These days, more patients than ever before are opting to enhance and straighten their smiles with the assistance of orthodontics. And while clear aligner treatments like Invisalign have certainly skyrocketed in popularity, traditional braces in Long Beach still remain an effective alternative, mostly due to their trusty reliability and impressive versatility. Keep reading to learn a little more about how traditional braces work or feel free to give us a call to schedule a visit!
To put it simply, traditional braces encourage your teeth to shift positions inside your mouth. Your teeth aren’t totally immobile; they’re attached to the jawbone via tiny ligaments that allow them to have a natural capacity for movement. By applying gentle, sustained pressure with the use of metal brackets and wires, traditional braces can gradually move your teeth into a more-aligned position. This process often takes over 12 months to complete depending on your orthodontic needs, and if necessary, additional accessories and attachments including elastics and retainers are also used to assist with movement.
When you visit Dr. Glen, he’ll be able to determine exactly how traditional braces in Long Beach can benefit your smile. They can be used to correct a variety of common orthodontic issues, including:
Whether you suffer from an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or something in between, braces can help! These types of misalignments can often lead to serious problems including TMJ disorder and bruxism (teeth grinding). However, braces can easily correct your bite and in turn, improve your chewing and speech patterns.
In some instances, your teeth might not have an adequate amount of space inside your mouth, leading to them becoming crooked and overlapping. Needless to say, this can take a toll on your self-esteem; but it also vastly increases your chances of developing cavities. Traditional braces can ensure that every one of your teeth has plenty of breathing room.
Small spaces between your teeth can be frustrating; not only do they impact your smile’s beauty, but they can also easily trap excess food debris and increase your risk of oral health issues! But as the brackets and wires exert precise pressure, they close those gaps and correct visual and functionality issues alike.
Of course, your braces can only do their job if you take great care of them! You’ll want to keep them clean and intact to the best of your ability; after all, a broken wire or loose bracket will only delay your overall treatment timeline! Consider the following when caring for your smile with braces:
Are you ready to take your first step on the path to a healthier, straighter smile? Our team at Dr. Glen’s Happy Teeth can’t wait to help you get started! Please let us know if you have any questions about the orthodontic process; we don’t want there to be any unpleasant surprises after you’ve already committed to the treatment. For your convenience, the FAQs below address some of the most common questions that we’ve received from patients about traditional braces in Long Beach.
Technically, there’s no such thing as being “too old for braces.” Adults can still use traditional brackets and wires to straighten their smiles and correct their bite problems. The process may take longer for older patients since their teeth are more firmly embedded in their jaws, but the treatment is still just as effective.
That said, no matter how old you are, your jawbone and teeth need to be in good condition before you can begin treatment with braces. In some cases, fillings, root canal therapy, gum disease therapy, and other types of treatment might be required first. Talk to your regular dentist if you have concerns about any oral health conditions that might interfere with your braces.
You may experience some soreness when you first have your braces placed. You can generally expect the discomfort to last for a week or so, and you can keep it under control with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Even after your mouth has had a chance to adjust, you might still notice some discomfort from time to time. This is normal since your braces are pushing your teeth into new positions. In general, you can expect some soreness whenever you have your braces tightened; however, it should not be nearly as bad as what you experienced at the beginning of the orthodontic process, and again, over-the-counter medication will go a long way toward helping you stay comfortable.
During the first several days of wearing braces, you’ll want to stick to soft and liquid foods; you need to be gentle with your teeth while they’re still sore. Yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes, and cooked pasta are all good options for a soft food diet.
Even after the initial soreness fades, you still need to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that might damage your brackets and wires. There are certain hard foods – like pizza crusts, Italian bread, and raw vegetables – that you can enjoy as long as you cut them up into tiny pieces first.
Technically yes, you can get braces for just one row of teeth. However, this approach is rarely recommended because braces are intended to align both arches; if you adjust one row but not the other, it could prevent your teeth from coming together properly. As such, we will only suggest a single-arch treatment if we believe that it is truly the best option for your specific situation.