How do I choose which orthodontic product best suits me?

So, you’ve been diagnosed with an orthodontic issue – now to decide on treatment options. Orthodontic treatment is a significant investment of time and money. You want to make sure you’re using the right product. In this post, our North York dentists describe commonly used devices and products. 

What are some popular orthodontic products?

The nature of your orthodontic issue, its severity or complexity, and other factors will most likely determine which orthodontic treatment option or product will work best for you. Financial considerations are also important. These are just a few of the orthodontic treatment options recommended by orthodontists and dentists to help straighten patients' teeth. You and your orthodontist or dentist will have to decide which one is best for you.

Traditional Braces

Thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, traditional braces have received some upgrades in the past few decades to become more streamlined, and lighter in structure and weight than in years past.

Braces, which are made of high-quality stainless steel with metal brackets connected by a thin archwire and tiny elastics, apply pressure to your teeth to gradually move them into their prescribed positions. Braces can be used to correct a wide range of simple and complex orthodontic issues, such as misalignment, overcrowding, crooked teeth, and crossbite.

Braces are fixed, which means you can’t remove them to eat, drink, brush or floss. Though braces treatment will necessarily eliminate some foods from your diet (very hard or sticky foods, for instance), you won’t have to do the mental work of counting your hours of wear time during the day as you would with clear aligners (see below).

Ceramic Braces

These braces work much like traditional braces. The difference is that the brackets are made out of tooth-coloured ceramic, making them appear to be transparent.

These braces are a popular option for adults who require orthodontic treatment but may not be candidates for clear aligners. They have a lower profile than traditional braces. However, keep in mind that the elastics can become discoloured and will require extra care when brushing and flossing.

Clear & Removable Aligners

Clear aligners are a popular alternative to braces for adults who require orthodontic treatment but prefer a less noticeable option. Clear aligners are removable, so you can remove them to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Many patients find that they fit into their lifestyle and allow them to continue eating the foods they enjoy.

However, you’ll need to wear them for 22 hours a day for them to work, so sticking with your custom treatment plan and remembering to track your daily wear time, meal times and any time your clear aligners will not be worn is critical.

You’ll also need to brush and floss your teeth every time you eat or drink anything other than water, before you put your braces back in, to prevent bacteria from getting trapped between your teeth and the aligners and causing tooth decay and cavities.

Retainers

A custom-made retainer is typically made of wires and clear plastic and can be either fixed or removable. They are mostly used to keep your teeth straight after braces or clear aligners treatment. If yours is removable, wear it at all times at first, except when eating or brushing your teeth.

Like braces, retainers also require careful care and maintenance to work as they should and keep your teeth in place.

Palate Expanders

Commonly used for patients with overcrowded teeth, palatal expansion and tooth extraction are two common options.

Though tooth extraction was once more common, orthodontists now frequently recommend a palate expander, which is custom fitted to your palate and applies pressure to the backs of your upper molars, gradually moving your teeth apart.

Over time, this expands your palate, making it possible for other types of braces to be used to correct the position of misaligned teeth.

Forsus Appliances

Orthodontists and dentists can now screen children as young as seven years old to see if they qualify for early orthodontic treatment. If they are, various appliances, including a Forsus appliance, can be used to treat them.

A spring on the Forsus appliance attaches to braces to bring the upper or lower jaw into position. These have mostly replaced the use of headgear for braces and are commonly used to help correct stubborn overbites.

Are you wondering which orthodontic product best suits you? Contact our North York dentists today to book a consultation. We may even be able to provide you with a referral.

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