Are you considering braces but you worry you won’t like how they look, and you’ve heard they hurt? We have good news! Like all technology, braces have improved over the years. Not that long ago braces could be painful, unsightly, and inconvenient.
Today’s braces are more comfortable, smaller, can blend in with your teeth, and provide a more effective and efficient treatment. Some of the changes that have transformed braces over the years include:
This innovation has massively increased comfort and efficiency by allowing us to use lighter, more continuous forces.
Braces of the past were secured with uncomfortable full metal bands that surrounded every tooth. Bonded braces are much more comfortable, easier to clean and look better.
Newer clear ceramic braces are less noticeable than previous versions, and they do not stain or change colors as easily as clear braces of the past.
Braces with doors
Self-ligating braces allow teeth to keep straightening for longer time periods
between appointments with fewer loose wires.
Types of Braces
The advancements in the technology of braces have led to more choices for patients. In our office there are three different types of braces you can choose from.
Traditional Metal Braces
More comfortable than ever before, traditional metal braces are the most common and affordable choice for braces. The braces are made of biocompatible, high-grade stainless steel, and straighten your teeth with the help of metal archwires. Metal braces give you the option of adding little colored rubber bands for a more unique and colorful smile. Some of these traditional braces come in fun shapes.
These braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces; however, they do not require the use of colored elastics because their built-in doors hold wires in place. These braces have the advantages of requiring fewer appointments, and creating less friction, so that teeth feel less force. Self ligating brackets can be stainless steel or clear ceramic.
Clear Ceramic Braces
Made of translucent materials, ceramic braces are less visible on your teeth compared to metal braces. Ceramic braces are for everyone, but they are particularly popular among older teenagers and adult patients who are concerned about their braces being too noticeable. There are lots of benefits to ceramic braces, but they are also more brittle than metal brackets, so we recommend using them on more visible top teeth, but not on less-visible bottom teeth, where biting forces can break them more easily.
Damon® Self-ligating Braces
We’re happy to provide our patients with Damon® and Damon® Clear passive self-ligating braces. Damon® braces technology uses a sliding door mechanism to hold the archwire which reduces the amount of pressure on your teeth. They eliminate the need for colored elastics to hold wires in place. Damon® braces are especially effective for patients with severely rotated and crowded teeth. The reduced friction in these brackets allows us to keep more of the teeth that would have needed to be pulled in the past.
WildSmiles® braces give you the ability to express yourself. With six uniquely shaped brackets to choose from, you can customize the pattern of your top front four teeth with these designer braces. You can choose any combination of the following shapes: a football, a round ball like a soccer ball or basketball, a star, a heart, a flower or a diamond. WildSmiles® are a hit with our younger braces patients.
MascotBraces® allow you to show your team spirit. Some of the NCAA Bowl Subdivision’s biggest teams are available. Instead of having just a typical square bracket on your top front teeth, you can replace it with a Nebraska block ``N`` if you choose the Husker Braces. Or, if you're a Kansas fan, your brackets can be shaped like a Jayhawk. Discover all of the available mascots.
One of the least comfortable parts of past orthodontic visits is no longer a big deal thanks to advanced technology. The days of sticky gooey mold impressions are mostly gone – at least at our office. We have replaced almost all impressions with digital scans taken on our iTero scanners. Not only are digital scans more comfortable and accurate than alginate impressions, but they can be transmitted to the lab faster so you can get your braces and aligners started faster.
Today’s braces are more affordable than ever, especially at our office. All that is required to get started is one low down payment, and from there you can pay over the course of treatment in convenient installments. Our flexible in-house financing and competitive fees are designed to make a beautiful, healthy smile available to everyone.
Keeping Your New Smile Straight
When your treatment is complete, we will provide retainers that are custom-made for you from a durable thermoplastic material that will hug the contours of your finished smile like Invisalign®. It is one of the most proven statements in science that everything in the universe is naturally becoming more disordered. A commitment to retainers will provide the necessary maintenance to keep your beautiful finished smile looking great for years to come. To make that as easy as possible, ask about our Retainers for Life program!
Do braces hurt?
Braces apply pressure to teeth to move them to the right spots, so there can be some “exercise soreness” or discomfort for a few days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. Sometimes there is also discomfort when wires are changed or when wearing rubber bands, as teeth get used to new movements.
What is the difference between metal and clear braces?
Clear braces are made of translucent ceramic, so they are less noticeable than metal braces, but they are also a little bit larger, in order to be comparably strong to metal braces. Metal braces are more durable and don’t chip or crack which can sometimes happen with clear braces.
How long do I have to wear braces?
Each individual patient’s teeth and bite are unique and respond differently to treatment, causing variation in the time spent in braces. Treatment can take anywhere between six months and 36 months. Average treatment time is about 24 months.
Will braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adaptations when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in activities you love.
What foods can I eat with braces?
You will find that braces don’t change what you eat as dramatically as you think they will. Braces mostly require you to cut your food into smaller pieces and chew it on your back teeth, instead of biting into food with your front teeth. Below is a list of some of the common foods you can still eat with braces.
• Dairy — cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
• Bread — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
• Grains — pasta, cooked rice
• Meats/poultry — cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats, pulled pork, hamburger
• Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
• Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans, cooked vegetables
• Fruits — applesauce, bananas, apple slices, fruit juice
• Treats — ice cream, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cakes and cookies.
What kind of food should I avoid with braces?
Download our No-No List for the food you should avoid with braces.