Braces Story in Long Island NY
Braces are the most popular path to a beautiful smile
So you have been told that you need braces to correct alignment issues in your mouth. Now what? Orthodontic treatment can be a daunting process, but this extensive guide can help you find all the answers to the question you are bound to have.
How Do Braces Straighten Crooked Teeth?
Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work every moment of your orthodontic treatment. The two main parts of your braces are the brackets and (arch)wires – brackets are placed on your teeth and the main archwire connects them. The bracket is a small piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to reflect your “ideal” bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want you to look after treatment. The color ties connect brackets to your archwire and completes braces system. The color ties can be changed during your regular adjustment visit.
Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed throughout the day.
What Braces Treat
There are many different dental issues that braces can treat. After examining you, Dr. Lee, our orthodontist will be able to decide what the best course of action (treatment plan) is for your particular problem.
The most common reason to need braces is the crowding of the teeth. When your teeth are all overlapped together it is very difficult to clean in between your teeth and it also affects the aesthetic of your smile. Too much space between teeth is also an issue.
For other people, the need for braces comes from a bite issue. An open bite is when the teeth don’t properly align when you close your mouth. If you have a deep bite that means that your lower front teeth bite into your palate. People with overbite generally has upper teeth stick out too much from lower teeth. And finally an underbite is when your lower front teeth are in front of your upper teeth when you close your jaws. All of these can be addressed by braces.
Other possible reasons to need braces include missing lateral incisors, overjet or protruding front teeth and any spacing or alignment issues with your teeth.
Types of Braces
Besides metal braces, most orthodontists also offer clear ceramic braces, Invisalign aligners. There is no one choice for everybody so make sure you get evaluated and talk to your orthodontist about which type of treatment is best for your particular situation.
- Traditional (Metal) Braces: Metal or traditional braces are the most commonly used type of brace and often is what comes to mind when thinking of braces. Despite depictions on tv and movies, orthodontic technology has made traditional braces much more comfortable and affordable for patients. Traditional braces are made of stainless steel and straighten your teeth using a combination of brackets and archwires. You can customize your braces with the use of colored elastic bands.
- Clear (Ceramic) Braces: Ceramic braces provide the effectiveness of traditional braces without being so visible as metal braces. Clear braces are made of a translucent material that is virtually clear. This is a great option for patients that are concerned with the cosmetic look of having braces. Clear braces are exactly what they sound like, clear and not easily noticed. Clear braces do have their drawbacks, including being more fragile and requiring more visits. Patients have to be more careful and selective in the foods because of the fragile nature of clear braces.
- Invisalign® (Clear Aligners) : Clear aligner systems are most commonly known as Invisalign. They use custom-made plastic aligners to gradually move your teeth to their proper positions. These aligners are designed through computer simulation to ensure optimal results. Through these simulations, orthodontists will make a clear removable tray that provides tooth movement. It is esthetic, and can barely be seen by peers. Because Invisalign is a nearly invisible way to straighten your teeth, it is a very popular treatment among adults and other patients who would like a more discreet treatment option.
Guide to What to Eat with Braces
Braces are a sturdy orthodontic appliance that are meant to withstand the pressures of eating, but they are still susceptible to damage if you’re not careful. Patients should refrain from eating hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy foods that could harm their braces. Mishandling your braces could result in extended treatment time and less than ideal results.
Here are a few foods that you should avoid throughout the orthodontic process. Your orthodontist can give you a more comprehensive list, but a little common sense should be enough to tell you whether or not to eat a certain food. Remember, better safe than sorry!
- Beef Jerky
- Dried Fruit
- Granola bars
- Hard taco shells
- Nuts and seeds
Many patients report that their teeth are sore from the pressure of the braces moving them the first few days after an adjustment. If your mouth is sensitive, here are a few foods we suggest eating in the meantime:
- Soft cheese
- Soft tortillas
- Lunch meats
- Crab cakes
- Mashed potatoes
- Steamed vegetables
- Ice cream
Dental Hygiene - Brushing Teeth & Flossing
Food and sugar particles can easily get stuck in the nooks and crannies or the wires or brackets, so it’s important to thoroughly clean them after every meal unless you want cavities and tooth decay. When the teeth aren’t cleaned properly, they can become calcified or stained, leaving unsightly marks after the braces are removed.
Brush thoroughly after every meal to avoid this and make sure to floss daily. If you are having travel maneuvering around the brackets and wires, consider trading your string floss for a waterpik or floss pick. Patients also still need to see the dentist at least twice a year for a checkup even if they see their orthodontist regularly.
Soreness or Pain
As we mentioned above, your teeth and mouth may feel a little tender or sore when you first get your braces or have them adjusted. Not to worry, this is completely normal! As your teeth shift into the position they are supposed to, your mouth will become less sore. For the moment, however, you can swish and gargle salt water to alleviate the pain. If that doesn’t help, you can also take a mild, over-the-counter pain relief medication with the approval of your orthodontist.
Usually, the orthodontist will try to trip wires and make the braces as comfortable as possible, but some patients still experience discomfort if their brackets or wires push into the mouth. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue should become accustomed to the braces after one or two weeks. In the meantime, the orthodontist will provide you with wax to soften any rough edges from your braces.
Loose or Wiggly Teeth
Your teeth may not feel as stable as they usually do, even wiggle or loose. Don’t be alarmed! Braces place pressure on the teeth to move into the correct position by loosening them a little first. Once your teeth are repositioned, they will be fixed in that spot.
Caring for Braces
For our athletic patients, don’t forget to wear mouthguards when you play high contact sports! Your braces, jaws, and teeth are all at risk when you play sports that could potentially involve trauma to the face or head. Always use a mouthguard in addition to all the protective gear provided by your team to stay safe during practice and games. Our orthodontist can design a custom orthodontic mouthguard that fits comfortably on your braces to protect your teeth.
Below are common contact sports that you should consider getting a mouthguard for if you play them:
Should you be involved in a dental injury, head to the emergency room or give us a call. If the bands and wires on your wires do become loose or damaged, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with the orthodontist to get them fixed as soon as possible. They can be dangerous or painful!
Broken appliances can lead to extended treatment time. If you damage your braces or don’t wear the orthodontic accessories as instructed, your results may not be ideal. Make sure to use the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, expanders, etc. as it is advised by your orthodontist!
Will You Need to Wear a Retainer?
Most likely you’ll need to wear a retainer for a certain period of time based on your treatment.
Having to wear a retainer after you get your braces off can definitely be frustrating, but it is a very necessary extra step. Even after a full treatment with braces, your teeth will start to shift a little again after the braces are taken off. When you wear retainer, your teeth are held in their new positions for longer which will ultimately give you better results.
Some orthodontic patients need to just wear one retainer on the bottom or on the top, but some patients might need both. Typically at first, you will wear the retainer all day long and then you will most likely only have to wear it at night to sleep. Keep in mind that each individual treatment plan is different.
Retainers generally come in two types, removable and fixed. The removable kind are usually worn for about a year, while the fixed retainer may be worn for several years. Fixed retainers are adhered to the backs of your teeth using cement.
Retainers are typically made of:
- Clear – These are made of molded clear plastic that fits over your teeth. Because these are less noticeable they are a popular choice, especially for adults.
- Acrylic –They are made of bendable wire and acrylic and are adjustable. They also come in different colors and styles.
Like when you were wearing braces, with the retainers, your teeth may feel pressure and you may experience some soreness as your mouth adjusts to the retainer. If the retainer causes you pain though or cuts into your gums, then let your orthodontist know. It probably needs some readjustment.
Expect your speech to be affected for the first few days. Try talking at a slower speed until you get used to the feel of the retainers in your mouth. Reading aloud for a few minutes a day can also help. The retainer may also stimulate an increased saliva production in your mouth those first few days. Don’t worry, all of this is expected.
Where Can I Get Braces?
The first thing you need to understand is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. Regular dental cleanings protect your teeth and gums.
Even if you brush and floss regularly and avoid soda and other food and drink that can cause cavities and tooth erosion, you still need to see a dentist. The dentist is the one who will do your teeth and gum cleaning every 6 months to ensure that you don’t have a lot of plaque built up and to be on the watch for cavities and gum infection.
If you have a cavity or the start of gum problems, then the dentist is the one who will treat it and get you back on the road to better oral health. The dentist is also who you go if you need teeth pulled, crowns or implants or dentures. If you make it a priority to see the dentist on a regular basis, however, you will have a better shot of keeping your teeth healthy for years and years to come.
Some dentist also specialize in cosmetic dentistry and can help with teeth whitening, veneers, implants and dentures.
Orthodontists, on the other hand, correct your teeth alignment. If your dentist recommends you see an orthodontist because your teeth or jaw are misaligned, then you should take him or her seriously. A straighter smile isn’t just about aesthetics it also affects the health of your teeth.
With crooked teeth straightened out and misaligned jaws corrected, you will be able to care for your teeth better which means less cavities and less dental problems like gum disease and tooth loss as you age.
The most common way for the orthodontist to correct crooked teeth or jaw misalignment is through braces. Luckily, advanced technology in the field of orthodontics means that you have more options than you did in years past to get a new smile.
For the best results, you want an orthodontist who is experienced and has proven success in treating different alignment issues. Make sure they are a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontics, and have special expertise in the types of orthodontic technology you are interested in. For example, orthodontists who are experts at Invisalign are given special designations like Elite or Diamond status providers.
Why Choose Jericho Smiles?
Here is why Dr. Brian Lee at Jericho Smiles is one of the top orthodontists in Long Island NY.
Dr. Lee at Jericho Smiles knows what a big difference a straighter smile can make in a person’s life. Not only does it help restore self-confidence, it makes it easier to practice proper oral hygiene so you have a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.
The staff at Jericho Smiles also understand that each person’s situation is different so that is why they take the time to sit down with you and go over your options. They will create the best treatment plan for your particular needs.
Dr. Lee is board-eligible by the American Board of Orthodontist and only perform orthodontic work every day making him expert at what he does. He is also an Invisalign Platinum provider.
The best way to know if a particular orthodontist is right for you is to meet with them face to face. How you feel in their offices, how the staff treats you and the orthodontist’s chairside manner can all be factors in how you feel about a particular orthodontist. Don’t be afraid to set up consultations at different places.
When looking for orthodontic treatment in Long Island NY, consider Dr. Brian Lee at Jericho Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry.
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What Patients Say about Us
Dr. Lee and his staff are amazing, they genuinely care and are willing to help you get the results you want. Dr. Lee is thorough and a perfectionist, and you won't regret going to him.Jinny FFrom Yelp
My son is 4 and he cries at the drop of a hat, so needless to say i was a bit worried. But Dr. Choi spoke to my son in such a gentle and fun way that before my son knew what was going on Dr. Choi was done.Joseph C.From Yelp
Amazing experience today with Dr. Lee. I always wanted braces as a child but couldn't and assumed Invisalign was out of my price range as an adult. Working with the outstanding team, I realized I could fulfill my life long dream of braces and stay within my budget! So excited to continue working with the amazing team here to get the smile I have always wanted!!Jim HFrom Yelp
I just recently got my braces off. Dr. Lee and the staff did an amazing job. The staff is very friendly and I'm glad I chose braces and smiles. I highly recommend anyone who needs/wants braces to go here!Farhana R.From Yelp
Ever since my first visit to the office, everyone was very nice and welcoming. I enjoyed going every month for my braces checkup. Everything is very fast with little to none waiting time. Not to mention, the end result; I am very happy with the way my teeth have turned out.I recommend Dr. Lee to anyone that needs any orthodontic work done!Amina IFrom Google
Dr Lee's professionalism will make you at ease and him and his staff will make this whole process effortlessly. 17 months later, my boys have a prefect smile!Sandy M.From Google
Dr. Choi is very good with the kids and thorough. He explains things clearly and also gives many suggestions not only for current treatment, but also for the futures. My son has his chipped tooth extracted. The gave him laughing gas and watch movie while extracting his tooth. Everything went very well and quick.Lisa C.From Yelp
After countless consultations and research I found Dr. Lee and I'm so glad that I did. Dr. Lee and his team are super friendly and very knowledgeable, they made me feel incredibly confident about my smile even with my metal braces. As he has advised me during my initial consultation, orthodontic treatment only took me 13 months and I am now braces free! =D. If you are looking for a great orthodontist, don't look anywhere else.Mindy S.From Yelp
Took our daughter here for her first dentist visit. The office was super kid friendly, plenty of toys. The staff even came out and put on Frozen to make her feel more at ease and comfortable. Dr. Choi was friendly and patient with our little one even when she feared to sit in the seat alone. He explained the benefits to both us of brushing and even flossing at such at young age as well as even sang a little song 🙂 Would highly recommend Jericho smiles!Rosina PersaudFrom Google
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