When you think about orthodontics treatment, braces are one of the first things that come to mind. While these are one of the most popular orthodontic devices, your dentist can offer other options. The exact device your dentist uses varies based on your condition and the outcome they are trying to achieve. Here are a few appliances and tools they may use.
Many assume braces are the first and only step once you begin your orthodontic journey. This myth is often false. Some people need orthodontic spacers before getting braces. Spacers are often used to make room for the brackets, which will be the base of your braces. Orthodontic spacers are elastic or metal separators that a dentist places between your teeth to create small gaps. These devices are often needed when your mouth is crowded.
Spacers can be slightly uncomfortable because they are forcibly moving your teeth apart. They can make it awkward or uncomfortable to chew certain foods. Fortunately, spacers usually do not have to stay in place very long.
Clear or invisible aligners have become popular in orthodontics. Aligners are an alternative to traditional metal braces. They are used to reposition and straighten your teeth with minimal daily impact. Unfortunately, aligners are not appropriate in every situation. They are most successful as a treatment for mild to moderate overcrowding and spacing issues cases.
Aligners work like traditional braces by exerting mild pressure that gradually straightens your teeth over time. Unlike traditional braces, aligners do not stay on your teeth continuously until the straightening process is complete.
Your dentist will create multiple sets of aligners to complete the entire process. They then put these in place every so often once the previous set of aligners has achieved their movement goal. The timeframe in which you keep a set of aligners can vary, but it is usually just a couple of weeks.
One of the most significant benefits of aligners is your ability to remove them to eat and brush or floss. They also impose fewer diet restrictions. For example, with aligners, you do not have to worry about foods you eat or drink getting stuck in your teeth.
Once your teeth have been moved back in place by your orthodontics treatment, your dentist may suggest you wear a retainer. A retainer keeps your teeth from moving back out of place. While you may start off wearing your retainer around the clock, most people can gradually reduce the amount of time they need to wear it.
Contact a local dental office, such as Varinos Dental Associates, to learn more.