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How do I choose which orthodontic product is best for me?

So, you’ve been diagnosed with an orthodontic issue – now it's time to decide which treatment option is best for you. Orthodontic treatment is a significant investment of time and money. You'll want to be sure you’re using the right product. Today, our Collingwood dentists describe commonly used devices and products. 

What are some effective orthodontic products?

Which orthodontic treatment option or product will work best for you will be determined by the nature of your orthodontic issue including its severity or complexity, and other factors. Financial considerations are also an issue. Below are just some orthodontist- and dentist-recommended orthodontic treatment options that are typically used to help straighten patients' teeth. Ultimately, you and your orthodontist or dentist will need to decide which option will provide you with the best possible results.

Traditional Braces

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

Made from high-quality stainless steel with metal brackets connected by a thin archwire and tiny elastics, braces apply pressure to your teeth to move them gradually into their desired positions. Braces are an effective orthodontic treatment for fixing a wide variety of simple and complex orthodontic issues, from misalignment to excess spacing, overcrowding, crooked teeth and crossbite.

Braces are fixed, meaning that 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 need to worry about counting your hours of wear time during the day as you would with clear aligners (see below).

Ceramic Braces

Although ceramic braces work much like traditional braces the brackets are made out of tooth-coloured ceramic, making them appear to be transparent and providing a lower profile appearance.

Ceramic braces are a popular choice for adults who wish to undergo orthodontic treatment but may not be candidates for clear aligners. That said, it's important to keep in mind that the elastics used with ceramic braces can become discoloured, and will require extra special attention when brushing and flossing to help them look their best.

Clear & Removable Aligners

Clear aligners such as Invisalign are a popular alternative to braces for adults who need orthodontic treatment but want an option more discreet in appearance. Clear aligners are removable, which means that you can take them out to eat, drink, brush and floss. Many patients find that the custom-fitted aligners are comfortable to wear and fit easily into their lifestyle. 

Removable clear aligners allow you to continue enjoying all the foods you love. However, you’ll need to wear them for 22 hours a day for them to work, so sticking with your personalized treatment plan and remembering to track your daily wear time, meal times and any time your clear aligners will not be worn is crucial.

If clear aligners are your choice for orthodontic treatment you’ll also need to brush and floss your teeth every time you eat or drink anything other than water, before you put your aligners back in. Cleaning your teeth every time you remove your aligners prevents bacteria from getting trapped between your teeth and the aligners which could lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Retainers

A custom-made retainer may be either a fixed or removable device and is typically made of wires and clear plastic. Retainers are generally prescribed for wear after treatment with braces or clear aligners. If your retainer is removable, it should be worn at all times at first, except when you are eating or brushing your teeth.

As with braces, retainers will require careful care and maintenance in order 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 orthodontic treatments.

Tooth extraction was used more often in the past, today’s dentists and orthodontists often recommend a palate expander instead. This device is custom-fitted to your palate and applies pressure to the backs of your upper molars, gradually moving your teeth further apart.

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

Forsus Appliances

Children as young as 7 years old can now be screened by a dentist or orthodontist to find out whether they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. If they are, there are various appliances that can be used for treatment, including a Forsus appliance.

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

Are you trying to decide which orthodontic product best suits you or your child? Contact our Collingwood orthodontists today to book a consultation.

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