Traditional Metal Braces
Metal braces are the most common type of braces. They are made of high-grade stainless steel and are attached to the front surface of the teeth using special adhesive. Traditional braces require elastics to hold the wire onto the brackets. These elastics come in a variety of colors that allow you to show your personality or support your favorite sports team or school. Silver, gray, and white colored elastics are also available for patients who want a more neutral look.
Ceramic braces are very similar in design to traditional braces, however they are made from a ceramic material that makes them translucent. This allows them to blend in with your natural tooth color, making them less obvious and more esthetic. Ceramic braces will not discolor or stain during the course of treatment. While ceramic braces are less esthetically obvious, they do require more attention to oral hygiene and diet as they are larger and more brittle than metal braces. For this reason, we use ceramic braces on the top front teeth more than on the bottom teeth.
Dr. Cavallaro and Dr. Moore are Certified Invisalign Providers! Invisalign uses a custom-made series of clear, removable, and comfortable aligners to gradually straighten your teeth according to the prescription from the doctors. They are removed for eating, therefore requiring less diet restrictions, and for brushing and flossing, making hygiene easier. Not everyone is a candidate for this type of treatment, but we will be happy to evaluate your orthodontic needs and let you know if Invisalign is an option for you!
TYPES OF APPLIANCES
Separators are small rubber bands that are placed between the teeth to create space. They may cause mild discomfort for a few days following their placement. We usually recommend taking Ibuprofen (as long as there are no contraindications) to relieve the soreness. As the separators create space between your teeth, the separators may become loose. Because of this, it is important to avoid sticky and chewy food such as gum, taffy, and caramel that could pull them out. Also, be sure to avoid flossing where the separators are placed (still floss your other teeth). It is very important for all separators to stay in place. If a separator comes out for any reason please call the office.
Rubber Bands (Elastics)
Dr. Cavallaro and Dr. Moore will sometimes prescribe rubber bands (also known as elastics) as part of your treatment. They are able to help move your teeth in ways that the doctors are unable to do with just wires. Consistency is extremely important with rubber band wear to help us achieve the beautiful results we all want, and in a timely manner. Rubber bands are generally worn full-time (day and night) except for eating, brushing, and flossing. They should be changed 4-6 times a day, generally after meals and before bedtime. While wearing rubber bands, refrain from opening your mouth too wide during talking, yawning, etc. Excessive force caused by wide opening or sudden jerking on rubber bands can loosen the band or bracket where the rubber band attaches. It is not uncommon for rubber bands to initially cause soreness. Please, do not stop wearing them due to discomfort. With consistent wear, the soreness will subside in a few days! Don’t be a part time rubber band wearer or you’ll be a forever brace wearer! Where do I attach the rubber bands? Our registered orthodontic assistants will be demonstrate how and where to hook up your rubber bands while you are at our office. They will then have you practice to ensure you understand and feel comfortable doing it on your own. Dr. Cavallaro and Dr. Moore will prescribe a specific type of rubber band for you, so please do not use your friends’ rubber bands. If you run out or lose them, or if you have a problem with your rubber bands or hooks, please call our office. If you are unable to pick-up a pack from the office, we will send you some. Do not wait until your next appointment. Also, please be sure to place rubber bands exactly as instructed in the office and never double up.
- In a well lit area, tip the patient’s head back
- Place the “key” in the hole until it is firmly in place.
- Push the “key” toward the back of the mouth. You will notice the hole rotate backwards and a new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.
- Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the “key”, being careful not to rotate the hole towards the front. If this happens it will cause the next hole to not be visible.
How do I take care of my retainers? Brush your retainers each time you brush your teeth. Use toothpaste and a toothbrush, being careful to place the retainer in the palm of your hand while brushing. Never hold your retainer by the clasps or wires, as this may cause distortion. Place and remove your retainers as instructed in the office. Fully seat the retainers using firm finger pressure. Never bite your retainers into position. Never remove your retainer by holding or pulling the front wire.