Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today’s metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive. You can also have whatever colored ties you would like and we change the ties at each appointment. We see our patients about every eight weeks.
Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawback to ceramic brackets are that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits.
One of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. Ordinarily, when we see a patient with the upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward; but, more often than not, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be. With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and braces like the Herbst appliance help this happen.
As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst appliances need to be careful about what they eat. For instance, cold foods such as ice slushes, Popsicles and ice will freeze the cement and make the brace loosen. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the brace away from the teeth. Hard foods like crisp vegetables and hard candies will bend and loosen the Herbst appliance, too. So stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.
Your Herbst appliance will be checked and adjusted at your appointments. If, sometimes between appointments, you develop some sore areas on the inside of your cheeks, please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that the necessary adjustments can be made.
Wearing a Herbst Appliance
At first, your mouth will feel unusually full and speaking will be awkward. But if you practice reading aloud, your ordinary speech will return quickly. You may also notice more saliva than normal, but this will decrease as you become accustomed to the appliance.
Damon® braces were invented by Dr. Dwight Damon. The Damon® bracket utilizes (sliding-door) technology known as “self-ligation” that allows the wire to slide back and forth within the bracket.
No elastic or steel ties are used with Damon® brackets. This technology creates less friction and results in greater comfort for the patient. In addition, Damon® braces often reduce both treatment time and the number of adjustments that are usually performed. For more information about Damon brackets, please visit their website.
The Invisalign System is a series of clear overlay templates—called aligners—that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. Ask us if you are a candidate for the Invisalign system.
InVu braces are simply the best choice for “clear” orthodontic treatment. With InVu, you can be confident that people are looking at your smile, not your braces. Not meant for every patient, but be sure to ask Dr. Doug which is the best option for your individual case. Please visit the InVu website for more information.