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Braces Quiz: Which Kind is Right for You?

Friday - October 13th, 2017
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Congratulations! You’ve decided to take a big step and straighten your teeth. With such an exciting process, it can be difficult to know where to begin with braces. If you’re searching for an “orthodontist near me” for answers when it comes to deciding which kind of braces or Invisalign is right for you, look no further. With a highly skilled orthodontist at many of our Monarch Dental locations, you’re bound to find the right person for one of the most important jobs – your smile! Use the questions below to guide you in finding which kind of braces are right for you.

1. How much do you care about the visibility of your braces?

A. How much do you care about the visibI don’t care at all.
B. I don’t mind people noticing, but wouldn’t prefer it.
C. I don’t want anyone to notice I am straightening my teeth.

If you don’t care about how visible your braces are, metal braces may be the right option for you. Metal braces involve using brackets and wires made of stainless steel to be applied to the enamel of your teeth. Your orthodontist will shift these wires over time to gradually straighten your smile. Metal braces are the most common form in orthodontic treatment, and have been around for years. This can make the process much easier.

If you don’t mind people noticing, but you wouldn’t prefer it, there are several options to consider. Ceramic braces are one option that decrease how visible the braces themselves are, as the brackets are made out of ceramic rather than metal. This allows it to blend in with your tooth enamel. Another option are called lingual braces. These braces involve custom brackets placed on the inside of your teeth, rather than the outside. Lingual braces are great if you don’t want to be noticeably straightening your teeth. You’ll need to find a highly skilled orthodontist to perform lingual braces, as there is much more technical ability and maintenance involved.

If you don’t want anyone to notice you’re straightening your teeth, Invisalign would be the best option for you. Invisalign utilizes clear aligners made of BPA-free plastic to straighten your teeth. These aligners are changed every other week or so, depending on the patient and the teeth shift over time. Because the aligners are made of a clear material, and the fit is so snug to your teeth, many people won’t even notice you’re wearing them. This is typically the best option for patients wanting to undergo orthodontic treatment without anyone noticing.

2. Do you play any contact sports?

A. Yes
B. No

If you play contact sports, it may be best to avoid traditional metal braces. If your mouth can be easily hit, you run the risk of brackets or wires damaging your teeth and/or gums. While injuries are uncommon, playing contact sports on a regular basis increases the likelihood for an accident to occur. Patients that play contact sports can look to Invisalign for treatment options.

If you don’t play contact sports, but are worried about irritation caused by metal braces there are a few options you can consider to alleviate these concerns. For metal braces, patients can often use a dental wax to be applied over the metal brackets if they are irritating your gums or cheeks. Otherwise, patients can look into ceramic braces, lingual braces, or Invisalign as the brackets are sometimes smaller than metal braces or don’t involve metal at all.

3. Does it matter if you have to change your diet during orthodontic treatment?

A. No, I don’t care if I have to refrain from eating certain foods.
B. Yes, I want to eat whatever I want during orthodontic treatment.

With certain orthodontic treatments, some foods can harm the process of straightening your teeth, or at the very least make it more difficult. If you choose to go with metal braces, ceramic braces, or lingual braces, your orthodontist may advise you not to eat particular foods. This includes any foods that may pull on the brackets or wires themselves like sticky candy, caramel, or gum. Patients should also be aware of foods that may be too rough on the wires, or ones that can get easily stuck like apples or popcorn.

If you don’t want to think twice about what you’re consuming while you’re straightening your teeth, Invisalign would be the best route. The aligners that Invisalign uses are removable, meaning you’ll take them out every time you eat. This allows you to go on eating whatever you were before treatment, as you don’t have to worry about any tugging, pulling, or getting something lodged in your wires and brackets.

4. Do you have good self-discipline?

A. Yes
B. No

Self-discipline is a good thing to assess before you seek orthodontic treatment, and you need to be honest with yourself to get the best results. Maybe you’re a star student when it comes to self-discipline, or perhaps you let things get a little relaxed every now and then. Treatment options like Invisalign aren’t good for patients that perhaps aren’t as strict with themselves as they should be. This is because aligners should be worn at least 22 hours a day. This means removing them should only happen when you are eating or consuming something other than water. This can be especially true for teens that maybe struggle to keep their aligners in throughout the day.

If you tend to lack a strong sense of self-discipline metal braces, ceramic braces, or lingual braces may be better. Because they’re not removable you won’t have to think twice about losing your aligners, or forgetting to put them back in after a meal.

5. How much time are you willing to spend with cleaning your teeth during treatment?

A. The same amount as I would without braces
B. A little more effort is fine when it comes to keeping my teeth clean
C. I want as little cleaning efforts as possible

Each kind of braces come with their own challenges when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all answer on how much effort goes into cleaning each type of braces. For metal braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces cleaning with regular brushing and flossing is good, but sometimes might not be enough. You don’t want any staining to occur on your teeth while you have brackets on, which is why it is good to incorporate a few other dental tools to your oral care arsenal. Using a waterpik can help with flossing, as flossing in between wires can be time-consuming and tedious. There are also little lateral tools known as piksters – an interdental cleaners. Patients should keep these handy throughout the day to grab and use in between wires to reach any spots where food might get lodged. It may be good to also incorporate brushing a bit more often than you normally would to keep your mouth clean and plaque free. As always, you should still visit your dentist for professional teeth cleanings to keep your mouth healthy during orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign also poses some difficulty for keeping your mouth clean. One positive is that the aligners can be removed, so patients can brush and floss as they normally would. This means no sneaky plaque getting stuck in between your brackets and tooth enamel. However, patients should use a solution to clean their aligners before putting them back in their mouth. Invisalign offers it’s own type of cleaning kit patients can use to keep their aligners in tip-top shape. This is important, as you don’t want your aligners to become discolored, making them more noticeable. You also don’t want to reintroduce bacteria and plaque after you’ve brushed and flossed after a meal. Brushing and flossing after a meal, and even after consuming beverages like coffee, soda, or wine are particularly important because the aligners fit so close to your teeth. Refraining from doing so creates a breeding haven for bacteria in your mouth, leaving you more susceptible to gum disease and cavities.

6. How much are you willing to spend on orthodontic treatment?

A. Cost is not an issue for me
B. I want something in the middle of the road
C. I want to spend the least amount possible

Cost can be an important factor for some patients looking for affordable braces. If you are concerned about the cost of your orthodontic treatment, keep in mind that metal braces are generally the most affordable. They can range anywhere from $3,500-$5,500 on average. Your orthodontist may also offer payment plans or special offers depending on your location. Using an orthodontist near me search will provide you with several orthodontists in your area, and may showcase what some of them are charging. You can always call your Monarch Dental office and see what type of promotions they might be running for all types of braces.

If cost isn’t a concern for you, you should look to your lifestyle habits and preferences, as well as guidance from an orthodontist to decide which treatment option is best for you. Lingual braces tend to be on the higher end when it comes to cost, as they require a highly skilled orthodontist to apply them. They also require a bit more maintenance than other types of braces.

7. Which of these issues are you wanting to fix?

A. My crooked teeth
B. My misaligned jaw
C. My canine teeth are extremely crooked

The type of braces right for you may ultimately lie within the issues needing to be resolved. A consultation from your orthodontist will give you the most accurate answer. However, some key things to note are if you have a misaligned jaw or the need to rotate your canine teeth. If this is the cases, metal braces may be the only option for you, as aligners like Invisalign cannot handle complex dental issues.

8. Have you typed in a “dentist near me” search and found the right orthodontist?

A. Yes, I think so.
B. No, not yet!

If you haven’t found the right orthodontist for the job, or simply want a second opinion on which orthodontic treatment option is right for you, schedule a consultation with Monarch Dental by visiting us online, or calling at 1-844-800-7645. Our highly skilled team of dentists and orthodontists can give you all the information you’ll need to be well-equipped and ready to take on your smile. From braces to Invisalign, we’ve got you covered. Knowing which type is right for you is just a consultation away.