There’s never been a better time to start orthodontic treatment! In recent years, we’ve seen orthodontic technology make huge strides, and today’s orthodontists are able to offer patients a wide range of unique treatment options, including different types of braces. Here at Lincoln Orthodontics, our expert team successfully treats a range of orthodontic issues in patients of all ages. This includes:
- crowded teeth
- gaps between the teeth
- protruding teeth
- impacted teeth
We’re able to improve the oral health of our patients by using several treatment methods, including traditional braces. Braces are the most common type of orthodontic appliance, and probably the most well-known as well. Once upon a time, braces were big, bulky, and quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, modern braces are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and more efficient, too! This transformation has led to a better orthodontic experience for both patients and orthodontists.
If you’ve been considering orthodontics to achieve a healthier and more beautiful smile, you may be wondering what options are available to you. When you schedule your free consultation with Dr. Willett, she’ll be able to determine which treatment option would be best for you and your unique needs. For now, let’s take a look at what types of braces are available, how they differ, and how these orthodontic tools can give you a healthy smile for life!
What are traditional braces?
Traditional braces are made of metal, typically surgical-grade stainless steel, that are attached to the teeth by composite material then attached together by wires and tiny rubber bands or colored ties. This method is very good and predictable at correcting complex orthodontic issues. It works quickly to correct crowding or close gaps.On average, the estimated treatment time for most orthodontic cases is usually about from 18 months.
Caring for traditional braces can come with a bit of a learning curve in the early days, but it gets easier with time and practice. A good dental hygiene routine is essential for oral health, but it’s even more important for patients in braces since food and bacteria can get stuck in between the wires and teeth.
For patients who struggle to brush and floss effectively while wearing braces, there are many accessories designed to make it easier. Waterpiks can help rinse any hard to reach areas and ortho picks can assist with flossing. We recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout the treatment process (and beyond!).
When it comes to meals and snacks, anything too sticky or crunchy can damage the brackets and wires. For this reason, patients in braces will need to avoid these kinds of foods during treatment. While it can definitely take some getting used to, remember that it won’t last forever! All of these minor frustrations will pay off once your braces come off and you see your beautiful new smile.
Braces patients can expect follow-up visits in our south Lincoln office about every 6-8 weeks throughout treatment. During these appointments, Dr. Willett will change the bands that are attached to the brackets and may replace the wire and will make adjustments to the positions or the forces on the braces to achieve the treatment goals. These check-ups tend to be pretty short, so you should be able to get back to school or work quickly! While there may sometimes be minor residual soreness following these adjustments, it should only be temporary.
These regular visits are a very important part of the overall treatment plan. In order to ensure the very best results in the least amount of time, you should always try your best not to miss them! If you do need to cancel or reschedule, please let us know as soon as possible so we can keep your plan on track.
What types of braces are available at Lincoln Orthodontics?
Metal braces are one of the most recognizable tools of orthodontics, and also the most common type of treatment for children and teens. Thanks to a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals comprising the surgical-grade material, the brackets are very durable and long-lasting.
Modern metal braces are much more comfortable and smaller than they used to be, and they’re also customizable, thanks to a variety of fun colored bands to choose from! At LIncoln Orthodontics, we even offer different shapes of braces that is exciting for our very young patients: Husker “N”, hearts, flowers, and footballs in addition to the standard rectangular shape. These braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complex.
Sometimes referred to as ceramic braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces, ceramic braces function in the same way metal braces do, with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. While ceramic braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re better able to blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option.
Although ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who have severe corrections that need to be made or who are active with contact sports where a collision with an opponent could cause the bracket to chip.
Ceramic braces can be an excellent option for many patients and are the most common braces treatment chosen by adults. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly discreet and efficient way to straighten smiles!
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
The Invisalign system consists of clear, removable aligners that are designed to fit comfortably over the teeth. Like traditional braces, these customized aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions. This is accomplished by wearing the Invisalign 20-22 hours per day throughout treatment, and replacing the upper and lower sets with what is provided by Dr. Willett weekly.
Invisalign offers patients a bit more freedom and flexibility than regular braces do. There are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking, and it’s easy to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy since you don’t have to work around wires and brackets. You simply remove the aligner, then brush and floss the way you normally would!
Invisalign treatment is a highly specialized option and the treatment is written and directed by Dr. Willett. This option is especially popular among our adult patients, college students who travel abroad or move home for the summer especially love the flexibility! While in Invisalign treatment, patients are usually seen at the office about every 10-12 weeks and there are no risks of emergencies or broken or poky wires.
Find your best smile with braces by Lincoln Orthodontics
At Lincoln Orthodontics, we know that every smile is unique. What works for one patient may not be successful for another, and that’s why Dr. Willett creates customized treatment plans for all of her patients. When you choose our practice, you can trust that we will always take your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals into consideration when recommending the best course of treatment for your smile!
If you’re in Lincoln or the surrounding communities, we’d love to discuss how braces (or Invisalign!) can give you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE virtual consultation with Dr. Willett!