Many patients would love to undertake a course of orthodontic treatments but fear the unknown. Will it hurt? Will I look funny? How will my daily life be affected by the new stuff I have to wear on my teeth? At Smiles 4 Grant Park, we provide traditional braces as well as Invisalign®, both of which require some adjustment. Read on to learn how these treatments might affect your everyday routine.
Are you curious to learn more about Grant Park orthodontics? Contact our office for a consultation with Dr. Lee. There is no commitment at your consultation; we will assess your oral health and alignment issues. If you are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment, we will provide a written treatment plan to help you understand the concerns, and explain your options fully. Call us at 404-328-7177 to make an appointment.
We provide both metal braces and clear aligners here, so you have options for correcting your alignment problems. Six Month Smiles is an advanced course of bracket-and-wire braces that can usually realign your crooked teeth in about six months. Invisalign is a well-known and popular option for correcting mild-to-moderate cases of malocclusion. We probably don’t need to explain why patients love this option. Who wouldn’t love braces that are barely visible and can be taken out for dining and special events? Both of these treatments will affect your routines, of course, albeit in different ways.
The most significant adjustment Invisalign patients must make is wearing the aligners for most of the hours of the day. They must be worn for 20-22 hours per day to be effective, which means you must wear them when you sleep. In the beginning we advise patients to wear them all the time, and only remove them for meals. Once you are fully adjusted, you may want to take them out for an important business meeting, first date, or other special occasion.
The second major change required of Invisalign is your oral hygiene. Your morning and nighttime oral hygiene will be mostly the same, but you’ll have to add more brushings and flossings to your day. In fact, you will need to brush and floss your teeth after every meal, snack, or beverage (except plain water). If you take your aligners out to enjoy a mug of coffee when you get to work, you’ll need to brush your teeth before you put them back in. Grab an apple for an afternoon snack? You’ll need to brush and floss. Oral hygiene with Invisalign is no joke—failing to keep the teeth clean inside your aligners can result in rapidly advancing decay and/or tooth staining.
Patients often put together a travel oral hygiene kit to help them with this. Include toothpaste, floss, toothbrush, and a case for your aligners. This kit should go wherever you go and be ready for you whenever you are not at home. Logically, this can also lead to changes to your diet. Some patients change their eating habits to cut out snacking, others just brush and floss their teeth a whole lot more!
Typically, metal braces will not change your eating habits as much as Invisalign, but there are some restrictions. You should avoid any foods that have the potential to get stuck in your braces or dislodge the brackets. This means very sticky, hard, or chewy foods should be avoided. Some patients choose to cut their bagels into small pieces, or suck on candy instead of chewing it—but either way, it will change how you approach your meals and snacks.
Braces will require some changes to your oral hygiene routine, as well. Loose floss does not work well with braces, so you’ll need to find an alternate way to floss your teeth. Some flossing picks are designed specifically for orthodontic use, so those may be a good option. Other possibilities include using an oral irrigator (water flosser) or an end-tufted brush.
With both braces and Invisalign you’ll have more appointments at Smiles 4 Grant Park. Braces require a visit to have wires tightened every four weeks. Yes, you probably will experience some sensitivity in the teeth for a day or two afterwards, but it’s nothing you can’t handle! Invisalign requires a check-in every six weeks, to monitor your progress and make sure you aren’t developing any new issues. For both types of Grant Park orthodontics, these office visits will be quick affairs, so you can get back to your life.
The biggest difference you will notice with orthodontic treatments, however, is how wonderful it feels to know you are changing your appearance for the better. After a few months, you will start to see results in your smile, and you’ll feel more confident looking forward to your end result.
Contact our office for a Grant Park orthodontics consultation with Dr. Abbey Lee. There is no commitment involved in the first appointment, and we’ll give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. Call us today at 404-328-7177.