Traditional metal dental braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal dental braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (single tie) for a more unique and colorful smile. Self-ligating braces are also available, which do not require colored elastics.
Ceramic dental braces are made of a clear ceramic material, and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces are used primarily on upper front teeth. Not all patients are candidates for ceramic dental braces
Self Ligation are orthodontic brackets (braces) that do not use ties. With the self-ligating (tie-less) braces a metal door is used that closes and holds the wire in the bracket slot. The result is braces that are more clean, and have less friction between the braces and the arch wire. Teeth then can move easier and with lighter more gentle forces, making your experience more comfortable. There has been more research in passive self ligation than in any other type of bracket system in the last 10 years. We have enjoyed achieving great results for our patients using this technology, often with less extractions, less headgear, and less time in treatment than we used to have!
Invisalign is an alternative to wire braces that uses transparent, incremental aligners to adjust teeth. Invisalign straightens crooked or crowded teeth, close gaps, and adjust overbites. Aligners are removable and virtually invisible, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing; and you can still eat and drink what you want.
Retainers hold teeth in position after any method of realigning teeth. Once a phase of orthodontic treatment has been completed to straighten teeth, there remains a lifelong risk of relapse. By using retainers to hold the teeth in their new position for a length of time, the surrounding periodontal fibres are allowed to adapt to changes in the bone which can help minimize any changes to the final tooth position after the completion of orthodontic treatment.
There are three main types of retainers that your orthodontist may have you wear. It’s important to understand that none of these retainers are made to last a lifetime. With regular wear, they will slowly become less effective. So in order to wear retainers and preserve your straight smile for the rest of your life you will need to have them replaced periodically.
Bonded retainers are made by forming a wire along the back of your teeth and securing it so that it holds your teeth in their desired position. Bonded retainers can be made for both the upper and lower teeth but may not be recommended for both depending on your bite. These retainers generally require more daily maintenance and need to be both flossed around and brushed around daily. Bonded retainers can last anywhere from 2-5 years depending on how well they are cared for.
Essix retainers are clear snap on retainers that fit over your teeth. These retainers need to be cleaned very well after each use but eventually the plastic will wear out and may even crack. Typically, Essix retainers can last 1-3 years, but often times begin to wear down or become bad smelling or bad tasting. We recommend buying new retainers about every 3-6 months to ensure new, fresh retainers preserve their proper fit. Most Essex (cl
Hawley Upper or Hawley Lower are probably the most well-known type of retainers. They have a metal wire that wraps around a series of 6 teeth in order to keep them held securely in place. They are often prescribed for both the upper and lower teeth. Unlike bonded retainers, Hawley retainers can be more easily adjusted but will still wear out over time and need to be replaced every 4-8 years. Hawley retainers are usually even more expensive. $250-750 is typical.
Our recommendation is to wear your retainers for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight.
Often people ask us how long they need to wear their retainer after having orthodontic treatment. There are many factors that may influence how long someone needs to wear their retainer, but the best blanket recommendation we can make is to wear your retainers for as long as you want your teeth
Patient need to use a retainer in order to maintain the results achieved through orthodontic treatment.
Our teeth have memory and takes about a year for teeth to become stable in a new position. Teeth wants to shift back to their old position because bone has not yet fully formed around and retainer helps train your teeth to stay in their new ideal position while this process takes place.
For the first 3-6 months of being braces free, you must wear your retainers 22 hours/day. After a year has passed your dentist may can allow you to go-ahead a transition to nighttime only wear. After couple years your dentist can tell you s to wear your retainer every other night for the rest of your life. Join our LifeTime LA retainer for special price at replacements time.
Without consistent wear for the rest of your life, you risk the chance of your teeth returning to their pre-orthodontic position.