Different techniques for different people
Metal braces are the most traditional method used to align teeth. They have stood the test of time and to this day they are still the most popular appliance used by orthodontists. But the metal braces we use today are very different than what was used decades ago. Advances in technology allow us to use metal brackets that are much smaller and more comfortable than they used to be.
Ceramic braces work similarly to metal braces. The biggest difference is they are made of ceramic instead of metal. That makes them less noticeable as the color of ceramics blends in with the teeth. They are a great alternative to anyone looking for a more esthetic option than metal braces.
Clear aligners are a great alternative for anyone looking for an esthetic solution for their orthodontic needs. At Hodge Orthodontics, we have the ability to quickly scan your teeth using the latest technology of the iTero scanner instead of taking unpleasant impressions. The scan is then used to develop a series of aligners that will move your teeth. This works well for a vast variety of cases. Clear aligners used to be considered only for the treatment of adults but that is rapidly changing since more and more kids and teens desire a more esthetic solution than braces.
kids, teens, and adults
Treatment for Kids
In most cases it’s appropriate to wait until a child has all (or almost all) of their permanent teeth before starting orthodontic treatment. In some cases, kids may benefit from early limited orthodontic treatment. Limited treatment is utilized when Dr. Hodge detects a problem that is more easily corrected at a young age, that will get worse with time, or that is affecting the child’s self esteem during critical years of development.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that every kid has an orthodontic check up at age 7. At that age, Dr. Hodge can detect problems that, if treated early, can prevent permanent damage and make full treatment faster and less complicated.
Early limited orthodontic treatment is recommended for:
- Some types of underbites
- Harmful oral habits, such as thumb or finger sucking
- Guiding permanent teeth into favored positions
- Other issues
Click here to learn more about how orthodontics can help kids.
Treatment for Teenagers
Traditionally, the teenage years are when most people undergo orthodontic treatment. Dr. Hodge will listen to your concerns and perform a full assessment of your teeth and jaws, then present you with options. Together, the patient and orthodontist will decide which option works for you. We offer traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign so you can choose whichever one fits your personality and your lifestyle.
Click here to learn more about how orthodontics can help teenagers.
Treatment for Adults
The number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment is rapidly increasing. Some people never had a chance to have treatment as kids and teenagers. Others have had treatment in the past but have experienced some degree of relapse. If you have the will to improve your smile, we have a way to make that happen. We can solve issues that have been making you self conscious for years — there are no age limits for orthodontic treatment. No matter the issue, Dr. Hodge will listen to your concerns and present you with options, including more aesthetic treatment options such as ceramic braces and Invisalign that make orthodontic treatment even more appealing to adults.
Living with Braces
Will my teeth hurt after I get braces?
They can. Most people experience some degree of discomfort after they get their braces. That usually goes away after 3 days. During that time, we recommend that you eat a soft diet. Mashed potatoes, pasta, hamburgers, and milkshakes are good examples of foods to eat on those first few days. You can also use any over the counter pain reliever to help relieve the discomfort.
How do I keep my teeth and braces clean?
It is very, very important that you keep your teeth clean whether or not you have braces. That alone can keep you from having most types of dental problems. It takes a little extra effort to keep your teeth clean when you have braces. Braces and wires can be food traps and it is very important that you remove any food residue with toothbrush and floss.
We recommend that you use a small head toothbrush with soft bristles. The small head makes is easier to remove plaque and food from hard to reach areas. The soft bristles are important to preserve your gums. A small proxy-brush, shaped like a christmas tree, is great to to remove food and plaque around the brackets and underneath the wires.
It is also very important keep flossing your teeth during orthodontic treatment. You can use floss threaders or orthodontic flossers to help you get the floss underneath the wires so that you clean below the gum line.
What happens if I don't keep my teeth clean?
Bad things can happen if you don’t keep your teeth clean while you’re in braces.
One of the most common problems we see is the development of white stains around the brackets. Those stains are mostly irreversible. They are the result of decalcification of the enamel and can progress to cavities.
Another common issues that can develop are red, swollen gums that bleed when touched. Those are signs that the gums are inflamed. In extreme cases, that inflammation can progress to the bones that hold the teeth and cause the teeth to get lose. If this condition is left untreated, it can cause tooth loss. Sometimes surgery is necessary to trim the gums that grew around the brackets.
What do I do if something breaks?
If a bracket breaks and it is still attached to the wire, give us a call at (501) 916 2545. We will schedule for you to come in and repair the broken bracket.
If the last bracket in the arch breaks and the wire is poking you, you can use fingernail clippers to trim the wire. That should keep you comfortable until you are able to come into the office to have the bracket repaired and the wire replaced.