At Fallston Dental Care, we’re here to help you get a smile that reflects your personality and boosts your self-esteem. And, beyond appearance, we know that crooked or misaligned teeth can present challenges when it comes to oral hygiene and even speaking and eating. Our orthodontic treatment options for children, teens and adults offer many ways to get the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.
For this traditional orthodontic treatment, metal brackets are bonded to your teeth and connected by wire. Your doctor periodically tightens this wire so pressure will gradually straighten your teeth and align your jaw. Metal braces are the most effective treatment for severe overcrowding of teeth.
Unlike older, bulky metal braces, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable, and high-tech metal alloy wires, with a memory, make the whole procedure faster and more comfortable. These braces are typically the least expensive form of orthodontic treatment and, while kids and teens may prefer colorful bands around their brackets, neutral options are available for our adult patients as well.
Clear Ceramic Braces
At Fallston Dental Care, we also offer clear ceramic braces. Because the brackets are transparent, many of our adult patients prefer this more inconspicuous treatment option.
Clear ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces, and – while their effectiveness is similar, especially in mild to moderate cases – the plastic ties which attach the brackets to the arch-wires are still prone to staining (from coffee, wine and certain foods). The brackets themselves are also more prone to chipping and damage, and they can’t withstand as much force as metal brackets, so treatment time can be slightly longer.
Clear Aligners (Invisalign®)
If you have mild to moderate crowding or spacing issues, clear orthodontic aligners can straighten your teeth without wires and brackets. The aligner trays are created to fit your teeth exactly, using impressions, X-rays and computer software. They mold to your teeth to gradually adjust them. The trays must be worn for most of the day, every day. They can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing.
Made from medical-grade plastic, the trays are nearly invisible. They are typically more expensive than metal or ceramic braces, and treatment time varies. Clear aligners may not be effective for children and teens. Talk to your doctor to see if this option is right for you.
At Fallston Dental Care, we use the Invisalign® system for patients who would benefit from clear aligners. Each tray is worn for approximately two weeks, and you’ll receive three to four sets at a time. We’ll check your progress at appointments every six to eight weeks. To learn more about Invisalign®, visit invisalign.com.
In many cases, orthodontic appliances are needed to ensure teeth are moving effectively and that results will last. When you undergo orthodontic treatment at Fallston Dental Care, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:
- Elastics – These rubber bands attach to small hooks on the braces and are worn full-time or at night to correct overbites, underbites and other alignment issues.
- Palatal Expander – This common orthodontic device is often prescribed for children with crossbite, crowding or impacted teeth. An expander creates more space in a child’s mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw, which doesn’t fuse completely until after puberty. Your child’s doctor will create a custom expander to fit over several of his or her back, top teeth. The appliance has two halves, connected in the middle by a screw. You or your child will turn the screw a small amount each day using a special key for a few months, gradually widening the palate.
- Positioners – After treatment with braces, you may be prescribed a clear appliance that fits over your teeth, known as a positioner. A positioner helps maintain your orthodontic result and makes some final tweaks in your spacing and alignment. Typically, you’ll need to wear this appliance at night – and for certain periods during the day – for about a year after treatment.
- Retainers – After braces or other orthodontic treatment, your doctor will give you a retainer – made of all plastic or metal and plastic – to keep your teeth from shifting. These are often removable and must be worn at night and for some periods during the day. Fallston Dental Care also offers permanent retainers, thin wires across the back of the lower or upper front teeth bonded in place with cement, which are very effective but require more work to keep clean.
- Spacers – If you need braces, we will need to create a slight space between your back teeth so molar bands will slide on easily. A few days or weeks before you get your braces, your doctor will place rubber spacers between your back teeth using floss and some force. As the spacer returns to its original shape, it pushes your teeth apart, creating space.