Why You Need A Retainer After Braces

Happy day! You’re finally getting your braces removed after months or even years of orthodontic treatment. You made that significant investment to improve your smile and your oral health, and now it’s time to reap the benefits. But wait! Your WNC orthodontist just mentioned the word “retainer.” Why are they saying that you need a retainer right after you got those metal brackets removed from your teeth?

This bit of news does come as a bit of a surprise to some of our patients in Western North Carolina. Unfortunately, some people also don’t take their retainer as seriously as they should. You don’t want to make that mistake. You do need to wear a retainer after you get your braces taken off and here’s why.

Orthodontic retainer used after braces in North Carolina

Why Do You Get A Retainer After Braces?

Orthodontic treatment is an investment. Depending on the issues that are being treated, it can take years to fully perfect a patient’s smile. After all that time and work, you want to ensure your teeth remain perfectly aligned for the rest of your life right? This is why you need to wear a retainer after braces.

For the first couple months after you got your braces off, you will be instructed to wear your retainers regularly. This is a crucial period of time, because some relapse movement can occur after the brackets have been removed from the teeth (more on that later).

The Retainer Is an Essential Orthodontic Appliance

A retainer is a very important orthodontic appliance that is worn by patients after they have their braces removed. Remember that the purpose of this appliance is to keep the teeth from shifting out of their proper alignment. You may be wondering why this is necessary. Over time, your jaw changes and this can cause shifting in the teeth (especially if you got your braces at a young age). You also use a variety of muscles each time you speak. Your tongue for instance is a significant muscle that pushes on your teeth constantly in order to form words. This pushing can cause shifts.

Are There Different Types of Retainers?

For our orthodontic patients here in Western North Carolina, Blue Ridge Orthodontics offers 2 types of retainers after they get braces.

Fixed Retainers

A fixed retainer is essentially a wire that is bonded to the tongue side of the teeth. As the name implies, this type of retainer is meant to stay fixed in place indefinitely. depending on how long you’re fixed retainer has been in place, the bonding agent used can weaken. It is possible that harder types foods could break away the bonding and expose the wire. At this point, you should make an appointment to have your fixed retainer repaired.

Removable Retainers

If your orthodontist is confident that you will be able to wear your retainer or the prescribed duration, they may give you a removable retainer after you get your braces taken off. This type of retainer can be removed when needed as the name implies. More advanced orthodontic technology such as Invisalign and BRO’s Impressions can also function as removable retainers.

How Long Do You Need to Wear Your Retainer After Braces?

For Removable Retainers

Remember that you’re going to need to wear your retainer initially all the time. Remember, with removable retainers you are able to take them out in order to eat or drink. They are convenient, but it is so important that you stick to the prescribed duration. The bone mass around the shifted teeth will be comparatively soft during these first few months after your orthodontic treatment has completed. The retainer keeps teeth from shifting into this softer bone mass.

If you follow our instructions during the first couple months, then you can switch to just wearing it during the night. You should wear it every night if you would like to keep your teeth in proper alignment for the rest of your life.

If it has been years or even decades since you got your braces taken off, it is important to note that the teeth tend to shift naturally as people age. do you still wear your retainer at night? If you stop wearing your retainer, you may begin to notice some shifting in your teeth. If you have questions, then please give us a call at (828) 585-6045. Our orthodontists can make sure you retain the smile that you invested so much in.

For Fixed Retainers

If you were given a permanent retainer after you got your braces taken off, then it is recommended that you keep that on for at least 10 years. If your fixed retainer has not been causing any significant hygiene problems after that amount of time, then you should consider keeping it in place for as long as you’re able to. This is because fixed retainers can cause serious issues for people who are not diligent about their brushing and flossing habits.

Now if you got braces as an adult, then it’s recommended that you keep your permanent retainer in place for the rest of your life. This is simply due to the fact that the risk of teeth shifting is greater in older patients due to grinding and other adult onset periodontal conditions.

How to Take Care of Your Retainer & Your Long-Term Oral Health

Since you will be wearing your retainer regularly for a long period of time, regular cleaning and maintenance are going to be very important. Unfortunately, some patients end up slacking on the maintenance side and eventually their retainer can get pretty nasty. Some may even discard their retainer at this point. If you follow these retainer care tips, then this won’t happen to you and you’ll be able to keep that perfect smile for the rest of your life!

How to Clean Your Fixed Retainer

Since you will be keeping that fixed retainer in your mouth for at least 10 years, proper cleaning and maintenance makes a significant difference. Otherwise, your fixed retainer could put you at greater risk for gum infections and teeth cavities. Your orthodontist will provide you with a special type of floss that has a wire portion that will allow you to thread it through the teeth and under the fixed retainer. This is the only way to keep your fix retainer clean and plaque free.

How to Keep Removable Retainers Clean

Remember that removable retainers provide that extra level of convenience since you can remove them in order to eat or drink. That being said, you still need to clean them properly on a regular basis. First, we recommend that you wash them with lukewarm water after every meal. Next, you should also use a little bit of toothpaste and your toothbrush to clean them every night and morning.

Conclusion

For anyone reading this post who may be in need of adult orthodontic treatment, we do provide complimentary consultations at all of our clinics in Western North Carolina. Check out some of our before and after photos if you’d like to see what we’ve been able to do for our adult patients. As a diamond level Invisalign provider, Blue Ridge Orthodontics can offer a variety of options few orthodontists in the country can match.

Impressions Vs Other At Home Orthodontic Treatments

Have you heard about our Impressions invisible aligners? They are a new and discreet way to straighten your teeth at home. Similar to Invisalign, Our new invisible aligners are made from medical grade plastic material that is molded after a 3D digitized scan is taken of your teeth.

After your initial consultation and 3D scan here at our orthodontic clinic in Asheville, you will receive your impressions invisible liners at your door in about 6 weeks. within this Impressions box, you will find a full set of the liners and everything else you’ll need to stay on track with your personalized treatment plan.

Most of our Impressions patients have completed their treatment within 6 months!

With Impressions, our goal was to give adults in Western North Carolina more options if they need orthodontic treatment. You shouldn’t have to put your life on hold because you want to straighten your teeth. Impressions delivers all the results of traditional orthodontic treatment for half the cost and in half the time!

Impressions Vs Traditional Metal Braces

If an adult has traditional metal braces, they might feel a little self-conscious when going on a first date or into an important interview. This is why orthodontic advancements such as Invisalign were so revolutionary. Now, qualifying adults have the option to straighten their teeth in a much more discreet way.

Our orthodontists want you to know that traditional metal braces are still the recommended course of treatment for more complex orthodontic issues. that being said, our Impressions aligners can be used to treat the majority of orthodontic issues we see in adults.

Comparing Impressions invisible aligners to traditional braces, there are several distinct advantages we want you to know about:

  • Our liners are much more convenient than traditional braces simply because they are removable.
  • This makes it much easier to eat, drink and brush your teeth.
  • Friends, family members and co-workers won’t even be able to tell that you’re wearing our liners and you’re talking to them.
  • Impressions aligners are much easier to clean than traditional metal braces.
  • With Impressions, there are only two required in office visits that patients need to make over the entire course of their treatment.
  • Impressions invisible aligners cost half as much as traditional metal braces.

Impressions Vs Other At-Home Invisible Aligners

If you qualify, then making the choice between Impressions and traditional braces is simple. That being said, there are now several different at-home invisible aligners providers out there. So why should you choose Impressions if you live in North Carolina?

Infographic that compares Impressions with other at-home invisible aligner brands

Infographic originally posted on the Impressions website.

Visiting ImpressionsHub and Starting with a 3D Scan

These other Invisalign aligner companies provide at-home kits that you can use to take an impression of your teeth. Ironically, we don’t do this with Impressions and there’s a good reason why. We discovered that these at-home impressions kits often fail to make an accurate impression of the teeth. There are just too many ways that things could go awry while trying to get that perfect impression.

Here are four common problems that people have when using these at home Impressions kits:

  • You could receive impressions trays that are not the right size for your mouth, which means they will have to send them back and wait even longer to start your treatment.
  • With these Impressions kids, there is a specific process one must follow when it comes to mixing the mold putty. Since this kit comes with two types of putty, it must be completely mixed together and then molded into the tray. Once you start mixing the putties, they start to harden. So you have about one minute to properly mix the putty, place it in the tray and then into your mouth in order to get a proper impression. When done at home, there are only so many ways that this can go wrong.
  • If you managed to get the putty mix into the aligner tray without issue, it is still more difficult than it should be to get the perfect impression of your teeth. You’ll need to keep the tray very steady during this entire process which can be difficult. Otherwise, you could end up with a double imprint of your teeth and gums or slight distortions in the shape or length of the teeth.
  • On top of how difficult it is to just get one perfect impression with these at home kits, you’ll need to complete this entire process at least three more times without error.

We have heard stories about how people received their aligners and none of them actually fit due to the poor impressions taken with those at home kits. This can significantly delay the start of your treatment. Since Impressions was developed by a diamond level Invisalign orthodontist, we felt it was best to start each patient with an accurate 3D scan of their teeth.

Because we always start with a 3D scan of your teeth at our Impressions hub, we can guarantee 100% accuracy for every patient. You aren’t going to have to worry whether your aligners are going to fit your teeth when you get your impressions box delivered to your door. the entire process is quick and painless, plus it won’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth like the putty in those at home Impressions kits.

Additionally, we felt it would be great is our patients got the opportunity to see what their perfect smile would look like before they even get started. With our 3D iTero technology, you’ll be able to see what your smile is going to look like as soon as we’re done with the scan. It’s really cool!

Our Invisible Aligners Are Produced With Higher Quality Material

Unfortunately, we found that other at home invisible aligner companies have chosen to use cheaper material in the production of their aligners in order to save money and increase their own profits. If you’re making such a significant investment in your health, then you should know that you’re getting the best product possible.

When it’s not, the results can be shocking…

Damaged invisible aligners in North Carolina

Impressions invisible liners use the same high-quality material that Invisalign uses. This means that our trees are more durable than some of “the other guys.” With these other at home invisible aligners, you do run the risk experiencing complications that could significantly extend the length of your treatment.

Impressions Connects You With a Real Orthodontist

Studies have shown that most American adults could benefit from some kind of orthodontic care. Unfortunately, too many don’t have the means to afford it. Dr. Roberts created impressions in order to bring affordable orthodontic care to more people in North Carolina.

In addition to the convenience offered by impressions, patients are also going to be connected with a real orthodontist. You will meet with Dr. Roberts, Dr. Schuler or Dr. Twomley during your first appointment and they are going to develop a customized treatment plan for your smile. We don’t want you to feel like you’re going to be on your own at any point during your treatment. You get all of the convenience of at-home orthodontic care with the peace of mind that you can reach out to one of our orthodontists with questions or concerns at any time.

With these other at-home invisible aligner providers, you are not going to be connected with a real orthodontist. You will more than likely be directed to a customer service number if you have any questions or concerns during your treatment. It can feel isolating…

Yes convenience is important, but who are you going to feel more confident with when it comes to correcting your smile? An orthodontist you can meet in person or a customer support representative?

Impressions Accounts For Your Bite & Overall Health

You’re probably looking at invisible aligners, because you want to straighten your teeth. This is what most at-home invisible aligner providers are solely focused on. Unfortunately, that can actually lead to some serious problems.

With Impressions, we knew that we could not only be focused on straightening teeth. We needed to know that we could achieve the best results without impacting the patient’s bite or long-term oral health. Again, this is something that we can guarantee, because we have a real orthodontist heavily involved in the treatment process from start to finish.

Many of those other at-home orthodontic providers haven’t appeared to take this into consideration. This critical oversight has led to significant issues for people that have tried them.

Conclusion

It really is amazing that adults who are seeking orthodontic care in North Carolina have so many options. If you are now considering at-home invisible aligners like Impressions, we have a few more things that we want you to know:

  • We accept most insurance providers for Impressions treatment.
  • Impressions offers an extended payment plan as well.
  • The ImpressionsHubs are located in real orthodontic clinics, not in a tent, a bus, a mall or a pop-up shop.
  • Walk in consultations are available to you with Impressions, most other companies don’t have an office to walk into, and when they do, it’s by appt.
  • You can upgrade to comprehensive Invisalign if desired thanks to the fact that Impressions is run by a diamond level Invisalign orthodontist.

10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Orthodontist

Choosing the right orthodontist can be a difficult decision if you live in North Carolina. You do have plenty of options to choose from, but who is going to be the best for you? given the time and money that you will invest in this relationship, it’s it’s not something you want to take lightly.

Woman who has gotten blue colored braces in Western North Carolina

So, we have 10 questions you should ask before choosing an orthodontist.

1) Are They Specialists?

An orthodontist is actually a specially trained dentist was taken on several extra years of training in order to learn how to straighten teeth. While there are now more orthodontic treatment options than ever before, this still usually involves affixing a form of brace to the patient’s teeth.

Essentially, an orthodontist specializes in smiles.

Orthodontist are also trained in how to perform dentofacial orthopedics. What this means is that they know how to normalize the structure of a patient’s jaw bones in order to repair any imbalance in their face.

Yes, all orthodontist are dentists. however, only 6% of dentist are trained as orthodontists in North Carolina. This means that when you are looking for a orthodontist, be sure to look out for the Seal of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). These are only awarded to orthodontic specialists.

Here at Blue Ridge Orthodontics, Dr. Luke Roberts, Dr. Megan Schuler and Dr. Tyler Twomley are all members of the AAO. Additionally, Dr. Roberts is only one of four orthodontists in all of Asheville to be board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics.

2) Does the Orthodontist Treat Adults?

Studies show that many adults actually need orthodontic treatment, but it doesn’t mean that every orthodontic practice actually treats adults. recommend that you look for an orthodontist that does treat patients of all ages. Here at Blue Ridge Orthodontics, we take great pride in accommodating the needs of our adult patients along with children and teenagers.

Beer served in adult waiting area at orthodontic office in Asheville

In 2019, more adults are discovering how an improved smile is not only better for their confidence but also their overall health. Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon for adults that needed orthodontic treatment to avoid it due to the fear of wearing traditional metal braces.

With options like Invisalign and Impressions, adults who are in need of orthodontic treatment should no longer worry. If you’re not familiar with Invisalign, these are invisible aligners are trees that are comfortable and removable. Essentially, you’ll be straightening or teeth and no one will even know you’re wearing them!

With traditional braces, you have brackets that are affixed to the teeth and a wire is run between the brackets which gradually moves teeth into proper alignment. Invisalign, you get a set of trays that are worn for about 2 weeks each. The Invisalign system is designed to straighten your teeth in 12 to 18 months.

Blue Ridge Orthodontics is now among the elite group of diamond level Invisalign providers. What this means is that not only are we one of the best Invisalign doctor sites in North Carolina, but we are actually one of the best Invisalign doctor site in the United States. If you have gone to another orthodontist and were told that you are not a candidate for Invisalign, we to urge you to make an appointment with us at BRO. We may be able to approve you for this orthodontic treatment.

3) Do They Provide The FIrst Visit Free of Charge?

As we mentioned before, choosing the right orthodontist is a challenge. Here in Western North Carolina, there are several practices to choose from. At Blue Ridge Orthodontics, we don’t believe you should have to make any form of financial commitment before you’re ready. That’s why our initial patient consultations are free of charge!

4) Are They Involved in Their Community?

While it is certainly not a requirement for an orthodontist to be actively involved in their community, we do feel that this is something that should be considered. An orthodontic clinic that makes great effort to support their local community demonstrates a spirit of generosity that may carry over to your experiences during your treatment.

Here at Blue Ridge Orthodontics, we are committed to giving back to our community in North Carolina. Charitable giving, whether it be a financial contribution or donated time and energy, is one of our core values. The entire BRO team is proud to support worthwhile causes in Asheville and across Western North Carolina. Be sure to check out our quarterly sponsorships if you’d like learn more.

5) Are They Using the Latest Orthodontic Technology and Treatments Available?

Like any industry, technology has paved the way for significant advancements in modern orthodontics. 3D mapped braces and wires dramatically increase the precision with which we move teeth and significantly shorten the length of treatment time required. Clear braces offer a cosmetically pleasing alternative for adults, while Impressions and Invisalign offer our patients entirely braces-free options.

A Blue Ridge Orthodontics, we are able to offer our patients the highest standard of orthodontic care possible by investing in the latest equipment available. Here are some interesting examples worth considering:

  • Lowest-radiation-dose possible x-rays
  • iTero 3D scans with zero radiation
  • AcceleDent® Aura appliances that speed up treatment results

Additionally, continued education is a must for our entire staff and all our doctors. They regularly attend advanced education classes and seminars on clinical orthodontic care, practice management and customer service.

6) Do They Charge For Emergency Appointments?

While some minor discomfort is normal when it comes to traditional metal braces, there are times when you may need to schedule an appointment to get some adjustments. orthodontist will typically take care of any poking wires or loose appliances free of charge. However, if a bracket is damaged due to non-compliance with dietary restrictions, you could be facing significant repair charges.

At Blue Ridge Orthodontics, you won’t have to worry about facing unexpected costs like these for adjustments if you do your best to follow our simple dietary guidelines and avoid breaking your braces — even in the event of an emergency appointment.

After you get started with us, you will be given special brochures that are specific to your orthodontic treatment. These will clearly outline what you can and what you can’t do over the course of your treatment. These brochures will also include our evening and weekend emergency numbers if you need them.

7) Do They Treat You Like You’re a Priority?

At BRO, we believe in making you the priority for the entire duration of your treatment. That special feeling you’re going to get during your first visit is not a fluke. Our staff appreciates every single one of our patients and we like to let them know it!

Woman arrives for complimentary consultation at BRO in Asheville

Do you remember the intro song to the classic show Cheers? “Sometimes you want to go to that special place where everybody knows your name.” Here at BRO, we aim to know all of our patients and will greet you warmly every time you walk in through the door.

We also believe in rewarding our patients for being on time, for treatment compliance and for participating in our office wide contests, games and surveys. That’s why we have developed a special patient rewards system at BRO. Each patient has the opportunity to open a complimentary patients rewards account and accumulate points that can then be redeemed for really cool prizes. We also hold special events for our patients several times a year, where they have an opportunity to kick back, have fun and even hang out with their orthodontist.

Our patients find that memorable events are aplenty here at BRO, from the first visit all the way to our Deband Day, where we celebrate your special achievement of completing your treatment and having your braces officially removed!

8) Do They Have a Great Reputation?

When it comes to investing in your smile, good is just not good enough! A quick Google search will show you the ratings and reviews for a given orthodontist. Why don’t you try this out with Blue Ridge Orthodontics right now? Two things should jump-out at you immediately:

  • BRO has a 5 star rating on Google
  • We have over 500 reviews!!

Customer feedback is extremely important to us, and we make it a point to listen to each of our patients and their families. We obviously like to hear the good feedback, but negative feedback is equally important (if not more so). You’ll see that we regular respond to all Google reviews to keep our staff accountable. We also have in-office comment cards that all visitors are welcome to fill out with any thoughts, concerns or congratulations.

9) Do They File With Your Insurance?

The cost of braces or Invisalign varies depending on each patient’s individual needs and be recommended treatment plant. At BRO, the total cost is based on factors like:

  • The length of treatment time
  • The type of braces
  • Necessary coordination with other providers

In any case, orthodontic treatment does represent a significant financial investment. This is why you should inquire about insurance when it comes to selecting your orthodontist. Blue Ridge Orthodontics will process claims with all employer-provided and private insurance plans.

Please know that these insurance plans need to cover orthodontic care and will need to approve BRO as a service provider. You should also know that we do not accept Medicaid coverage.

During your initial exam and consultation, a staff member will do a complimentary benefits check with your insurance provider. They will carefully review with you how this will affect the overall cost of your orthodontic treatment with us. Note that if your insurance plan covers traditional metal braces, then it will also cover Invisalign. We also employ an on-staff Insurance coordinator who can answer any questions that you have and work with your insurance provider to make things as easy as possible.

10) Are They Flexible with Payment Options?

Once you’ve selected an orthodontist, the next question typically is, “how much is this going to cost, and how am I going to pay for this?”

At Blue Ridge Orthodontics, we will carefully review all available payment options with you. These may include:

  • Maximizing your available insurance benefits
  • Flex spending accounts
  • Interest-free payment plans

During the initial exam and complimentary consultation, we answer all of your questions, including those about our typical cost of braces and Invisalign and the variety of payment options available. At our office, our cost for braces and Invisalign® is the same. We want the best treatment option to be determined by our patients’ needs and wants, not by cost.

Are Ceramic Braces Right For You?

If you’re an adult who needs to get braces, you may feel wary about the idea. Traditional metal braces aren’t exactly the easiest things to hide if you’re going for a first date or an important interview. That being said, straightening your teeth is extremely important. Not something we recommend avoiding because you are self-conscious about having braces.

That is why many adults in North Carolina look into options like ceramic braces, but are they right for you?

Let’s find out!

For adults in need of orthodontic care in 2019, there have never been so many options available. We have covered them extensively on the BRO blog, but today we’re going to look at ceramic braces. These types of braces actually blend in with your teeth making them much less noticeable — a popular option for adults in Western North Carolina.

Woman in Asheville gets ceramic braces at orthodontist clinic

How Do Ceramic Braces Differ From Metal Braces?

You already know that traditional braces are made with metal. The brackets are attached to the teeth and then a metal wire is strung through them in order to realign straighten the teeth as needed according to your orthodontist’s treatment plan.

For younger patients who are coming to Blue Ridge Orthodontics to get braces, we offer a variety of color bands that they can use to accessorize or personalize their braces. However, this is not the most popular option for adults. You could get white rubber bands, but traditional metal braces still remain visible.

Ceramic braces are different in that the brackets are made of ceramic instead of metal. This means that the only aspect of the braces that’s noticeable is the wire that runs through the brackets. The ceramic brackets closely mirror the color of the teeth, which makes them much less noticeable when you are talking with someone. If you are self-conscious over the prospect of having a mouth full of metal, ceramic braces may be the right option for you.

Some Cons to Ceramic Braces You Should Consider

As with many things in life, it’s not just as simple as metal vs. ceramic. There are other factors that you should consider as an adult. Both types of braces have their pros and cons and we wouldn’t be considered one of the best orthodontist practices in North Carolina if we didn’t take the time to thoroughly cover the differences here.

First, we want our patients to know that ceramic braces tend to be more expensive than traditional metal braces in North Carolina. This is an important factor for our adult patients when it comes to deciding on what course of treatment to take. If a bracket is damaged, ceramic braces are more expensive to repair too.

We also don’t recommend ceramic braces for patients that require a significant amount of correction. That’s because traditional metal braces can tolerate higher levels of pressure and shifting compared to ceramic braces. This is simply due to the material that they are made from. If you need significant orthodontic corrections as an adult, our orthodontists might not recommend ceramic braces for your mouth.

Types of Ceramic Braces

Clear Ceramic Braces

If you see someone with clear braces, they are either made with polycarbonate (plastic) or ceramic. The benefit of going with clear ceramic brackets are that they are more stronger and more stain-resistant than polycarbonate brackets.

Do you have very white teeth already? Then clear ceramic braces are likely the best choice for you. The material is transparent, leaving the surface of the teeth underneath visible. That’s why we recommend it for people who have already had their teeth whitened.

The brackets don’t stain easily, but you should be careful with what you eat and drink (just like with any other type of braces).

White Ceramic Braces

Orthodontists call these ceramic braces white, but technically they are tooth-colored. A pure white bracket would stand out from the teeth and be more noticeable. Even with whitening treatment, your teeth aren’t a pure white in color and these ceramic braces are designed to reflect that.

In fact, these braces work best with patients that have a slightly darker shade of color to their teeth.

The brackets are produced using a different aluminum compound than clear ceramic braces. Additionally, certain brands offer a custom service where they will make sure your brackets match the exact color of your teeth.

Colored Ceramic Braces

Most people pick ceramic braces because they want to straighten their teeth inconspicuously. That being said, ceramic braces also can come with a variety of colored ligatures for those individuals that like to make a statement. We tend to see more teenagers take advantage of this option at our clinics in Western North Carolina, but don’t let us stop you from expressing yourself!

Note that your ligatures are changed during each scheduled checkup at our office. So you can experiment with a variety of colors to highlight your ceramic braces.

Keeping Your Mouth & Braces Pristine With Ceramic Braces

If you don’t take care of your ceramic braces, then they can become discolored over time. You need to know how to take care of your ceramic braces and your teeth similar to patients with traditional braces.

Take precautions when drinking things like coffee or red wine. You also need to be careful when eating curry or foods with tomato sauce. Sticky or particularly hard foods should be avoided just like with traditional metal braces. Your ceramic brackets and wires can be damaged just as easily if you’re careless about what you put in your mouth.

We have an extensive post on the BRO blog that will teach you how to brush and floss your teeth when you have braces. Read this post please! It’s really important not to be lazy about cleaning your teeth when you have braces, and this is especially true if you have ceramic braces. Discoloration will be more noticeable and you can’t use any teeth whitening products during your treatment.

Conclusion

While it varies, adults who need braces will be wearing them from 18 months up to 3 years in total. If you need to straighten your teeth and you’re self-conscious about metal in your mouth, then ceramic braces may be the right option for you. In any case, this post is not meant to replace having a conversation with your orthodontist.

While we want our patients to feel comfortable and confident during their treatment, the primary goal is to correct their orthodontic issues and improve their oral health. Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist, so you can review your options and confidently pick the best treatment plan available.

How To Get Free Teeth Whitening This February

When was the last time that you got your teeth whitened? If it has been a while, then you’ll be excited to hear about a special offer that Blue Ridge Orthodontics is running this February! For anyone planning on starting orthodontic treatment during the month of February, we are offering $214 off the total price of their treatment and a free teeth whitening in one of our orthodontic offices in Western North Carolina.

Couple enjoying the benefits of a free teeth whitening in Asheville, NC

This is a special offer that we are only running for this month, and there’s something else you should know. If you’re looking for that perfect gift for someone special in your life, then you can gift your premium teeth whitening package to them! in order to take advantage of the special offer, you will need to have started treatment sometime during the month of February. However, a gifted teeth whitening package can be redeemed for up to one year following the start of your treatment.

The Benefits of Getting Your Teeth Whitened

It comes as no surprise that people want whiter teeth due to the aesthetic appeal. One famous study revealed that teeth are the number one facial feature that people want to change about themselves.

According to the study, 75% of adults believe that a winning smile helps to facilitate professional success. According to the same study, a whopping 84% of Americans believe that a radiant smile also helps someone meet Mr. or Ms. Right.

What do you think? Has your smile ever helped you out during an important interview, work function, or date?

In addition to the aesthetic benefits, teeth whitening gel can also help kill gum disease-causing bacteria.

Important Details About This Special Offer

If you are thinking about taking advantage of this special offer for $214 off, don’t wait! It is only available for the rest of February. That said, you don’t have to use the whitening treatment right off the bat. If you are getting Invisalign, you can come in for the teeth whitening treatment whenever you would like. If you are getting braces, we recommend waiting until after your braces are off.

Is teeth whitening not for you? Don’t worry, this part of the deal won’t go to waste! You can gift it to a family member or friend, who can use it anytime within the next year.

Professional vs Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening?

You may be thinking, “Is the free whitening treatment that big of a bonus?” and we would have to say YES!

Sure, products like whitening strips do work, but not as quickly nor as comfortably as professional whitening treatments. This is because products like whitening strips have a smaller concentration of hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient. Since over the counter products come into contact with your gums, they would cause damage if the active ingredient where as strong as a professional product.

Professional treatments, on the other hand, are administered using custom trays. we can use a much stronger concentration of active ingredient, because it will never come into contact with your gums. This makes it more efficient, more comfortable, and an all-around better experience!

What To Expect When You Start Treatment at BRO

Ready to get started? We are ready to meet you!

Even if you are not quite ready to get started, you can always get to know us better by coming in for a free consultation! We have written a comprehensive blog post on everything this initial visit entails, but here is the condensed version for all our guys and gals on the go:

  • Tour of our office and a chance to meet our awesome team of BROmies!
  • Photos and maybe complementary X-Rays (if you have current X-rays we can use those)
  • Physical exam from the orthodontist
  • Discussion of potential treatment plan
  • Questions and answers with your treatment coordinator
  • Review costs, insurance options, and available payment plans

We know that orthodontic treatment is a big commitment and investment! This is why we are up front and encourage completely open communication throughout the entire process. We are passionate about making smiles healthier, straighter, brighter, and more confident, but at the end of the day that smile is YOURS!

If you are ready to not Only got the straight smile of your dreams, but also the whiter smile of your dreams, make sure to take advantage of this February special! To get in touch, please fill out the forum on our contact page or give us a call at 828-585-6045.

Snacking with Braces – The Complete Guide

Starting orthodontic treatment comes with lots of life changes, some of which are exciting, like feeling the subtle shift as your teeth are aligned into a brilliant new smile, but others can be less thrilling, like learning the proper way to brush with braces. One of the most important adjustments that a person has to make, once they’ve gotten past some of the normal side effects of braces like mild pain, is the way that they eat.

Man with braces snacking on an apple in Western North Carolina

Whatever your diet was before braces, it will likely experience some changes during the time of your treatment. Braces are sturdy enough to shift your teeth into the ideal arrangement, but they are also fragile and susceptible to breakage. We’ve compiled the complete guide to help you navigate through all manner of snacking without damaging the hardware.

Enjoy Smoothies

An easy go-to right off the bat is smoothies. They can be as nutritious and delicious as you’d like and can pretty much be modified to suit all palates and dietary needs. Smoothies are an excellent way to get a full serving of fruits and veggies without the risk of doing any damage to your braces. Bananas, berries, yogurt, almond milk, blueberries, and almond butter are just a few smoothie staples that taste great and fill you up.

The Softer the Better

When it comes to certain foods, like cheeses or fruits, the softer the item, the easier it’ll be on your teeth and braces, especially the first couple weeks. You don’t have to cut these items out entirely, but try to limit them to their softest form. If you’re a diehard cheese fan, brie is always a great option, or throw a couple of slices of cheddar between two pieces of bread and make a grilled cheese. Fruits like grapes, bananas, and sliced pears are all easy solutions for a braces-friendly snack, and they taste great on their own or mixed together in a summer salad!

Cups Go Where You Go

Things like fruit and pudding cups have come a long way since I was a kid. Not only are they generally made with better quality ingredients and less unnecessary sugar, but they come in easy to pull-apart packaging that is good to go wherever your busy schedule takes you. If you have kids with braces, throw a couple in their lunch box to enjoy while they’re at school.

The Soft Side of Salads

Certain salads will be a much better option than others. These include soft fruit salads—like those featuring bananas, citrus, or pears, potato salad—macaroni salad, and couscous salad. Just be sure to chop up the pieces in your salad into small bite sizes. This will ensure that you’re not spending too much time or effort biting things in half and that your back teeth are doing most of the chewing work.

Go for a Wrap over a Baguette

Thick, crusty bread, while tasty, is not going to be your friend while you have braces. Instead, opt for a wrap, which is both easier to bite through and healthier overall. Fill it up with whatever ingredients you like that won’t cause an issue with your braces and slice your wrap into small pinwheels for snacking.

Tap Your Culinary Creativity

While following a diet that’s easy on your braces may feel restrictive, adding flair to your cuisine will keep things interesting and may spark an interest in cooking. Try your hand at creating your own peanut butter yogurt dip, make fun out of designing a fruit salad bowl, or, for the real gourmand, try your hand at making your own pretzel bites and switching up the way that you flavor them. Does homemade ice cream sound good to you? Us too! And it’s easy if you follow any one of these recipes:

(Be sure to avoid adding chocolate chips or other items that might damage braces)

Just remember, when cooking at home with braces in mind, the softer the food, the better you’ll manage.

Foods You Should Avoid

While we’re always happy to share with you the delicious foods that you can indulge in as a daily snack, we feel it’s important to remind you of the foods that you should be careful to avoid. They include any food that you would consider tough, sticky, or hard. Foods that fit this description and should be avoided would be:

  • Corn chips
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut butter (okay if blended into a smoothie)
  • Nuts
  • Hard or sticky candy
  • Hard taco shells
  • Ice
  • Pretzels

Any foods similar to the above should be totally avoided until after treatment has been completed and braces are off.

Use Caution with These Snacking Options

While some items are off limits (see the above list), other foods are okay to eat but require a judgment call on the best way to do so. Things like raw carrots and corn on the cob can both wreak total havoc on a set of braces if they aren’t first prepared. For the carrots, chop them up into smaller pieces that can be chewed with a person’s back teeth. The corn should be cut off the cob and eaten with a fork. Doing this will save your braces from any damage and ensure that you’re not running off to an emergency orthodontist appointment for yourself or a loved one.

Other foods that require cautious eating are hard breads like a baguette or bagel, pizza crust, apples, chips, burgers, and sub sandwiches. When in doubt, cut something into manageable, bite sizes first.

Conclusion

Braces don’t have to spell doom for your diet—there are plenty of ways to keep what you eat healthy and interesting while simultaneously protecting your braces. Be sure to check out our Unbeatable Braces Friendly Diet for more recipe ideas. Orthodontic correction always comes with a bit of getting used to, but it’ll be worth it. Just remember to keep this guide handy and comment below with any questions.

Are you or someone you know interested in learning more about braces? Be sure to check out the things we think you should know before getting braces, then feel free to contact us to set up a complimentary consultation with one of our doctors. You’ll get to ask all the questions that you’ve always had about orthodontic correction techniques and come up with a payment plan that fits your needs.

20 Things You Should Know Before Getting Invisalign

Thinking of getting Invisalign? Then we think you’re on track to getting the smile of your dreams!

Woman considers getting Invisalign instead of adult braces in Western North Carolina

As the team behind an board certified orthodontist office, you may think we’re a bit biased―and perhaps we are. After all, we’ve devoted our lives to smiles! But we also believe in keepin’ things real, so here you have 20 things you should know in order to make an informed decision about Invisalign.

1) Don’t rule yourself out!

Often, people spend a great deal of time thinking about Invisalign before they’ve even talked to an orthodontist. This is completely normal and understandable; after all, they’re your teeth! That said, you may be overthinking certain aspects of Invisalign that you do not need to. For example, you may have heard that for particularly severe malocclusions, you will need traditional metal braces, and consequently may be wondering whether you are even eligible for Invisalign.

If this is the case, please come in and talk with us before jumping to any conclusions! We are in the top 1% of Invisalign providers in America and are frequently able to say “yes!” in situations where other orthodontists have suggested metal braces.

2) Invisalign is Fast and Efficient

Many people think the main difference between Invisalign and traditional braces is simply the aesthetic difference. While many patients love the discretion associated with the nearly-invisible option for straightening your teeth, don’t forget it is also faster! Most patients see visible results within 2-3 months.

3) You Will Likely Experience Some Discomfort

Invisalign may look smooth and sleek compared with metal braces, but you might still experience some degree of discomfort. Some people report discomfort and others do not. It varies by person, smile, and pain tolerance.

4) Your Teeth May Feel Loose

Many Invisalign patients report that their teeth feel loose when their aligners are out. This is perfectly normal, as your teeth must be loosened to move to their new positions.

5) Invisalign is Custom Made

We work together with Invisalign to custom design each aligner for your mouth. After we scan your mouth with our state-of-the-art iTero scanner, the Invisalign lab creates a series of aligners that you will change out about every two weeks.

6) You Might Miss Eating and Drinking Slowly

Your aligners must stay in 22 hours per day, so you will have to fit all of your eating and drinking (non water beverages) into two hours. Some people say they miss sipping their morning coffee or evening wine slowly, but others are also excited to see how eliminating constant snacking can trim up their waistline.

7) You May Have a Slight Lisp

Some patients report having a slight lisp or different-sounding voice during the first week or two. However, it is typically something that A) other people don’t actually notice and B) will go away as you get used to the aligners.

8) You May Have “Buttons”

Some patients will have buttons as part of their Invisalign treatment. They are small, tooth-colored brackets that your orthodontist will adhere to your teeth.

9) You May Have Rubber Bands

Every Invisalign case is unique, and some may require orthodontic rubber brands, used in a similar manner as with metal braces.

10) You Will Become the King/Queen of Brushing

Every time you take your aligners out to eat or drink, you should brush and floss before putting them back in. The last thing you want is for food residue to become trapped between the aligner and your teeth, as it is uncomfortable and bad for your teeth. Also, it can yellow your aligners!

11) You Need To Clean the Aligners Properly

Don’t use toothpaste! Though it may be counterintuitive, brushing your aligners may result in them becoming murky and yellow. Toothpaste contains abrasive ingredients that can cause build-up, so stick to a mild aligner cleanser instead.

In fact, we’ve already created a complete guide to cleaning your Invisalign that you should check out.

12) You Can Whiten At the Same Time

“Straight” and “white” go together like peanut butter and jelly! Fortunately, you can whiten during your Invisalign treatment. You already have the trays in all day, so you can make them multitask for you by adding a whitening treatment. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

13) We Charge the Same As Traditional Braces

For most people, cost is a concern. Many assume that Invisalign, which they perceive as a superior or more “modern” treatment, is going to be more expensive. This is not the case! At Blue Ridge Orthodontics, we want you to make your decision on what best suits your needs, comfort level, and happiness. This is why we always charge the same for Invisalign as traditional metal braces.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the financing options we offer for Invisalign.

14) You’ll Want More than One Toothbrush

We know, we know… we’ve talked a lot about brushing your teeth. However, it’s a huge part of your Invisalign treatment, so we recommend having spare toothbrushes everywhere: one in your car, one in your desk at work, one in your purse or bag, etc. It will be worth it!

15) You May Not Like Removing Your Aligners in Public

Your aligners fit snugly, so you may have a hard time popping them in and out―especially in the beginning. Also, you may fit that they come out with a bit of a saliva. All in all, most Invisalign patients find that they prefer taking their aligners out in a discreet place such as a restroom.

16) You are Never Too Old For Invisalign!

Sometimes patients wonder if it’s “worth it” or whether orthodontic treatment is just for teenagers. This could not be further from the truth! Invisalign is great for everyone from teenagers to those teens’ grandparents.

17) Take Ratings Into Account When Choosing

When it comes to your smile, you want the very best. Fortunately, Invisalign has made it easy to gauge every orthodontists level of expertise. Invisalign offers these designations: Preferred, Premier, Elite, and Top 1%.

  • Invisalign Preferred Provider: Minimum of 10 cases per year
  • Invisalign Premier Provider: Minimum of 50 cases total AND performs 25 cases every six months
  • Invisalign Elite Provider: Minimum of 300 cases total AND performs 50 cases every six months
  • Invisalign Top 1% Provider: Minimum of 800 cases total AND performs at least 200 cases per year

We are proud to be in the top 1%! Not only are we passionate about Invisalign, but we have had a lot of practice, too.

18) You Will Still Need to Wear a Retainer

Just because you’re done with Invisalign doesn’t mean you’re done with your treatment. Invisalign patients still need to wear a retainer post-treatment to make sure they keep their beautiful results for the long run.

19) We’ve Got Your Back!

Don’t be intimidated by the frequent toothbrushing, potential lisp, and the fact that you’ll need to drink your coffee more quickly. While it’s true that you will get out of your treatment what you put into it, you have an all-star team at your fingertips guiding you every step of the way. It will be worth it in the end, and our satisfied patients can attest to that.

20) Our Consultation is Free

Want to know more? There’s only so much you can learn from a blog post, so why not come in and chat with a 1% Invisalign provider? We are a friendly team and never put any pressure on anyone. (We save the “pressure” for moving teeth into perfect radiant smiles!)

For a free consultation, please fill out this form to schedule an appointment or fill out this one if you’d simply like to know more. Also, we have a similar post about braces if you discover that you’ll need them instead.

Effects From Braces – What’s Normal & What Isn’t

There is often a lot of talk here at BRO about all the fabulous benefits from orthodontic treatment, such as improved confidence and overall oral health, but what else can happen? Are there any risks or adverse effects when it comes to straightening your teeth with braces?

Woman with braces in North Carolina

While the chances of anything bad happening during treatment are very slim, there are always risks when it comes to dental or medical procedures. Complications can occur as a result of your dental treatment, but that’s not to say that all side effects are abnormal. We’ve compiled a guide to inform future and current patients of what effects from braces are totally standard and which aren’t.

Common Side Effects of Braces

Mild Discomfort

Some discomfort with braces is totally normal and should be expected. Since braces work by manually shifting your teeth into proper alignment, discomfort is an effect more often than not. This can be concentrated on your teeth or manifest as headaches, both of which are common. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help most people relieve whatever tension or pain they feel. If headaches or pains become much worse over time, do let your dentist know as it could be a sign of something else at work.

Irritation

Your mouth won’t be used to the wires and brackets that make up the braces you’re wearing, and it will take a while for your lips to adjust to the right position. During this time, it’s very likely that you will feel some mild irritation. Fortunately, plenty of products exist whose sole purpose is to reduce said irritation, orthodontic wax being the most popular. Place the wax over an entire section or single bracket in an area that’s bothering you and feel the immediate relief. If there’s a sharp wire that’s poking you or causing your mouth to bleed, talk to your orthodontist about it ASAP.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain is a possible side effect of braces, especially if your treatment requires the realignment of your jaw. Over-the-counter pain medications may help manage this pain, depending on its severity. This may reoccur after every tightening, as well.

Difficulty Eating

Difficulty chewing and eating food is a big complaint that we receive, especially after a tightening. It’s times like those that our braces friendly diet is even more handy to have around. While it may be difficult to eat solid foods for a short time, this side effect will likely resolve itself quickly.

Unusual Effects from Braces

Now that we’ve covered the common side effects that a person can expect to experience during treatment, let’s consider some complications that could occur as a result of wearing braces. If you find yourself experiencing any of these, get in touch with your dentist or orthodontist to discuss what the cause is and what options are available to you.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay as a result of poor hygiene is possible with any set of teeth, but that’s especially true when it comes to teeth with braces on. It’s very important for all braces patients to thoroughly clean their teeth each and every day, meaning brushing twice and flossing at least once daily. If your tooth does start to decay rapidly, steps might have to be taken that will delay treatment.

Decalcification

Good dental hygiene practices are always important but especially so for patients in braces. Decalcification appears as white marks on the teeth and is just one side effect of poor hygiene. Cavities can also occur if food and plaque are not removed regularly. These issues are very preventable with regular, thorough brushing and flossing as well as a diet that is low in sugar.

Allergic Reactions

Some patients, though not many, can experience an allergic reaction to the latex rubber in the elastics used in braces or the metal. Known allergies should be communicated to our doctors clearly if you or a loved one are coming to us for treatment. Latex-free elastics and alternative metals are available to be used in situations such as these.

Root Resorption

Root resorption is the shortening of roots during the time that a person has braces on. This can be little more than a slight diminishing of the root tip that won’t result in any long-term oral health problems. Rarely, patients experience a shortening of at least half of the root, which could cause significant changes to their long-term health.

The exact cause is not yet known, but wearing braces beyond 2-3 years tends to increase the chances of it happening. Our office takes consistent x-rays to determine if any root resorption has occurred.

Ankylosis

Another rare condition that can have a large impact on a person’s health is Ankylosis or the fusion of the tooth root to the bone. Fused teeth will not be moved by braces, and all surrounding teeth will start to move around the ankylosed tooth, resulting in improper alignment. This complication is difficult to predict and may be identified through an x-ray and clinical examination if the situation calls for it.

Relapsed Teeth

Though not exactly a complication, the relapse or movement of teeth back to a previous position is a common consequence after braces have been removed. If patients don’t wear their retainers regularly, teeth can easily relapse, especially immediately after removal. You don’t want to waste all the time and money that you devoted to your beautiful new smile, so be sure to take care of it and wear your retainers.

Orthodontist in North Carolina shows how braces move the teeth

While the above side effects are possible, the much more likely situation is that you will end your experience with braces confident and happy with your new smile. If you have questions about braces and how they impact your teeth, feel free to talk to one of our dental professionals. We offer complimentary consultations to all new patients and those considering orthodontic work– click here to request an appointment. And we would be happy to discuss your options with you concerning braces, other kinds of orthodontic treatment styles, and financial solutions.

How to Keep Your Invisalign Clean This Halloween

You already know that we are big fans of Halloween here at BRO, but admittedly things can get sticky during this time of year if you have braces or Invisalign. As one of the top providers in North Carolina, we want to make sure our Invisalign patients can enjoy Halloween to the fullest.

Halloween Jack O Lanterns at BRO in Asheville

If you are straightening your teeth with Invisalign, here’s how you can indulge that sweet tooth without feeling guilty!

Invisalign Vs Traditional Metal Braces

For anyone who has a sweet tooth and has metal braces, Halloween might not be as fun as it once was. It’s understandable, because you simply can’t eat certain types of candy. Caramel, taffy and anything that is really sweet and sticky can cause significant problems once they get stuck inside the wires and brackets of your braces. The last thing you want to do on Halloween is schedule an emergency orthodontic appointment.

If you missed it last year, we created this Halloween guide for our braces patients in Western North Carolina.

Invisalign patients on the other hand will have a completely different Halloween experience! Since your Invisalign aligners can be removed, you can still eat any type of candy that you want. Just make sure that you carefully clean your teeth and floss before you put your Invisalign aligners back in place.

How to Protect Teeth & Your Invisalign During Halloween

Remember that Invisalign’s virtually invisible aligners straighten your teeth by applying pressure to gradually move them into proper alignment. This is a very precise process which is why we take a 3D scan of your mouth at the onset of your treatment. People love Invisalign because it produces incredible results without requiring a major adjustment to your everyday life. However, this convenience can also lead to issues, especially during special events like Halloween.

If a piece of candy or food is left lodged in your teeth, this can disrupt the alignment process. Remember that your tray is meant to fit seamlessly along your teeth. If you’re investing in your smile, you don’t want a lingering piece of candy to mess things up!

4 Halloween Hygiene Tips For Your Teeth

Here are some tips to follow if you plan on indulging in some Halloween sweets and treats on October 31st!

  1. If you plan on having some (or plenty of) candy, then our orthodontists recommend eating it during your usual meal times or shortly afterward. This gives your saliva a better opportunity to wash away the bacteria generated from the candy.
  2. Avoid snacking on candy throughout the day. Not only is this bad for your teeth, but remember that you need to wear your Invisalign trays for 20-22 hours a day. You shouldn’t be removing the trays numerous times throughout the day. Plus, you’ll then have to brush and floss after each candy. Not exactly a recipe for a productive day!
  3. Our orthodontists recommend staying away from candies like Jolly Ranchers that are going to stay in your mouth for an extended period of time. These candies are meant to dissolve in your mouth. That’s a problem because it generates bacteria and various acids that will coat your teeth. This is can lead to cavities and additional tooth decay.
  4. Wash that Halloween candy down with a refreshing glass of water. Remember that nasty bacteria we mentioned before? Water will help wash that away! We recommend that you thoroughly brush your teeth and wash out your mouth before replacing your Invisalign aligner.

If you want some additional tips on how to keep your Invisalign aligners clean, check this post out.

4 Reasons Invisalign Wearers Love Halloween

So now that you know how to keep your Invisalign clean this Halloween, we have an extra treat for you.

Invisalign patient dressed as Frankenstein for Halloween in Asheville

Here are 4 reasons that you should be excited to celebrate Halloween with your Invisalign:

  1. You have a legitimate reason to avoid overindulging in sweets. It may not be swimsuit season anymore, but there’s no reason to stop watching your waistline. As we mentioned before, you can still sample nearly all of your favorite candies with Invisalign, but you shouldn’t overindulge. We recommend having fun and avoiding the next day stomach ache!
  2. You can still have your favorite candies! Binge warning out of the way, we are pleased to tell you that your favorite types of candies (whether it be crunchy or sticky) are approved for our Invisalign patients in Western North Carolina. Just take care if you have a passion for jawbreakers!
  3. Be who you want to be on Halloween (except maybe a vampire! Let’s face it, those fake fangs just don’t work when you have orthodontic appliances of any kind in your mouth. That’s okay though, because Invisalign aligners won’t interfere with other classic Halloween costumes. Planning on being a scary witch, lumbering zombie or dazzling princess!
  4. Don’t feel self conscious about that Halloween selfie! We know you’re looking forward to getting that perfect Halloween post for your Instagram and you have no reason to cover your smile if you’re wearing Invisalign. Remember that they’re nearly invisible! By the way, we also have some tips for getting the perfect smile if you have braces too.

Happy Halloween from the BRO Team

Now that you know how to enjoy Halloween and keep your Invisalign clean, we hope you won’t have anything to be scared of… except maybe this ↓

via GIPHY

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Dr. Roberts, Dr. Schuler, Dr. Twomley, and all of us BROmies want your holiday to be awesome and worry-free. Happy Halloween from our family to yours!

20 Things You Should Know Before Getting Braces

So, you’ve found yourself curious of braces? Perhaps your teeth are a little crooked, or your daughters overbite needs some help. Whatever the reason, you’re not alone: over four million Americans are wearing braces at this very moment. But there are some things you should know about braces before you dive into the orthodontic deep end.

Girl excited about getter her new braces in Asheville

1) You may have a minor lisp

So you may have a minor lisp when you get your teeth straightened with braces. Why? When you attach metal brackets to the teeth, there’s almost no way that it won’t impact the way you speak. Please don’t worry if you find your speech impacted after getting braces from us in Asheville, you will get used to talking with the extra hardware in a short amount of time. This is a first step on the way to the straight teeth you’ve always wanted!

As a side note, you may want to consider Invisalign or Impressions if this is a major concern.

2) Don’t forget to bring lip balm

Lip balm is going to be crucial to your comfort during treatment. This is true even from the first day, when your orthodontist applies the brackets to your mouth. This process can take a couple hours, and there’s no way to moisten your lips while it takes place. You’d be wise to bring some nourishing lip balm with you to your appointment to avoid discomfort.

3) The application of the actual braces hurts

There really isn’t any way to sugar coat this: the application of braces doesn’t feel good. The process itself will take up to two hours to complete, and during that time the patient should expect to feel some pain and discomfort. Since you’re already out and will be at the office for a couple of hours, why not take off the rest of the afternoon to recover with a smoothie and some favorite movies?

4) There’s an uncomfortable feeling for the first few weeks

You’ve probably never had anything stuck to the front of your tooth before, and now there are two rows of brackets adhered to each chomper. It’s going to be an adjustment getting used to braces, but this will happen remarkably fast. In a matter of weeks, you won’t even remember what you looked like before you had braces on!

5) Flossing is a challenge

Flossing has never been the easiest activity一although it’s one of the most important一and braces don’t help. Most people who have braces find flossing to be nearly impossible. While that may be true, it doesn’t change the fact that cleaning your teeth is crucial to your health, with or without braces.

Some items that could help include flossing threaders, which help pull regular floss through the gap, or a water flosser, which uses a narrow stream of water to displace leftover food particles. While water flossers are easier to use with braces, most dentists don’t recommend them as a substitute to braces.

6) People of all ages have braces

You may not have noticed it before, but folks of all ages use braces to achieve the smile they’ve always wanted. Once you have braces on, you’ll realize just how many others are going through the same process that you are.

7) It won’t matter to a potential crush

People with braces have not always been painted in the best light by movies and TV shows, but reality is much better! So many of us have either had braces or currently have them that they’re now considered totally normal. That special person at school or work isn’t going to care if you have braces; they are going to love your smile!

8) Food will get stuck in your braces

This is a definite. Food will naturally get stuck in and around your braces. We recommend traveling with a braces care kit or anything that contains a spare toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and floss threaders. And parents: remember to pack something like this in your child’s backpack when they head back to school.

9) Tightening is essential but it can hurt

Tightening braces can hurt a bit, but the pain will soon fade and you will be one step closer to the smile that you’ve always wanted. This is obviously going to be different for everyone, but if you are someone who is considering braces, it’s important that you’re aware.

10) Your teeth will change a lot in the first month alone

Braces make quick work of reshaping the look of your teeth and smile. In just the first month alone, you should notice a much straighter set of pearly whites. Just imagine what they’ll look like after you get then taken off in Weste!

11) Braces will make your lips look little different

The hardware that comes standard with braces will push your lips out, making them look more pronounced. Please note that those same brackets may cut your lips on occasion, so we recommend keeping some wax at home.

12) You’ll be part of a special club

When you get braces, you’ll begin to recognize others who are going through the same thing, and you’ll undoubtedly bond over your shared style of treatment. The bond that’s created between you and another person with braces could turn into something to smile about years down the road!

13) Wax is a lifesaver

Orthodontic wax is usually applied to the brackets on your teeth to protect your lips from rubbing or abrasions, which will be a huge relief especially during the early months. Make sure that you talk to your dentist about the proper way to apply wax to your brackets and don’t forget to take wax off before you start eating a meal.

14) Food can get stuck for long periods of time

One of the most challenging parts of having braces is dealing with food and leftover food particles, even those items that are suggested as part of our Unbeatable Braces Friendly Diet. Unfortunately, it’s very common for a piece of food to be stuck in your braces for a long period of time only to become dislodged hours later. This isn’t particularly pleasant, and if you’re an adult in the workplace or worried about this phenomenon, be sure to bring a cleaning kit with you everywhere you go.

15) The time will fly by

This may be debatable, but for most patients, especially those that embrace the process and look forward to the outcome, the time they spend with braces on tends to fly by. While treatment can take anywhere from eight months to two years, most people get so accustomed to their braces that they are amazed when it’s already time to take them off.

16) They’re expensive, but it’s worth it

All orthodontic care tends to be expensive, and braces are no different. Some countries provide better coverage for expenses like braces than others, but most people will end up paying something out of pocket. Even though it requires some money, braces are definitely worth it in the end. The feelings of confidence and joy that you get as a result truly are priceless.

Our practice is proud to work with most insurance companies and offer financing options. Contact our offices for more information.

17) You may have setbacks

Setbacks are a natural part of life, and with braces it’s no different. Your orthodontist may only realize something specific to your case after treatment has been underway, and they could add a couple extra months to the length of time that you’ll be wearing braces. This shouldn’t be something you stress over一you know those brackets are coming off eventually!

18) Your bite is as important as straight teeth

Many people think of braces as just a device to straighten the alignment of your teeth, but they are also crucial to correcting your bite. Over or underbites are just as important to a perfect smile as the position of the individual teeth. This can add some time to treatment overall, but it will be worth it.

19) Smoothies will be your best friend

Smoothies are a braces-wearer’s best friend, especially in the early months of treatment or after a tightening. It would be smart to learn how to make a delicious, protein and nutrient rich smoothie, and every now and then, indulge in a chocolate milkshake for good measure.

20) Your smile is worth the investment

All the pain and discomfort that you endure during the period of treatment will absolutely disappear from your mind the moment that you get your braces off. There really is no comparison to the feeling of having a perfect smile, and braces will definitely give you something to smile about.

If you or someone you know is interested in getting braces, contact our office to set up an appointment. Our doctors are very familiar with braces and have been treating families in the Asheville area for many years. If you are interested in Invisalign instead, then we recommend reading this next.