Experienced Orthodontics in Edmonton
Many people are familiar with braces but aren’t sure if braces are right for them. What they may not know is that braces offer important health benefits as well as cosmetic advantages.
At Ellerslie Dental Studio, our dentists provide experienced orthodontic treatment to help bring your smile into a healthy alignment. Want to find out if orthodontics is for you? Read on or contact our office to learn more about what orthodontics can do.
Make an appointment to get started today!
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics are treatments designed to improve the alignment of teeth, typically by moving the teeth into a healthier position. Braces and aligners use tension or pressure to gradually shift the teeth into a new position, allowing them to meet better and improving your ability to chew, speak, and overall oral health.
Why Is Misalignment a Problem?
Multiple health issues are linked to the alignment of your teeth. When teeth don’t meet correctly, it becomes more difficult to chew food, and the teeth can become unevenly worn down. Jaw joint problems are also sometimes linked to misalignments.
Misalignment also makes cleaning the teeth through brushing and flossing more difficult, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. In some cases, misaligned teeth can lead to speech impediments, and even alter the shape of your face.
What Are My Options for Orthodontics?
Our office provides both conventional metal braces and Invisalign®. Both options help to straighten teeth, though they work by slightly different methods.
When you visit our office for an exam or consultation, the dentist evaluates your alignment to determine what level of treatment you need and can recommend certain orthodontic treatment based on your unique dental situation.
How Do Braces and Invisalign Work?
Traditional braces pull teeth into the ideal placement using tension. Metal brackets are temporarily cemented onto the teeth, and a wire runs between the brackets across the dental arch. The wire applies tension that causes the teeth to shift and holds them in that position, moving them further each time the braces are adjusted.
Invisalign uses multiple custom-shaped aligner trays which push the teeth rather than pull them. Each aligner is designed to apply gentle pressure to targeted areas, moving the teeth by degrees into the desired position.
What You Should Know About Invisalign
Invisalign can be a useful way to straighten teeth. It also requires personal discipline to be effective.
The aligners can be removed when eating or brushing your teeth. However, they also need to be worn at least 22 hours a day. As long as this is met, Invisalign can be a great choice for dealing with mild to moderate cases of crowding, gaps, and crooked teeth.
How Often Do I Change the Trays?
In most cases, the trays should be changed every two weeks. If they aren’t changed on time, it lengthens the treatment time, so it’s important to pay close attention and keep track of when to move on to the next set.
Some patients with certain circumstances may be able to speed up their treatment by wearing each set of aligners for one week instead of two. You can discuss with the dentist before you start your treatment whether this would be an option for you.
How Do I Clean My Teeth When Wearing Invisalign?
The Invisalign trays can be removed to allow you to brush your teeth as you normally do. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly and carefully each time to remove any trace of food debris.
When wearing Invisalign, any food trapped in the teeth can increase the chance of tooth decay, as well as other dental issues like gum disease and bad breath. To prevent this, you must brush your teeth whenever you eat before you put your aligners back on. Some people find this helps them curb their snacking pattern so they won’t have to brush their teeth several times a day.
5 Habit to Stop When Using Invisalign
There’s a lot you can still do when using Invisalign, but to get the most out of your treatment, these are the habits that you should look out for.
- Smoking: This habit comes with many oral health problems, including gum disease, which can weaken your gum line and reduce the success of your treatment. It will also stain your clear aligners and make teeth look brown.
- Biting Your Nails: Chewing on your nails wears down on teeth and can cause infections. It can also have consequences for your aligners.
- Frequent Snacking: While there are no restrictions on what and when you can eat, you do have to make sure you can brush your teeth every time.
- Clenching Your Teeth: Jaw clenching stresses your teeth and jaw muscles and could impact your orthodontic treatment.
- Using Teeth as Tools: To avoid warping your aligners and potentially damaging your teeth, avoid using your teeth to rip, cut, or tear through anything other than food.
Consider Conventional Braces
Today’s modern braces have been perfected for more than a century and can address almost any alignment issue. While many people receive orthodontic treatment in their childhood years, more and more adults are seeking to improve their smiles with traditional braces.
How Do I Clean My Teeth When Wearing Braces?
Cleaning your teeth with braces can take some getting used to, but is as important as ever. When brushing, be sure to brush around the brackets and under the wires, as food debris can get stuck more easily. Also, be careful not to brush too hard and loosen a bracket.
Flossing may seem complicated at first, but you’ll be able to get the hang of it before long. If you have difficulty threading the floss, consider using a threader (a small, flexible plastic that helps you move the floss between teeth). You may also find a water flosser to be a useful tool at home. Mouthwash will help remove any last traces of debris and leave your mouth feeling fresh.
What Do I Do if a Bracket Comes Loose?
It’s normal for a bracket or two to become loose every once in a while, especially if you eat something sticky, chewy, or hard (which is not recommended when wearing braces). In most cases, it’s okay to wait until your next appointment to have the dentist fix it back into place. You can use dental wax to stabilize the bracket until then.
If the bracket or wire is poking you or causing pain, this should be addressed more quickly. Trim the wire using a pair of nail clippers and use dental wax to cover any sharp edges. Contact our office and make an appointment to come in and have the issue resolved.
When Should Children Get Braces?
In most cases, seven years old is a good age to have your child evaluated for braces. Older children and even teens can still benefit from braces, so there’s no need to be reluctant about bringing in your child for an evaluation.
What Is Early Orthodontics, and Does My Child Need It?
In some cases, a child may face significant dental issues that can’t wait until later to be addressed. In these situations, the dentist may recommend early orthodontic treatment. This involves using orthodontics on a younger child to help their alignment and jaw develop in a healthy way. It also makes later orthodontic treatment – once the jaw bone is more developed – go faster and more smoothly.
A child might need early orthodontics if:
- They have an underbite
- The jaw shifts to one side (a crossbite)
- Their teeth are severely crowded
- They have wide spaces between teeth
- They have too few or too many teeth
- Their teeth meet poorly or not at all
- They used a pacifier or sucked their thumb past the age of two
Discover the Orthodontic Difference
When it comes to your smile, few things make a difference for your health and confidence quite like having straighter teeth. Ellerslie Dental Studio is proud to help Edmonton children and adults alike enjoy healthier, more appealing smiles. Find out how you can benefit when you schedule a consultation with our office today!
Schedule an appointment to get started today!