Orthodontic Treatment Terms to Know When Considering Braces

It’s no secret that orthodontic braces are a big commitment. They take time, patience, and money to work correctly. But professional treatment plans are the most effective way to correct crooked teeth and prevent oral health problems in the future. Orthodontists do more than straighten teeth — it’s about improving your overall dental health, too.

If you have kids, it’s worth noting that orthodontic braces not only help with dental issues as they grow up but can also prevent them from developing in their later years. If you’ve always wanted straighter teeth or think your child needs orthodontic treatment, this article is for you. It covers common terms patients should know before seeing an orthodontist or getting their orthodontic braces put on. Keep reading to understand your orthodontic options, ensure an easier treatment process, and have the best long-term results. Enjoy.

1. Braces

This is the most obvious term you should know if you’re going to have orthodontic braces put on. Traditional braces are usually made of metal wires that can be adjusted depending on your dental needs, which will be decided via a consultation with your orthodontist. The wires connect to different points on each of your teeth and move them into their proper positions over time.

2. Damon Braces

Damon Braces are a specific type of orthodontic braces. The Damon system utilizes smaller brackets than the traditional fixed braces, which allows for more patient comfort, easier cleaning, and a less noticeable appearance. These braces, used by West Des Moines orthodontist James Stork, also help by almost eliminating the need for tooth extractions, can offer shorter treatment times, and fewer overall office visits.

3. Retainers

Once your orthodontic work is completed, and your teeth have been straightened, you’ll need to wear a retainer consistently to ensure your teeth stay straight and don’t move. Removable retainers keep the teeth in line, so nothing shifts back out of position unexpectedly. There are several styles, including fixed retainers, which are attached to the inside of the upper or lower jaw. They don’t interfere with tongue movement or facial expressions, and a fixed retainer means you won’t have to worry about remembering to take the retainers out at night or putting them back on in the morning or after meals.

4. Retention Period

Once you have completed orthodontic treatment, you will enter retention. During this time, you will be fitted for a retainer and your orthodontist will provide you with instructions on how long and often to wear it. This is crucial to your overall treatment because if you don’t wear your retainers after treatment, your teeth may shift into their former positions.

5. Archwire

The archwire is the most important part of orthodontics. It’s the wire that connects all your teeth together by the bracket and straightens them out. The shape, tension, and length are determined by how much space is needed to close in to move each tooth. Try to avoid biting down on or chewing on your wires.

6. Elastics

Elastics are the rubber bands you will be responsible for placing and removing daily. They gently pull and stretch your teeth and jaw into alignment when worn. The most important part is wearing them exactly as instructed to keep your treatment time on track.

7. Teeth Alignment

Alignment refers to how straight and even your teeth are. When the orthodontist sees that your teeth have shifted slightly out of their proper position, they are moved with braces to fix the problem. The goal is for everything to be in its right place once treatment has been completed and to stay put.

8. Invisalign

Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces. This orthodontic treatment utilizes clear, custom-made aligners that move your teeth into proper alignment. It’s perfect for people who want straighter teeth in a relatively short amount of time. However, Invisalign may not be effective enough to correct all orthodontic issues. It’s important to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist to determine which treatment option will straighten your smile most effectively.

The information above will help you understand the basics of orthodontics and make it much easier for you and your child to get through the process. If you’d like more specific information about orthodontic braces, contact the professionals at Stork Orthodontics in West Des Moines, Iowa, today! Call 515-497-7863 or get in touch here.

READ WHAT OUR PATIENTS ARE SAYING…

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Dr. James Stork. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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Our West Des Moines Orthodontics Office
4090 Westown Pkwy, Suite 101
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Phone:  515.608.8830

Mon - Thurs:
7:50 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Fri:
7:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Our West Des Moines Orthodontics Office
4090 Westown Pkwy, Suite 101
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Phone:  515.608.8830

Mon - Thurs:
7:50 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Fri:
7:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.