Invisalign & Braces

Sarah 6 month smile

Do you need Braces? Which Orthodontic Treatment is right for you…..Traditional Braces, Ceramic Braces, Invisalign or 6 Month Smiles?

We have all seen traditional metal braces that make us think back to our middle school years. “Metal Mouth” are the two words that come to mind.  The great news is that Dr. Hahn and Dr. Driscoll are able to provide multiple orthodontic options for us at our Olathe, Kansas office.  Thankfully, those traditional metal braces are not the only orthodontic option that is available today.  Have you seen the clear braces?  What about clear plastic aligners?

What is Orthodontics? Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with correcting irregularity of the teeth and jaws.  Braces can correct crooked teeth, overcrowding, bad bites, misaligned jaws, and TMJ problems.

When should I begin Orthodontics?  Ortho can help a smile at any age.  Everyone should be screened for orthodontic problems as early as possible, but no later than 7 years old.  Early detection is crucial for particular types of problems.  Jaw growth problems such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites from thumb sucking can be treated with simple appliances if treatment is started early.  Many times these problems must be treated with surgery if treatment is delayed until adulthood.  Braces aren’t just for kids!  Teeth continue to shift throughout our lives, and an orthodontic problem can arise slowly over time.  If you are a teen or adult that has noticed any signs of needing orthodontics Dr. Hahn and Dr. Driscoll are here to help.  Did you know that we are checking for orthodontic problems at every 6-month preventive care visit?

Why Braces? There are so many amazing benefits to braces – straight teeth for starters!  Straight teeth boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.  They are also more effective when we bite, chew and speak.  Straight teeth make for a healthier mouth, and help teeth last longer.  How do braces make your teeth healthier? Great Question… Braces straighten your teeth which contribute to healthier gums & teeth.  Straight teeth are easier to brush, clean & floss.  With crooked and misaligned teeth it makes it harder to keep them clean and healthy, which puts you at risk of early tooth loss due to tooth decay and gum disease.  Straight teeth also eliminate extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ, neck, shoulder and back pain.

Signs that you may need braces:

  • *Early or Late baby tooth loss
  • *Popping of the Jaw
  • *History of thumb sucking
  • *Bite problems: Under Bite, Over Bite & Cross Bite
  • *Irregular spaced teeth
  • *Tooth Crowding

What are the differences in Orthodontic options? The most common orthodontic treatment is traditional metal braces.  A great alternative to metal is ceramic braces which are clear or tooth-colored brackets.  Invisalign is a great option in which you wear a clear tray aligner to straighten teeth.  Six Month Smiles are clear brackets which focus on straightening front teeth quickly for adults.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional Metal Braces are metal brackets that are bonded to the teeth with wires connecting to each bracket held by a band. The wires will move teeth into position with the help of rubber bands.  These work perfectly for crowding, overbites, openbites, underbites, crossbites, crooked teeth and gaps. Treatment time is usually around 1-3 years.  Visits are typically monthly.  Once treatment is completed, retainers should be worn to keep the bite and teeth in place.

Advantages: Traditional Metal Braces are very durable, they will not stain, great for kids & teens, you can change out the bands to any color, they correct most all orthodontic problems efficiently.

Disadvantages: They are the most noticeable.  They take extra effort with brushing and flossing.  You can dislodge brackets if you eat hard or chewy food, so there are some food restrictions.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are clear or tooth-colored ceramic brackets that are bonded to the teeth with wires connecting to each bracket held by a band. The wires will move teeth into position with the help of rubber bands.  These work perfectly for all types of orthodontic problems as well.  Treatment time is usually around 1-3 years.  Visits are typically monthly.  Once treatment is completed, retainers should be worn to keep the bite and teeth in place.

 Advantages: Ceramic Braces blend into your teeth and are not very noticeable.  This is a great alternative to Traditional Braces if you have a metal allergy.  They correct most all orthodontic problems.

 Disadvantages: The rubber bands can stain a bit by the end of the month if you drink a lot of coffee or tea.  They take extra effort with brushing and flossing.  You can dislodge brackets if you eat hard or chewy food, so there are some food restrictions

InvisalignPD00006-00_Rev_1

Invisalign is a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that are created for each individual case.  The virtually invisible aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place.  Typically aligners are switched out every 2 weeks.   They can correct most of the same orthodontic problems that braces can.

Your treatment time is on average 6-18 months, sometimes shorter for very minor movements. Your office visits will be less frequent since you are able to change out yo
ur aligners on your own.  Office visits are also much quicker than with braces. Once treatment is completed, retainers should be worn to keep the bite and teeth in place. .

Advantages:  No brackets, no wires and no rubber bands.  No poking wires or popped off brackets.  You wear smooth, plastic, clear aligners that you can pop in and out on your own.  Much easier to brush and floss.  You have no food restrictions.  Fewer, quicker office visits.  No staining.

 Disadvantages:   Invisalign requires excellent cooperation.  You cannot eat with the aligners in place, so you must remove quickly to eat, then put them back in immediately.

6 Month SmilesClear Braces

6 Month Smiles is a short term orthodontic treatment.  The brackets are clear and the wires are tooth colored.  These are a great alternative to Traditional Metal Braces and are used only for adult treatment.  The reason treatment is faster is that we just straighten front teeth for cosmetic reasons.  We don’t focus on fixing things like crossbites or overbites.  6 Month Smiles are perfect for re-positioning crooked teeth and filling in spaces.  This is the perfect option if you want to straighten your smile before a big event…. Wedding, Conference, Pictures, Graduation, Holidays, Job Interview. Your treatment time is about 6 months.  You will have monthly office visits.  Once you are done with treatment, retainers should be worn to keep the bite and teeth in place.

 Advantages:  Less time in treatment.  Clear brackets with extremely thin wire that is tooth colored.  Low force that moves teeth gently.  Great for adults. Lower cost than traditional braces.

 Disadvantages:  This is a cosmetic fix only; will not fix bites or any other ortho problems.  For this reason, we do not recommend 6 Month Smiles for children or teens – it is best to fix all orthodontic problems in young people.  Same food restrictions as traditional braces.

 Are you ready to get that mouth straightened out? Kids, Teens and Adults…. It is never too late to start orthodontics to gain that perfect SMILE.  Rhoades Family Dentistry in Olathe, Kansas is staffed with the best of the best to help answer any orthodontic questions you have.  Dr. Hahn and Dr. Driscoll offer FREE orthodontic exams to get a treatment plan designed for each individual needs.  With all the options that are available your ideal orthodontic treatment is waiting for you!

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