The Types of Braces

There’s never been a better time to need braces! In recent years, we’ve seen orthodontic technology make huge strides, and today’s orthodontists are able to offer patients a wide range of unique treatment options. Here at Elm Tree Orthodontics, our expert team can successfully treat a range of orthodontic issues in patients of all ages. This includes:

  • crowded teeth
  • gaps between the teeth
  • protruding teeth
  • overbites
  • underbites
  • crossbite
  • impacted teeth

We’re able to improve the oral health of our patients by using several treatment methods, including traditional braces. Braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment, and probably the most recognizable appliance as well. Once upon a time, braces were big, bulky, and quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, modern braces are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and more efficient, too! This transformation has led to a better orthodontic experience for both patients and orthodontists.

If you’ve been considering braces to achieve a healthier smile, you may be wondering what options are available to you. When you schedule your free consultation with Dr. Desai, he’ll be able to determine which treatment option would be best for you and your unique needs. For now, let’s take a look at what types of braces are available, how they differ, and how this orthodontic staple can give you a happy, healthy smile!

What are traditional braces?

Traditional braces are made up of metal or clear brackets that have been attached to the teeth then tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands or elastics. This method is very good at fixing complex tooth issues. It can also work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might. This could potentially shorten your treatment time, although this will vary from patient to patient. In general, the average treatment time for braces is usually anywhere from 18-36 months.

Caring for traditional braces can come with a bit of a learning curve in the early days, but it gets easier with time and practice. A good dental hygiene routine is essential for oral health, but it’s even more important for patients in braces since food and bacteria can get stuck in between the wires and teeth.

For patients who struggle to brush and floss effectively while wearing braces, there are many accessories designed to make it easier. Waterpiks can help rinse any hard to reach areas and ortho picks can assist with flossing. We recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout the treatment process (and beyond!)

When it comes to meals and snacks, anything too sticky or crunchy can damage the brackets and wires. For this reason, patients in braces will need to avoid these kinds of foods during treatment. While it can definitely take some getting used to, remember that it won’t last forever! All of these minor frustrations will pay off once your braces come off and you see your beautiful new smile.

Braces patients can expect follow-up visits in our Hamden office every 4-8 weeks or so throughout treatment. During these appointments, Dr. Desai will change the bands that are attached to the brackets and may replace the wire as well. These check-ups tend to be pretty short, so you should be able to get back to school or work quickly! While there may sometimes be minor residual soreness following these adjustments, it should only be temporary.

These regular visits are a very important part of the overall treatment plan. In order to ensure the very best results in the least amount of time, you should always try your best not to miss them! If you do need to cancel or reschedule, please let us know as soon as possible so we can keep your plan on track.

What types of braces are available at Elm Tree Orthodontics?

Damon self-ligating and Damon Clear braces

The Damon System is a scientifically proven approach to orthodontic treatment where each bracket is self-ligating. This means it has a built-in door that holds the wire passively to the bracket, eliminating the need for additional attachments like ligature or elastic rubber o-ties, and decreasing the amount of force required to move the teeth. This can minimize the need for extractions of permanent teeth, headgear, or high force palatal expanders.

This innovative treatment option has several features, including:

  • freedom of movement, which results in faster treatment times with gentler forces
  • precision and effectiveness, reducing the need for many of the more time-consuming
  • procedures used with traditional braces
  • fewer adjustments required
  • less discomfort than traditional braces
  • smaller, more comfortable braces that are also easier to keep clean

Damon smiles are fuller, more natural, and achievable with lighter forces specifically designed to improve the overall result for each patient.

We also offer Damon Clear braces, which are specifically designed for patients who want the same exceptional Damon results but with less noticeable brackets. Damon Clear brackets are manufactured from a crystalline material, so they are clear, durable, and comfortable. They’re also stain-resistant!

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

The Invisalign system consists of clear, removable aligners that are designed to fit comfortably over the teeth. Like traditional braces, these customized aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day throughout treatment, and replacing them every 1-2 weeks for the next aligner in the system.

Invisalign offers patients a bit more freedom and flexibility than regular braces do. There are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking, and it’s easy to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy since you don’t have to work around wires and brackets. You simply remove the aligner, then brush and floss the way you normally would!

Find your best smile with braces by Elm Tree Orthodontics

At Elm Tree Orthodontics, we know that every smile is unique. What works for one patient may not be successful for another, and that’s why Dr. Desai create a customized treatment plan for all of his patients. When you choose our practice, you can trust that he will always take your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals into consideration when recommending the best course of treatment for your smile!

If you’re in Hamden or the surrounding communities, we’d love to discuss how braces can give you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE virtual consultation with Dr. Desai!