Our mission to help patients achieve healthy, fully functional, beautiful smiles would be incomplete without offering the tried and true treatment method of traditional braces. The concept is simple enough – with a small amount of pressure, brackets and wires encourage your teeth to gradually move into a position that is most beneficial for both your oral health and smile aesthetics. Your Atlanta orthodontist is highly clinically skilled to straighten your smile quickly and easily. We are happy to offer teeth straightening solutions for both teens and adults.
You might be surprised to know the concept of orthodontics dates back to before Hippocrates and Aristotle, with archaeologists having discovered crude metal bands wrapped around the teeth of mummies! Thankfully, orthodontia has kept up with modern science and technology, and we’re able to develop comprehensive treatment plans that factor in the need for your surrounding bone tissue to change shape and regrow to accommodate your new, healthy, confidence-boosting smile! Even in the last few decades, braces have come a long way, and the materials we use today are lighter, more comfortable, and more discreet, with faster treatment times than ever.
The materials used for traditional braces include stainless steel and/or titanium, with the latter being chosen for patients with an allergy to nickel. The main wire is called the archwire, which guides your teeth into proper alignment, and will be changed as needed throughout your treatment as your teeth change position.
Brackets are attached to hold the archwire in place and are either cemented directly to each tooth or onto a band. Bands are the thin metal rings fitted around the tooth. Elastics help apply the necessary pressure to your teeth and jaw – these can be customized to your favorite color or colors, too! If you’re not into colors, we also have discreet tooth-colored options so they blend in with your natural teeth.
While traditional braces can tackle just about any orthodontic case, there may be some steps along your oral health journey that feel arduous. We’re here to remind you of how happy you’ll be when your treatment is complete and to offer advice on how to navigate some of the less fun aspects of orthodontic treatment.
A diligent oral hygiene routine is necessary for optimal oral health, but especially when you are wearing braces. There may be a short learning curve when it comes to working around them, but once you get the hang of it, you shouldn’t have much trouble keeping your smile free of debris. You’ll be grateful you did once the braces are removed because your smile will be that much more ready to show off!
Allowing food and plaque to remain in the spaces between your braces and wires can cause decay and enamel stains. Some foods can also produce a bleaching effect after reacting with the bacteria in your mouth and the metal of your braces. The best way to avoid this is by brushing after each meal and using either a floss threader or an orthodontic pick at least once daily to clean between the braces and underneath wires. If you aren’t able to brush at the moment, vigorously swishing and then spitting water out can help dislodge food particles.
This is probably the part of treatment with braces that many patients consider the most difficult. There are foods and beverages you’ll want to avoid in the interest of keeping your smile healthy and your braces intact, with a few items we recommend enjoying only in moderation even without braces. Things to avoid include:
The reason to avoid the items in the first three bullets is to prevent decay. Cavities are never fun, but they’re even more of a pain when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. The last two bullets include items that can damage your wires and loosen your brackets – this could mean more time in the dental chair and longer treatment times. Additionally, you’ll want to cut carrots, apples, and other healthy but crunchy foods into bite-sized pieces for the same reason.
First – HURRAY! Completing treatment and revealing your beautiful new smile is something to celebrate! You’re no longer limited dietarily, and your oral hygiene routines will likely feel like a breeze. However, your freshly aligned smile will require help staying in place. Enter retainers.
We know that for some, this puts a damper on the celebration. You’ll want to wear the retainer full-time for several months after treatment, and then nightly for as long as you want your teeth to remain in proper alignment (frequency of retainer use may vary on a case-by-case basis, as determined by the doctor). However, there are multiple retainer options to choose from, and we can help you determine which is best for you. You want to protect the positive investment you made, and Chamblee Orthodontics wants to help you do just that!
Do you have questions about straightening your teeth with braces? We would love to answer them for you. Schedule a consultation with your Atlanta orthodontist today to get started on improving your oral health and smile confidence!