Blog

Where Can I Get Braces Near Me?

June 25, 2019

Braces, or orthodontics, are used to straighten teeth and correct orthodontic issues. This improves the function of the teeth and creates a more aesthetically pleasing smile.  

Braces apply gentle, constant force to shift teeth into the correct positions.

Many people considering braces near Alexandria, Virginia often times ask, where can I get braces near me? This question can be difficult to answer without a solid knowledge base to start with.

With that in mind, continue reading to learn more about how braces work, whether you're a good candidate and more.

How Braces Work

First, a small metal bracket is bonded to the teeth. Then a metal wire is inserted into the brackets. This wire is tightened to move the teeth into the correct positions.

Other components can also be used in conjunction with braces to move the jaw and bones.

Am I a Good Candidate?

Although braces can be used at any age, there are optimal times to begin treatment. For this reason, it is recommended that children have their first orthodontic exam around age seven.

This allows for early intervention which can optimize results by taking advantage of skeletal growth. This type of treatment may require two phases.

  • Phase one addresses bite problems and overcrowded teeth. This phase may or may not use braces. After the first phase, there is often a period of rest to allow most, or all, permanent teeth to come in.
  • Phase two usually begins around 12 or 13 years old. This is when full braces are used to address the alignment of permanent teeth.

Later Treatment

If the window for early treatment has passed, braces can still be beneficial and offer good results.

However, if there is significant overcrowding, extractions may be required to allow teeth to move into proper alignment.

Mild crowding can be treated with interproximal reduction (IPR) which removes minimal tooth structure from the sides of teeth so that they can shift.

[Related: Orthodontics]

Types of Braces

There are many types of orthodontics. Your orthodontist will recommend the type that best fits your individual needs. The types of braces are:

  • Metal wired braces- most common type. These traditional braces are made form stainless steel. Brackets are bonded to teeth and the wire is inserted into the brackets.
  • Ceramic wired braces- these “clear braces” are a cosmetic alternative to metal brackets. The ceramic brackets match the color of the teeth, but they are more prone to damage than metal braces.
  • Lingual braces- these are placed on the backside of the teeth, so they are not easily visible. However, it does lengthen treatment time.
  • Other metal braces- if you have a nickel allergy, you can use gold plated stainless steel or titanium brackets.
  • Clear aligners- these plastic aligners are custom made for your teeth. There are no brackets or wires. However, there are limitations to what this method can do.

Getting Braces

After an orthodontic exam, impressions are made of your teeth and x-rays will be taken to show the position of your teeth.

A treatment plan will be made for you and your orthodontist will discuss the plan, the type of braces, and length of treatment with you.

For traditional braces, the brackets will be bonded to the teeth and then a metal wire will be paced in the brackets and secured with elastic bands or self-ligating brackets.

Clear braces are a bit different. Your orthodontist will take molds of your teeth and a set of aligners will be made for you. Each aligner is worn for one-to-two weeks before you progress to the next one.

Do Braces Hurt?

This is the question everyone asks! The placement of braces is normally pain free, but the pressure usually leaves teeth and jaws feeling sore afterwards.

This usually lasts a week after placement and then a few days after each adjustment. Clear aligners also cause this discomfort.

A soft diet along with ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help during this adjustment period. Also, orthodontic wax can be used to prevent the braces from irritating the cheeks and lips.

Cost

Treatment cost varies for each patient. It will depend on location, treatment time, and steps involved. Clear aligner treatment is generally more expensive by 20-50 percent.

Insurance may cover part of your treatment and most orthodontists have financing options available to make the braces more affordable.

During Treatment

Initially, braces can be uncomfortable. The soreness, eating restrictions and the extra effort required to keep them clean often cause inconveniences.

However, the results can be very beneficial, and the majority of people are happy that they underwent treatment.

After Braces

When your treatment is over, the braces will be removed. Molds and x-rays will be taken to evaluate the results.

A retainer will be created to prevent the newly aligned teeth from shifting. There are different types of retainers and your orthodontist will recommend the best one for you.

Best Braces in Alexandria

If you are one of the thousands of people in and around Alexandria, Virginia who are considering braces for yourself, your child or another family member, contact us today and schedule your consultation.

Remember, the best time to start is now!