West Coast Dental has the orthodontic expertise, tools and training to give you the smile of your dreams. Whether you are young or young at heart, we will recommend the best orthodontist for your needs and help you construct an effective treatment plan (including affordable braces) to treat your specific issues.
Let’s explore who needs braces, the types of braces available and how West Coast Dental helps you make the most of your orthodontic experience.
How to Know If You Need Braces
If your teeth are crowded, crooked or misaligned, braces can change your life. Straight teeth not only look better, but they’re also healthier and easier to keep clean. Plus, an improved bite helps you avoid jaw pain.
When it comes to orthodontic care, the earlier the better. Early consultation and treatment may make it possible to avoid or shorten the time needed for straightening your teeth. We recommend that children see a pediatric orthodontist no later than age 7.
Teeth crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in your mouth to allow your teeth to grow in straight. This causes the teeth to shift which impacts alignment. Teeth crowding may be caused by an imbalanced tooth-to-jaw ratio, or it can be caused by baby teeth that come out too early.
Crooked teeth are simply teeth that did not grow in straight. They may be caused by a variety of factors including jaw size and alignment, genetics, thumb sucking and poor dental care. Some crooked teeth can cause alignment issues that impact your health and speech.
Jaw alignment describes how your top and bottom teeth come together when you close your mouth. Ideally, your upper teeth should fit slightly over your bottom teeth. Common jaw alignment issues include overbites and underbites.
Types of Braces
Dental braces apply mild, constant pressure to gradually move your teeth. Your orthodontist will make regular adjustments to your braces until your teeth are perfectly aligned. There are several types of braces which are available in a variety of colors and materials to suit your needs.
Traditional metal braces are a time-tested, effective way to correct your smile. If you choose traditional braces, your orthodontist will attach metal brackets to the front of each tooth. A metal wire runs between each bracket. Colorful rubber bands attach to the front of each bracket to hold the wire in place.
Clear braces are available to provide a more natural option for teeth straightening. They are made of a clear ceramic material that blends in with your natural smile which can give you added self-confidence during treatment. A metal wire runs between each ceramic bracket. The durable design of clear braces maintains its appearance over time without staining or discoloration.
Clear aligners are becoming a very popular choice for teens and adults since they are nearly invisible and cause little disruption to daily life. As a braces alternative, these custom-made trays are molded to the shape of your teeth. When you need to eat or brush your teeth, you simply remove the trays for a short period of time.
Invisible braces gently apply pressure to gradually move your teeth. Your orthodontist will replace your trays about every two weeks to continue the alignment process.
What to Expect When You Get Braces at West Coast Dental
At West Coast Dental, your first orthodontic appointment will include a comprehensive exam, digital X-rays and a treatment consultation with an expert orthodontist. Based on this initial assessment, we will identify the braces or aligners that will work best for you.
Frequent Dental Visits
Once you start your orthodontic program, you’ll have an automatic appointment scheduled at West Coast Dental every few weeks. During these routine visits, your orthodontist will check your progress and adjust your braces, as needed.
Straightening teeth requires specialized expertise that goes beyond general dentistry. Our certified orthodontists are experts at moving teeth gently and safely for children, teens and adults. We understand the complex relationship between teeth and facial structures.
Unique Treatment for a Better Smile
At West Coast Dental, our orthodontists treat each patient as an individual with unique needs and goals. We work with you to properly assess your smile and develop a customized plan to deliver the results you want. To find the best orthodontist near you, book an orthodontist appointment today.
We offer a variety of payment options to make your crown affordable. We also accept most dental insurance plans and have a dental discount program for patients without insurance. Call us at our toll-free number 888-329-8111 or make an appointment online here.
The thought of getting braces may cause fear or anxiety. Consider the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about orthodontic devices, care and maintenance to help put your mind at ease.
What is orthodontics?
If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between a dentist and orthodontist, you’re not alone. Dentistry covers a broad category of medicine that deals with the teeth, gums, facial nerves and jaw. As a specialized form of dentistry, orthodontics focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of problems affecting the teeth and jaw.
Orthodontic devices are designed to improve your smile, bite and overall appearance. Orthodontists use various devices to move teeth safely and gradually.
How do braces and aligners work?
Braces and aligners are orthodontic devices that apply gentle pressure to the teeth to adjust their position and alignment over time. Braces attach to the teeth and use tensioned wires to reposition teeth over an extended treatment period. Aligners are removable trays that gradually bring teeth into proper alignment.
Do braces and aligners work for an adult?
Our orthodontic experts recommend starting orthodontic treatment during childhood when it’s the easiest to make adjustments to the teeth and jaw. In reality, however, it’s never too late to get adult braces or aligners. Orthodontic treatment can help improve your dental health and appearance at any age.
Will I need to have any teeth removed?
If your mouth is overcrowded or you have a tooth that’s creating problems, you may need to have a tooth extracted. This will create extra room in your mouth for your remaining teeth to align properly. Your orthodontist will carefully consider the size and shape of your mouth before recommending any extraction.
How often do braces need to be adjusted?
Your orthodontist will adjust the tension on your braces every few weeks. Your teeth may feel pressure following these adjustments. As the teeth shift in response to the adjustment, the pressure will subside.
Is there any limit of food I can eat when wearing braces?
Sticky, chewy or hard foods can be damaging to braces. For example, sticky foods like gum and taffy can stick to your bands and wires pulling them off your teeth. Hard, crunchy foods can lead to broken brackets. If a food typically requires a large bite to eat (such as a hamburger, steak or apple), consider cutting it into smaller bites that you can pop into your mouth. It’s also wise to limit sugary foods to help protect your teeth from decay.
How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?
The best thing you can do to keep your teeth clean is to brush your teeth regularly — preferably after every time you eat or drink. Since braces can create hidden areas where food gets trapped, take your time when brushing. Tools such as an electric toothbrush and special toothpaste for sensitivity may make teeth cleaning easier and more effective. Remember to schedule regular dental cleanings with your dentist while you have braces.
Should I wear a retainer for the rest of my life?
If you’re wondering about caring for your teeth after braces, wearing your retainer is one of the most important steps. Once your braces are removed, you should wear your retainer day and night for about the same amount of time as your overall orthodontic treatment program. Following that period, you may wear your retainer at night for maintenance. Keep in mind that wearing your retainer regularly prevents your teeth from returning to their original position.