Braces for Adults and Children

2 Greater Minneapolis Locations to Better Serve You

Orthodontic Braces for All Ages

Dental braces are devices used in orthodontic dentistry to straighten and align your teeth. By doing so this can also help with your bite, improve your dental health and even fix gaps. You may not be aware of the potential of other dental issues until you have a proper dental evaluation. At that time, you may find out you have an overbite, an underbite, malocclusions, open bite, cross bites, deep bites, crooked teeth or other flaws in your teeth and jaws. Let’s look at the history of braces, the different types of braces available today, the process of getting braces and how they make the corrections, the benefits of going through the process and finally proper oral hygiene during the process and after you are finished.

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The History of Orthodontic Braces

Braces have been around a very long time. According to scholars and historians they can find evidence as far back as 400 BC. The braces as we know them today really came to being in 1819 with wire and rubber bands. In the early 1900s the classification system for determining the severity of how crooked the teeth where was devised and that same system is still in use today. Since then we have seen a natural evolution through technology driven refinements.

How Braces Work

It’s quite simple. Your teeth are encouraged to move through the application of force and pressure. There have been traditionally four basic elements making up most types of braces. First and second there is the bracket that is affixed to the tooth with a bonding material. The third element is the arch wire and finally there are ligature elastics or O-rings. It takes time. The tooth must first be loosened from the bone to be able to move it. Through this slow process new bone grows in to support its new position. This is called bone remodeling. The new bone deposition will make the tooth and the jaw stronger in the new position.

The Different Types of Braces Available Today

There are today four different types of braces. Dr. Pan will walk you through the pros and cons of each variety.

  • The first and still most popular is the traditional metal braces. The brackets and the arch wire are made with high-grade stainless steel.
  • A second option for possibly older teenagers and adult patients is that of clear ceramic braces. The brackets and the arch wire are made from clear ceramic materials and are less visible. They are larger and more brittle than the metal variety so they are usually just used on the upper front teeth.
  • The third option is that of lingual braces. This is like the traditional type except the brackets and arch wire are on the inside, the tongue side of your teeth.
  • Finally, the fourth option is growing in popularity since its introduction about 15-20 years ago. The Invisalign approach uses clear mouth guard like trays to move your teeth. Designed in a lab with computer assistance there will be 20 to 30 custom made trays that use the same principles of force and pressure to move your teeth. The trays are designed to be replaced every two weeks.

The Process of both Getting Braces and Wearing Braces

The first step, whether you visit the Edina or Maple Grove office of Pan Orthodontics, is a thorough evaluation. This includes photos and x-rays to determine what is going on with your teeth and jaw below the surface. Dr. Pan will chat with you about the advantages and disadvantages of the four methods, including pricing and timing. Some methods cost more, some take longer. Your process could take from six months to over two years depending on the amount of correction. Dr. Pan can explain your expectations. Occasionally there is a patient that braces cannot correct the problem.

The next step is the staff will give your teeth a digital scan of your teeth. Digital 3D models are made of your teeth. We can call this point A, or the starting point. The brackets are then bonded to your teeth. Whether the brackets and the arch wire are on the outside or the inside of the teeth, the constant tightening of the arch wire is where the pressure is applied and the work is done. Dr. Pan will share a bigger picture with you when setting goals.

The Benefits of Correcting your Teeth with Braces

The first and foremost benefit that you can witness and enjoy every morning while looking in the mirror is your smile. Once your crooked teeth are spaced properly you will be amazed at the difference it will make in your self-esteem and your self-confidence, both personally and professionally. After your smile, there is the obvious straightness and the proper bite. You may even notice a difference in your speech pattern based on the amount of correction. Other oral hygiene problems that braces have been known to correct, or prohibit, are more difficult to quantify. The health industry says that braces can prevent gum disease, can prevent tooth decay, can prevent cavities and can even prevent injury depending on the severity of the misalignment of the upper teeth. Braces can help with bone erosion, they can help with your bite pattern which could eventually lead to tooth loss. Proper and better positioning help dramatically with the correct proportions of your face, your lips and your jaws. Believe it or not, for some patients, braces and straightened teeth have corrected problematic the chewing of food and resulted in better and healthier digestion.

Oral Hygiene beyond Braces

The day your braces are removed will be like no other. Moving your tongue around your mouth is quite a remarkable feeling. From that point on your oral hygiene starts with you. Dr. Pan is your team mate. You will be advised to brush your teeth well, and slowly, twice a day with a good toothbrush. It will also be suggested that you floss at least once a day. These preventative measures remove the bacteria carrying plaque that sits every day on the enamel of your teeth. You have made an investment in your smile, protect it moving forward. Twice a year visits to have regular evaluations by Dr. Pan are an extremely wise thing to do. The staff at Pan Orthodontics can monitor your teeth and continue to offer professional cleaning to make sure your natural teeth continue to be an asset, day in and day out.

Proper Oral Hygiene during the Process of wearing Braces

When you head home from the braces first being applied you will experience some discomfort. And every visit, whenever the braces are tightened, you will revisit that discomfort. The majority of the time over-the-counter pain medications will address the discomfort for those couple of days. The tenderness or soreness is perfectly normal. Your cheeks and tongue will go through an initial adjustment with some irritation as they get used to these new appliances in your mouth.

Visiting the dentist creates a level of anxiety amongst many of us. Adding a visit to the orthodontist for braces doesn’t diminish that anxiety. Asking many questions will help prepare you or your child for the adventure ahead. Your diet will have to be addressed. It will be suggested you focus more on soft foods and avoid sticky foods. The proper care of those addition items in your mouth is essential. You will need to brush regularly and often and it will be suggested that you consider a Waterpik to flush out the food particles that will get caught between the braces and the teeth.

Foods that will be best to avoid will be chewy items like bagels and licorice, crunchy foods like popcorn, chips and most certainly ice. Sticky food examples would be caramel candies and chewing gum and hard foods like nuts and hard candy. You’ll certainly want to stay away from corn on the cob, biting into an apple or chewing on carrots. There are plenty of foods you can eat. The list of soft foods is lengthy. Cheeses, pudding, pancakes, muffins and breads. Pasta and cooked rice for grains. Meats include chicken, meatballs and lunch meats and seafood includes tuna, salmon and crab cakes. Vegetables include mashed potatoes, steamed spinach and beans. Applesauce and bananas are safe and finally, there are the treats. Ice cream, milkshakes, jello and soft cakes. Those are just examples. Dr. Pan will have a more extensive list to send you home with.

There are no issues with the continuation of sporting activities while wearing braces. Dr. Pan and the staff will fit you or your youngster with a mouth guard that will protect the soft tissues from harm. If you do see a wire lose you will want to schedule an immediate visit to either office to get the wire or band repaired.

Meet Dr. Pan

Pan Orthodontics Philosophy

To treat our patients as our families and to treat others as how we want to be treated. From your first phone call to the moment your new smile is born, everything in our office is set up to ensure an excellent experience with us. We will always listen to you and improve with your suggestions.

Patient Information

Our Commitment to You

We will continue to keep up with the ever growing digital technologies to improve your orthodontic experience. We also commit to always help you find the most convenient time for your visit with us.