For those (children, teenagers, or adults alike) that are looking for a more traditional treatment option for straightening their teeth, Walt Orthodontics is pleased to offer metal braces and ceramic (clear) braces.
Though considered to be traditional braces in their appearance, at Walt Orthodontics, we use the most innovative and groundbreaking technology to provide our patients with the most up to date and relevant treatment methods – even for our “traditional” braces patients.
Here’s everything you need to know and what to expect when you embark on your braces smile journey.
Life with Braces
See what braces will entail during your treatment plan.
Your First Appointment
At Walt Orthodontics we do our best to make your first braces appointment quick, and easy. The procedure itself is painless and lasts for about one hour. There are no needles or freezing done. Feel free to bring some music to help pass the time and don’t forget to brush and floss before you come. If you don’t have a chance we will make sure your teeth are nice and clean before we begin.
We will then insert some cheek stretchers to keep your mouth open and dry, as well as your tongue in place. We will dry your teeth and apply a gel to make the tooth surface ideal for bonding.
Next, the braces will be placed on your teeth using a special orthodontic adhesive. A curing light will be used to harden the adhesive and set the bond. Finally, we will run the wire through the brackets and clip or tie it in place. Kids love to pick colours to decorate their braces and we have lots of colours to choose from.
We will go over all the instructions on how to care for your braces and what foods to avoid.
First Days with Braces
For 24-48 hours after getting your braces or adjustments, colder foods will be soothing and softer foods will be easier to eat. Foods such as soups, pasta, yogurt and smoothies should be eaten, especially if your teeth feel sore.
Feel free to take pain medication (such as Tylenol or Advil) for any discomfort you feel, following the dosing instructions on the bottle. Rest assured this will dissipate as treatment goes on.
Brushing teeth should be 3 times per day for 3 minutes each time. Try to brush your teeth after every meal, but if it is not possible then at the very least, you should rinse your mouth with water. It is imperative to brush your teeth very well and floss at least once per day with special floss threaders as any food particles stuck on your teeth and in your braces and wires could cause decay and cavities.
We offer instructions as well as special brushes and flossing tools to reach under the wires. You will be given a full set at your first appointment.
Using a daily rinse such as Listerine® Total Care Zero can also reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Please brush before each appointment at home or at our brushing station in our office.
It is also important to have regular dental cleanings and check-ups at your regular dental office every 3-6 months.
Typical Treatment Timeline
Treatment varies from patient to patient but for limited braces treatment, the length would be 12 to 15 months and for full comprehensive treatment needs you can expect the timeline to be 18 to 24 months.
Types of Braces
You have options, we’ll break down what may be best for you during your free initial consultation.
Empower® Metal Braces feature “self-ligating” technology, which means each bracket has a clip to hold the archwire in place instead of traditional rubber bands (ligatures) that can stain and wear out over time. These clips allow better aesthetics, hygiene and quicker, easier wire adjustments, which means less time at each appointment. Empower braces also have contoured edges and a sculpted, low profile design meaning a smoother surface against your cheek and lips.
Empower® Clear Braces are made of strong ceramic material which blends with the colour of teeth. These clear brackets still have stainless steel clips that eliminate the need for clear rubber bands to hold the wire in place, which are prone to discoloration and fatigue over time. So you get the aesthetics of a clear brace with all the benefits of self-ligating technology. Empower® Clear Braces also have contoured edges and sculpted, low profile design mean a smoother surface against your cheek and lips.
Iconix® champagne gold coloured brackets truly offer the best of both worlds – the time-tested durability of stainless steel and the aesthetics of gold, which blends with enamel for an understated yet striking look. We match these braces with a gold wire and clear rubber bands (ligatures) that hold the wire in place. Iconix also features a smooth, low profile design that is more comfortable than larger brackets.
The LightForce™ Bracket system is unlike anything before, and we are proud to be the first orthodontic practice to offer it in Canada! The LightForce™ system delivers a patient-specific prescription for each case. Each bracket is custom created to fit each and every tooth and then 3D printed. This means each bracket is individually created and then fabricated for you and only you. The “one size fits all” metal bracket is history!
What Else Should I Know?
At Walt Orthodontics, our patients’ comfort and convenience is of the utmost importance. Utilizing the latest technology and providing value through financing is part of What Makes Us Great.
The indirect bonding technique enables an orthodontist to place an entire arch of brackets on 3D models of a patient’s teeth before they even come in for their bonding appointment. Brackets are placed on the teeth of the 3D model, and a clear custom tray is fabricated from the model with the braces inside. At the initial bonding appointment (to put the braces on), the custom premade tray is fit over the patient’s teeth and all the braces are cemented and cured at the same time in their predetermined positions.
Retainers and Aftercare
After orthodontic treatment teeth have a tendency to want to go back to their original spots. Research shows that the lifetime wear of retainers is the only way to permanently maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment.
When considering orthodontic treatment, we want you to make an informed decision. Dr. Walt and our treatment coordinator will discuss the entire orthodontic process during your complimentary consultation, but feel free to peruse some educational content we have put together.
Here are some common questions we get asked about braces.
Brushing (3 times per day) and flossing (at least once per day) should become a critical part of your daily routine when undergoing braces treatment. You should also use a daily fluoride rinse such as Listerine® Total Care Zero. It’s important to visit your general dental office every 3-6 months for regular dental cleanings. Caring for your teeth, and keeping them clean will avoid decay and cavities.
See our Life with Braces page for more on brushing and flossing instructions to ensure a clean and healthy smile.
The wrong types of food or eating certain foods improperly can cause loose or broken brackets, bends in wires, or food to get stuck in the brackets.
Hard foods, such as popcorn, hard candies, ice, hard crusty breads or bagels, and nuts as well as sticky and chewy foods such as gum, toffee, chewy granola bars, and gummy candies must be completely eliminated from ones diet for the entire length of treatment to prevent breakages.
Foods with bones or pits must be avoided too, and corn must be cut from the cob. Raw foods like apples, carrots, and celery should be cut into small pieces before eating to avoid bending wires or breaking of the braces.
When in doubt, avoid it! Also, please avoid biting fingernails, pens/pencils, mouthguards and water bottles.
The truth is, there is no universal age at which children should get braces. Some can start very early (with a phase one treatment before all their permanent teeth have grown in), while some have all their permanent teeth and are ready for full braces treatment earlier than others. Scheduling an appointment for a full assessment at Walt Orthodontics, to discuss your child’s specific needs with Dr. Walt and Dr. Matta will give you a better idea as to when your child can and should begin treatment. We see kids as young as 7 for their initial consultation.
Research studies show that you will likely experience a minor, dull, or achy discomfort a few hours after your appointment. This minor discomfort peaks at about 24-48 hours after the appointment and gradually decreases over the next few days. We recommend over-the-counter analgesics after your appointment if you experience discomfort, (i.e. Tylenol or Advil) and follow the dosing instructions on the bottle. Colder foods will be soothing and softer foods will be easier to eat during this period. Your teeth should feel completely normal about a week after your initial bonding appointment.
Both are popular options, but knowing the pros and cons of each can help you make an informed decision.
We are working hard on creating a blog post comparing Invisalign® and braces. Check back soon for more information.
In short – of course! When most people think of braces, they think of teenagers. While it is true that most do get their teeth corrected when they are teens, more and more adults are beginning to seek options to correct their teeth – whether for cosmetic reasons or to fix more serious structural problems.
Due to developments in orthodontic technology and bracket design, braces are far less painful than ever before. Braces can be uncomfortable for the first few days after they have been bonded, and sometimes for a few hours after an adjustment, but they are not painful.
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