Straighten Your Teeth for a Healthy Smile
Misaligned teeth are more than just a cosmetic issue — they can actually impact your health in a variety of ways. Many adults who need orthodontic treatment tend to avoid it because they don’t want to wear metal braces.
Thankfully, advancements in technology have produced more convenient and less invasive treatment options. Explore our guide to learn how you can benefit.
Invisalign® Clear Aligners
Invisalign uses clear, removable aligners to straighten your teeth. The thermoplastic material is nearly invisible so you don’t have to feel self-conscious when you smile. You also won’t have to deal with the hassle of food crumbs getting stuck in your wires, as you would with braces.
One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign treatment is that you can eat and drink without restrictions. As long as you remove your aligners first, you can enjoy all your favorite foods and beverages. Just make sure that you’re wearing your aligners for at least 20 hours per day. Invisalign can also be a good orthodontic option for children.
As if all this weren’t convenient enough, Invisalign straightens your teeth up to two times faster than metal braces. The Invisalign technology will even allow you to see what your final results will look like before you begin treatment. Depending on your case, your full treatment time will likely range from 9 to 15 months.
Learn More About Invisalign
Six Month Smiles
Six Month Smiles offers a new kind of braces with thin wires and clear brackets. This allows for a more discreet appearance and less discomfort than traditional braces. Designed to straighten your teeth in 6 to 9 months, these low-force braces are fast and virtually pain-free.
Six Month Smiles is an ideal option for patients who are 16 or older. Dr. Kong will evaluate your case to determine if this treatment is right for you. It’s also generally more affordable than traditional braces due to the shortened treating time.
Visit High Point Smiles for Orthodontics
If you have misaligned teeth, Dr. Kong can help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile with orthodontics. Whether you choose Invisalign or Six Month Smiles, he’ll ensure you receive comfortable treatment that produces the results you’re looking for. Visit our blog to learn which orthodontic option might be right for you.
Self-ligating braces are similar to traditional metal braces, with a few exceptions. Self-ligating braces do not require elastic bands to be tied around the brackets, which makes them sleeker, easier to clean, and less noticeable. They are also more mobile than traditional braces and can move the teeth where they need to be faster and with less discomfort for the patient. Self-ligating braces often require fewer orthodontic visits as well, which is more convenient for patients. If you’re interested in seeing if self-ligating braces can work with your smile, we recommend contacting our office and scheduling a consultation!
Early Orthodontic Treatment
While many patients receive orthodontic treatment during their teen years or early adulthood, there are cases in which it can really pay off to have your child visit an orthodontist earlier. In fact, patients as young as seven years old can receive early orthodontic treatments that can lead to a more comfortable and efficient treatment plan. Expanders, for example, expand the upper jaw so that all of the patient’s adult teeth can grow in without crowding together. This can mean that the patient won’t need one or more of their natural teeth removed in the future.
Should your child lose a baby tooth too early due to an accident or other dental trauma, we may recommend that they have a space maintainer placed. Space maintainers hold enough space open for the adult tooth to grow in when it’s ready. If a space maintainer is not used, the nearby teeth may begin to shift into the empty area and block the adult tooth from growing in, which can be painful and require more orthodontic work to solve the issue.
Once you or your child’s orthodontic treatment is complete, a custom retainer will need to be created to keep each tooth in its newly straightened position. Otherwise, the teeth will begin to shift back to their original positions, which can require a whole new treatment plan to be created if the patient wants their teeth straightened again. Permanent retainers are thin wires that are placed behind the teeth and cannot be removed except by a dental professional. We also offer clear, removable retainers that fit over the teeth like clear aligners and only need to be worn at night.
Should you ever lose or damage your retainer, please contact our office as soon as possible so we can take impressions of your teeth and create a new custom retainer for you.
Is orthodontic treatment painful?
Your teeth are not used to being moved, so wearing braces or clear aligners can take some getting used to at first. We recommend putting in new clear aligners at night so that the initial tooth movements can be made while you are asleep, which should help with discomfort during the day. It’s also not a bad idea to try eating cold foods like popsicles to numb your mouth, use dental wax on particularly sore spots, or take over-the-counter pain medication.
What can I eat with braces?
There are a few food restrictions that come with wearing metal braces. Patients should avoid eating very sticky food and candy, like caramel, taffy, and gum. You will also want to avoid biting into things like apples and corn-on-the-cob, as that could cause a bracket or wire to come loose. Crunchy foods can sometimes be cut into smaller pieces and chewed with the back teeth. If you’re not sure whether or not you should eat something, it’s best to just avoid it if possible.
How long will my treatment take?
We know that many patients are anxious to complete their orthodontic treatment as quickly as possible. During your consultation, we will provide you with an estimate for how long your treatment will likely take. How your teeth respond to orthodontic treatment can change the length of your treatment. Attending regular orthodontic appointments and following all of the instructions that we provide you with will also help to keep things on track and help you achieve a beautiful smile in no time.