Not all of us win the “beautiful smile” lottery. In fact, many of the smiles that we admire had a little help early on. Patients of Royal Dental receive the type of care they need to ensure teeth are straight, healthy, and attractive. We offer braces to help our patients throughout Houston and surrounding areas with all of their teeth straightening needs.
What Are Braces?
Braces are a common type of orthodontic device used to straighten or align teeth for patients suffering from malocclusion or other bite abnormalities. These devices apply continuous pressure to the teeth over the entire length of treatment. As the teeth gradually move to the desired, correctly aligned position, the patients’ smiles become increasingly attractive.
Types of Braces
Braces, one of the most common orthodontic devices, are bonded brackets, archwires and elastic bands that gradually move crowded or spaced teeth into the proper position for improved appearance and function.
Translucent “clear” braces and tooth-colored ceramic brackets are available at Royal Dental. These provide a very pleasing aesthetic alternative to traditional metal braces. Today’s clear braces provide the same quality of treatment as metal braces but are simply less noticeable. At Royal Dental we also offer Invisalign clear aligners as orthodontic treatment.
Do Braces Hurt?
One of the biggest concerns that patients have is the idea that braces will hurt. What normally happens is that slight soreness may be noticed during the week following the initial application of brackets and wires. Sometimes, minor sores may develop as soft tissues acclimate to the new fixtures in the mouth.
There are several ways to mitigate the temporary discomfort that may accompany braces, from taking an over-the-counter pain reliever to swishing warm salty water through the mouth. We are here to support our patients in a comfortable transition to wearing braces.
How Long Do I Have to Wear Braces?
Depending on your unique needs, braces may be placed on a patient’s teeth for months or even years. The average time from for braces in teens and adults spans from 18 months to 3 years. However, early intervention can significantly reduce the amount of time a patient needs to wear braces.
Braces Consultation Process
The nature of the orthodontic consultation may involve certain steps depending on our familiarity with the patient. Generally, this visit includes:
- Dental history review and possible discussion of medical history.
- X-rays, depending on when imaging was last performed.
- Oral exam focused on the position of teeth and the bite.
- Discussion of the various appropriate treatment plans.
- Question and answer period involving the details of the proposed treatment plan.
- Discussion of costs, payment, and insurance or financing options.
How Many Follow up Visits Will I Need?
The frequency of visits depends on various factors, such as the type of orthodontic appliances being worn and possibly even the age of the patient. We may schedule more frequent visits in the first few months after braces are applied so adjustments can be made and so we can make sure there are no issues with oral care.
Generally speaking, patients should expect to see us about once a month.
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
Brushing and flossing become even more critical when you wear braces. Fortunately, brushing is conducted in much the same way with braces as it is without them. For two full minutes twice a day, patients should brush every tooth surface, including the back of teeth. To clean in between teeth and the arch-wire, an interdental cleaner may be more efficient due to the small size and precision shape.
Will I Need a Retainer After Braces?
Yes, after orthodontic treatment our orthodontist will provide you with a retainer. The retainer is an integral part of orthodontic treatment. Often times, teeth can shift once orthodontic treatment is complete and proper care with your retainers is just as important as your time in active orthodontic treatment. Teeth have tendency to move more rapidly immediately following your orthodontic treatment, but can also move many years later in some instances.
Retainers come in a few different forms, such as a fixed bracket that runs across the back of teeth for a discreet appearance. Your orthodontist will spend time with you to come up with a customized retainer regimen specifically for you.
Schedule a Consultation
If you think you or your child may need braces, call Royal Dental at 713-330-7700 to schedule an orthodontic consultation. Royal Dental has offices throughout Houston, Sugar Land, Baytown, Pearland, and Humble.