in Racine WI
Youth and Adult braces…we can help
Will I have a mouthful of metal? Don’t worry, we’ve come a long way since then! It’s true some cases are best treated with brackets and wires, but brackets can be porcelain – and for patients who don’t want any brackets or wires at all, we can accommodate with a completely different solution that uses no brackets or wires at all. No more mouth full of braces.
Modern-day orthodontics doesn’t involve time-consuming dental visits, 10 pounds of metal in your mouth, headgear, and other unattractive devices. We can offer orthodontic solutions that are effective, fast, and far less visible than the old style of traditional braces.
A smile with beautiful straight teeth is pleasing to the eye. But it’s much more than that. Straight teeth improve your bite and can avoid a host of problems. Misaligned teeth can cause bite problems leading to jaw pain, headaches, and sleep problems.
Early detection and treatment can avoid or minimize many orthodontic concerns before they become a problem. The American Dental Association recommends an orthodontic exam by the age of seven, or earlier if a problem is detected by the parents.
As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want them to succeed, to have the best life can offer. Part of succeeding in life is feeling confident. Being able to make a good first impression helps that confidence. A great smile goes a long way.
Dr. Westman’s office offers a number of options if your children need braces to achieve that great smile and correct bite problems to prevent future TMJ, headaches, etc.
How will I know if my child needs braces?
Dr. Westman in Racine can determine if your child needs orthodontic treatment. He will go through the options that are available and which type of braces are best for your child’s needs.
What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?
Straight, aligned teeth provide both functional and aesthetic benefits. On the functional side, our upper and lower teeth need to fit together to properly chew the food we eat. Our teeth should also fit together when we swallow. We swallow thousands of times per day, and swallowing without the teeth gently biting fully together is a dysfunctional swallow – a sign of one or more existing problems that can lead to many more.
Bite misalignments tend to put excess stress on the jaw joints, known as the temporomandibular joints. This can lead to clicking, popping, further deterioration, jaw joint and ear pain, and even locking of the jaw. This is process is often referred to as TMJ or TMJD (temporomandibular joint dysfuction or disorder). A bad bite can also cause strain, tightness, and fatigue in the muscles which can cause chronic pain in the jaws or face, headaches, neck pain, and ear symptoms in addition to others.
Teeth crowding is a sign that the jawbones haven’t grown to their proper size. Modern-day orthodontics can grow the jawbones to be larger instead of extracting teeth. Small, narrow, underdeveloped jaws greatly increases the risk for sleep apnea. Growing the jaws larger can to reduce or even eliminate sleep apnea.
Overlapping and misaligned teeth can make daily teeth cleaning difficult and ineffective. Inadequate cleaning typically results in gum disease, bone loss, and in time can lead to loss of teeth
Plus, straight, aligned, healthy teeth look better to others while speaking, smile, and eating. The benefits of braces can truly improve lives.
What is the process of placing traditional braces?
Getting braces with Dr. Westman takes about one to two hours, depending upon your teeth and the kind of braces you are going to have. Sometimes, if the patient’s back teeth are very close together, we may place spacers or rubber bands between those teeth for about a week to make room for bands. Bands are still used on the back molars that need to do the most work moving the teeth.
To start your appointment, we thoroughly clean all of your teeth, making them ready for the brackets and bands. Next, attach the metal or ceramic brackets. These are glued to the center of each tooth. The glue is then cured with a special light.
Next, the metal bands are placed around your back molars. These are also glued to the teeth.
Once the brackets and bands have been placed, Dr. Westman attaches the archwire to the brackets. To do this, a small rubber band is wrapped in each bracket to hold the wire in place. The ends of the wire are then snipped away. Now have braces.
Does it make sense to wait until my child is a teenager and has stopped growing?
Isn’t seven years old awfully young? Read on… If you wait until your child is older, a lot of damage could have occurred by then. By age 12, almost 90 percent of facial growth has been completed. By that point, most problems can be difficult to correct without surgery. An option everyone wants to avoid if possible.
Dr. Westman will work with you to determine what suits your needs and budget.
How often do traditional braces need to be adjusted?
To keep the teeth moving, your braces need to be tightened. This occurs at varying rates for different patients, but the average is every 6-8 weeks. For the next day or two after tightening, your teeth and mouth area will be sore, so expect to eat soft foods for a couple of days.
How long will I need to wear braces?
Depending upon your situation, patients can wear traditional braces for anywhere from 18 months to 36 months. The norm is around 18-24 months.
Do braces hurt?
The process of getting braces attached to your teeth is painless. But once the braces begin to place pressure on the teeth, there will be some aching and soreness in your teeth and gums. You will also have scrapes or areas of rubbing on the inside of your cheeks and lips due to the metal or ceramic brackets rubbing against them. Your tongue may become a little raw from feeling the new braces with it. Your teeth will likely be sore when biting and chewing for a couple of days.
Your teeth will become accustomed to the initial pressure, and the pain and soreness will resolve. When you have your braces tightened in 4-8 weeks, you will have more soreness for a day or two.
How will braces affect my day-to-day life?
While teenagers often feel that having braces marks the end of their social existence, braces are so prevalent on the teeth of American teens that they are hardly noticed. The wearer will have to adjust to not having certain foods such as chewy candies and corn on the cob (the kernels simply have to be cut off). Things that are really chewy or sticky are troublesome, as they can pull the brackets and bands off the teeth.
The big difference is oral hygiene. Braces demand an increased level of care so that food doesn’t become lodged in the bands or between the teeth. Flossing still needs to be done but is usually done with a threader or individual pick-style flosser.
Some people have trouble with bands rubbing on their lips and cheeks, or with wires occasionally poking the cheeks, but adjustments can be made to solve all of these issues, keeping the patient comfortable.
I am an adult…what are my options?
I want to avoid a mouth full of braces and a long treatment time. What are my options?
Dr. Westman offers ‘invisible’ braces and conventional (porcelain and metal brackets and wires) braces for children and adults. Our patients choose orthodontics by Dr. Westman because they provide maximum comfort and the prevention or elimination of headaches and jaw discomfort.
How do brackets and wires compare with invisible-type aligners?
Today’s brackets and wires are much less conspicuous than what was used just a couple of decades ago but it is still hardware that is not removable by the patient. Brackets are placed on each tooth, sometimes bands around certain back teeth, and a wire spans the entire arch of teeth connected to each bracket or band. Wires are adjusted or changed during periodic visits usually every 4 to 6 weeks.
Removable aligners, e.g., ClearCorrect, Invisalign, have created quite a change in orthodontics. A series of removable clear acrylic trays that are similar to a sports mouthguard moves the teeth. The entire path of movement is plotted from start to finish in the system’s 3D software. Then the movement is broken down into two to three week periods and during each period the patient wears new custom made aligner on his or her upper and/or lower teeth until the teeth are in their final aligned locations.
Which would be right for me?
Removable aligners are far easier for eating and hygiene, as patients simply remove them when eating and to clean their teeth. Another advantage is the aligner trays are practically invisible while being worn on the teeth.
Sometimes a set of removable aligners is the most effective and efficient way to obtain the results a patient desires. Other times brackets and wires are more efficient, and certain types of tooth movements can only be accomplished with brackets and wires. A consultation with Dr. Westman will help you understand which system would work best for your individual treatment goals.
I know I need braces, but I can’t afford them
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re interested in learning more about traditional braces and/or Invisalign please contact us for a consultation at 262.639.7000 or fill out our contact us form below. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.