you look and feel your best.
Do braces work for adults?
Braces can be successful on patients of all ages. The process of moving your teeth into more healthy and attractive positions is the same whether you’re 15 or 50. There’s still time to correct problems that may have been bothering you for many years, including crooked or crowded teeth, an overbite or underbite, or jaw issues.
Where do I start?
The first step is to schedule an appointment with a reputable orthodontist in your area. Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations. During your initial appointment, the orthodontist will usually assess your oral health, discuss treatment options, and answer your questions. Cost and insurance issues will be addressed, and initial photos, x-rays, and impressions might be taken if you choose to pursue treatment.
What are the benefits of adult braces?
Enhancing your smile through orthodontic work can improve you appearance, self-esteem, and your oral health. There are many options available today so that you can choose the one that fits your lifestyle the best. Braces are more comfortable, effective, and inconspicuous than ever before. If straightening your teeth has been your dream for a long time, consider making it a reality because age doesn’t matter.
If you need braces for your child in the Sherman Oak, CA area, contact Dr. Fotovat to schedule a consultation.
If you wear braces, you already know that keeping them clean can be tricky. The brackets, wires, rubber bands, and other appliances accumulate food debris and plaque buildup. If not cleaned properly, your teeth may become stained and begin to decay. That’s why it’s so important to focus on good oral care while wearing braces. Here are some tips about how to maintain a sparkling clean mouth at the same time you are straightening your smile.
Strive to brush your teeth after every meal or snack. It’s sometimes not possible, but make this your goal. Use fluoride toothpaste and spend enough time to get your braces clean. Try these techniques:
- Use a soft toothbrush to brush down from the top and then up from the bottom on every tooth.
- Then switch to a proxabrush, which is designed for cleaning between braces. It is shaped like a tiny Christmas tree. Insert the brush down from the top of the braces between each tooth, and then up from the bottom as well. Do this several times in each direction before going to the next space between your braces.
- Floss by feeding one end of the floss through the space between the arch wire and the top of the tooth near your gum. Gently floss on each side of the teeth, but don’t use too much force around the wires. Also, ask your orthodontist about floss threaders to help you insert the floss into your braces.
- Consider using a fluoride mouthwash to access areas your toothbrush misses.
- Don’t forget to clean your retainer if you have one. Brush it at the same time you brush your teeth, and disinfect it once a week by soaking it in a denture cleanser.
While wearing braces, be sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions about safe foods to eat. Some foods should be avoided such as chewy foods like caramel, corn on the cob, foods hard to bite into like bagels, and hard items like popcorn and nuts. Also, do not chew bubble gum or ice. Foods like these can break or loosen your braces.
Dr. Fotovat is an Orthodontist in Sherman Oaks CA offering braces.
If you need braces to straighten your teeth or adjust your jaw alignment, there are several types of braces that you can select for orthodontic treatment. Talk with your orthodontist about which kind is right for you, but here is a general description of the types available and the differences between them.
Made from quality stainless steel, metal braces have traditionally been the most common option for braces. They have a proven track record of successful orthodontic treatment, but some people aren’t thrilled about the noticeable appearance of metal in their smiles. Small brackets are bonded onto the fronts of the teeth and joined together with a wire, and sometimes colorful elastics may be worn.
Made of clear ceramic, these braces are especially popular among older youth and adults because they are less visible. The braces blend with tooth enamel. However, ceramic braces are more likely to break. Manufacturers are making the brackets thicker in an effort to decrease the chances of breaking during wear.
Similar to metal braces, these are also made of stainless steel but are covered in gold. Some patients find the look of gold to be more appealing than silver. Surprisingly, the cost of gold-plated braces is comparable to most clear braces.
The biggest benefit of Invisalign braces is that they are practically invisible. Clear plastic aligners are worn to gradually move teeth into better position, and they are removable so oral hygiene techniques remain the same as without braces.
Fitted onto the back of the teeth so that they are completely hidden from view, incognito braces offer another option for patients not wanting their braces to be noticed. These braces are trickier to adjust and clean, can affect speech, and are often more expensive than other braces.
Braces orthodontist in Sherman Oaks CA
In most cases, you have probably either had braces, need braces, or know someone with braces. When you need orthodontic treatment, you often receive a great deal of information. Having a basic knowledge about the world of orthodontics will help you make educated decisions for yourself or a loved one.
What is orthodontics?
Simply put, orthodontics is the dental specialty focused on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental or facial irregularities.
How is an orthodontist different from a dentist?
While all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists. In addition to successfully completing dental school, orthodontists must also take another two to three years of advanced training.
Can I tell if braces are needed?
The best way to determine if you or a family member should seek orthodontic treatment is through an evaluation with an orthodontist. If you notice buck teeth, an overbite, under bite, or open bite, orthodontic treatment is a likely course of action.
What’s the difference between Phase I and Phase II?
With Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, patients are between 6 and 10 years old, and all their permanent teeth have not yet erupted. Certain problems are easier to treat when children are younger and they are still growing. Also called comprehensive treatment, Phase II happens once all permanent teeth come in and usually involves a full set of braces.
What are my treatment options?
That answer depends on your age and your specific case. Typically, younger children respond well to traditional metal braces. Older teens and adult patients often like less conspicuous choices. Ceramic brackets, clear aligners like Invisalign, and lingual braces can straighten your smile and allow you to maintain a professional image.
Find an Orthodontist in Sherman Oaks CA
Cleaning your teeth while wearing braces is one of the most important parts of the experience. If you don’t remove food particles and plaque buildup, you run the risk of tooth decay, staining, and bad breath. Follow these tips for keeping your mouth clean and sparkly.
1. Brush, brush, brush!! Make sure you focus on every single tooth, especially the places where your braces and teeth meet.
2. Clean every side of your teeth. Brush the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces. Don’t forget your gum line because plaque likes to hide there.
3. Angle your brush. Brush the top teeth and braces with your toothbrush angled down, and brush the bottom teeth and braces with your toothbrush angled up. This gives the bristles access to the areas where food tends to get caught above and below your braces.
4. Brush after eating. No matter if it’s a full meal or a light snack, food can get trapped in your braces and lead to decay. The longer the food is there, the greater your risk of plaque formation. Brush after eating, or rinse your mouth with water if you can’t brush.
5. Be prepared. Bring toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you so that you can brush no matter where you are.
6. Use fluoride. Choose fluoride toothpaste and rinse with fluoride mouthwash, which will both help prevent cavities.
7. Remove the accessories. If you have headgear or elastic bands, take those off before brushing or flossing.
8. Consider options besides just dental floss. You may find it easier to use a floss threader, or Superfloss that is a combination of regular floss and threaders.
9. Get to the point. Cone-shaped brushes with pointy ends are designed to reach areas around your braces that toothbrushes can’t.
10. Don’t forget your dentist. Go for regular dental checkups to get professional, thorough cleanings.
Dr. Fotovat is an Orthodontist in Sherman Oaks, CA