What's the difference?
Braces are the traditional way to straighten teeth. Metal or ceramic brackets are cemented onto the teeth and connected together with a wire. The teeth and roots move along the wire to achieve a beautiful well aligned smile with a good bite. Some people that don't already have a good bite will require traditional braces in order to obtain a good bite. The brackets that we use are customized for every patient. This type of technology provides consistent, predictable results.
Invisalign is an alternative way to straighten teeth. Tooth colored attachments are glued to the teeth and the clear plastic aligners fit over the attachments to move the teeth into an esthetically pleasing alignment. The plastic aligners are removed only for eating, drinking, and brushing. In order for them to move the teeth, they need to be worn all day every day. It is easier to maintain good oral hygiene with Invisalign, but braces can also be maintained with proper brushing and flossing techniques.
We provide comprehensive orthodontic care, give us a call today! 520.881.8902
When should my child be evaluated for braces?
It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists to have the first evaluation no later than the age of 7. Most children will not need braces at this early age, but it is important to evaluate the growth and development of the patient to determine the best time to start treatment. Many times, orthodontic intervention can aid growth and development to obtain the proper bite of the teeth and help create a beautiful smile.
We provide these initial evaluations at no cost.
Why age 7, shouldn’t I wait until all of the baby teeth fall out?
By age 7, the first permanent molars are present. This establishes the bite of the back teeth. Evaluating the position of these teeth can indicate if there is a need for early treatment. If treatment is started after all of the baby teeth fall out, there is a chance that the patient has already completed their growth spurt and changes in the bone that holds the teeth will not be possible and could require surgery later.
Why is early treatment recommended?
Sometimes the top jaw does not grow at the same rate as the bottom jaw. If the top jaw is too narrow, this can create what is called a cross-bite. This type of bite should be corrected before the patient is finished growing to avoid needing surgery in the future. Once the suture in the top jaw closes, the patient will need surgery to correct a cross-bite.
If the bottom jaw doesn’t grow as far forward as the top jaw, this creates too much overjet (some patients call this an overbite). It makes it difficult to bite into things when there is a large amount of space between the top front teeth and the bottom front teeth. This is corrected early while the patient is growing so the bones holding the teeth can grow the way they are supposed to. Surgery may be needed if the patient finishes their growth spurt before orthodontic treatment is started.
If the top jaw doesn’t grow as far forward as the bottom jaw, this creates an underbite. An underbite is corrected early with a special type of appliance that helps the top and bottom jaws to become better aligned with each other. Surgery may be needed if this type of bite is not corrected early.