Orthodontics

Traditional Braces in South San Francisco, CA

There are several options now available when it comes to straightening teeth. Even with these options, such as clear braces or clear aligners, traditional metal braces may be the best option for some patients. If you are considering a teeth straightening procedure, your dentist can advise you on the best treatment to suit your needs.

How do braces work?

Braces exert a steady amount of pressure on specific teeth to gradually shift them to a new position along the gum line. They are effective for correcting crooked or crowded teeth, a misaligned bite, and jaw problems. They can also improve eating and speaking abilities and help with oral hygiene (straight teeth are easier to clean).

What are traditional braces?

Traditional braces are constructed with metal brackets and wires. While they are known to be uncomfortable and unattractive, advancements in dental technology have made them sleeker, smaller, and more comfortable.

The standard metal brackets of traditional braces are placed on the teeth with an adhesive. They are connected by a wire which must be tightened periodically. This creates a steady pressure on the teeth to gradually straighten them and align the jaw. To make the procedure more fun for younger patients, colored bands can be used and switched out periodically. Adults can utilize this treatment as well.

Treatment provided by our office generally takes one to three years, depending on the severity of the occlusion for each patient. At the end of your treatment, you’ll need to wear a retainer to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their previous positions.

How to Care for Braces

Braces require careful maintenance, both to ensure that the teeth are kept healthy and to make sure that the treatment is going as planned. Certain foods will have to be avoided in order to reduce the chances of damaging the braces. These include hard, crunchy, or chewy foods. Sugary foods will also have to be reduced, as the extra sugar can cause plaque buildup around the brackets, which can permanently stain or damage teeth. You will have to learn how to clean thoroughly around the braces as well.
If you are looking for a teeth straightening solution, consult the dentists at our office.

Clear Braces in South San Francisco, CA

Most people want a straighter smile, but some may be hesitant to undergo a braces treatment because they don’t wish to have a mouth full of metal, as traditional braces utilize. After all, this conspicuous treatment can not only hinder self-confidence, but may also affect one’s daily life, with social interactions and professional situations. Fortunately, there is an alternative with clear braces. Clear braces are made using advanced computer technology that predicts tooth movement. This ensures that your dentist knows exactly how the braces are moving the teeth.

Clear braces are most effective for adults and older teenagers; if younger children are in need of orthodontic treatment, traditional braces are usually more
appropriate for their needs. Common orthodontic conditions that can be treated using clear braces include:

  • Overbite
  • Crowded teeth
  • Widely spaced teeth
  • Crooked teeth

Clear ceramic braces are made of composite materials. They are larger than metal brackets, but are not as strong. They utilize small rubber bands, or ligatures, to secure them to the archwire. As with traditional braces, ceramic brackets are not removable until the end of the treatment. They can produce irritation and may create complications in daily tooth care and activities (such as in eating certain foods). Treatment with clear braces is usually longer since the force used with them is more gradual than with traditional metal braces, resulting in a gentler move for the teeth. Clear braces can cost more than other braces, but they may be funded with financing or insurance.

Another less conspicuous alternative to traditional metal braces is inside braces. These attach the brackets of braces to the back of the teeth, hiding them from view. This quality may make them more appealing to adult patients, but they can be especially uncomfortable and difficult to clean. They also tend to cost more than other options.
If you have been looking for a solution to straighten your teeth, but do not want a treatment that is too conspicuous, contact us today to book a consultation. Your dentist can advise you on the best type of braces to suit your needs.

Invisalign®️ in South San Francisco, CA

Although traditional metal braces are still a very popular option for straightening teeth, advances in dental technology have developed Invisalign®️, a system of clear aligners that is just as effective at producing a straighter smile as traditional or ceramic braces. Each custom aligner works in a similar way to metal brackets and wires – by exerting a small amount of pressure on the teeth to gradually shift them to a new position. If you are considering teeth straightening treatments, visit our office to learn more about Invisalign®️.

Benefits

The Invisalign®️ system has several benefits over traditional metal braces, including:

  • They are nearly invisible.
  • They are more comfortable than metal braces.
  • They are removable.
  • They reduce damage and discomfort to the cheeks and gums.
  • They are easier to clean.
  • Treatment time with Invisalign®️ is shorter.

Procedure

An initial consultation will be needed during which your dentist will examine the position of your teeth, and you can discuss your goals. Your dentist will then create a treatment plan, which will map out the expected movement of the teeth. You can preview the movement as well as the projected results. Impressions will be taken of your teeth to create the custom aligners, which are made of a proprietary, multilayer material called SmartTrack®️. The aligners will be made to follow the treatment plan.

Instructions for use

For best results, the aligners must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. A new aligner will be changed out almost every week, according to the treatment plan. Regular check-ups with your dentist will be necessary to monitor the progress of the treatment. Wearing the aligners for the recommended amount of time ensures that they are effectively shifted; with Invisalign®️ aligners, the teeth can be moved horizontally, vertically, and even be rotated if needed. The aligners can be taken out when brushing and flossing the teeth. The aligners themselves will also require cleaning, which involves simply a gentle brush and rinse.

An average Invisalign®️ treatment lasts about 12 months for adults. Treatment time depends on the severity of the case. A retainer will usually be recommended at the end of the treatment to maintain the new position of the teeth.

If you are looking for teeth straightening options, contact us today for an Invisalign®️ consultation.

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