The Houston orthodontists at Smile Sonrisa Dental understand how tumultuous the teen years can be, so we do everything in our power to make treatment with braces more tolerable and comfortable. We will assess your treatment needs and choose the perfect type of braces to show off your personality and give you the stunning smile you deserve. Treatment times vary depending on your needs, how your body responds, and how willing you are to comply with our treatment protocols, but we can typically straighten teeth in two years or less for most patients.
We offer traditional metal braces as well as braces with clear brackets that are more discreet for image-conscious teens, but all braces basically work the same, applying continuous pressure to the teeth and shifting them into the proper position over time. As this gradual process occurs, the bone supporting the teeth also adjusts and changes shape to eventually hold the teeth in their new positions. Most braces have the same basic components. Brackets and bands are bonded directly to the teeth, and archwires are attached to these appliances. Other fixed and removable appliances, such as springs and elastics, may be attached to these components to add more pressure for guiding teeth into place. You will see your Houston orthodontist every four weeks or so to have your braces tightened, which involves removing the elastic ligatures that hold the archwires in place and adjusting or replacing the archwires to apply slightly more pressure than before. Your teeth will feel sensitive after an adjustment, especially at the beginning of your treatment process, but it will dissipate after a few days. In the meantime, we advise you to eat soft foods until the discomfort subsides.
Braces are a big financial investment for your parents, so you should take great care to prevent damage to your appliances. This means avoiding sticky, chewy, or hard foods that can break or loosen your brackets and wires. Braces also provide many new hiding places for food particles, plaque, and oral bacteria to hide, so you must practice meticulous oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. We will show you how to gently brush around your appliances and thread floss under the archwires to keep your teeth and gums healthy and your braces intact.
Because you will be seeing your orthodontist frequently, you may think that you do not also need to keep seeing your Houston family dentist. However, regular dental visits are important. Because braces pose extra challenges for keeping your mouth clean, we need to keep an eye on your teeth and gums to catch problems if they develop. We also need to perform regular teeth cleanings to ensure that when your braces come off, your teeth are not stained in the areas that were not covered by your brackets.
We will fit you with a retainer after we remove your braces. This removable appliance is a vital part of your treatment as it prevents the teeth from shifting back into their old positions. Patients typically need to wear their retainers most of the time for the first six months and then only while sleeping after that.
At Smile Sonrisa Dental, we help patients of all ages attain beautiful smiles. From expanders for children to full braces for teens and adults, our Houston orthodontics teams offer a wide range of treatment options to give every member of your family a good reason to smile.