Choosing to straighten your smile and improve your oral health with orthodontics is a big decision, and you should have all the information you need before you begin your journey. That’s why Sawgrass Orthodontics is proud to offer free consultations to patients of all ages in Sunrise, Plantation, and the surrounding communities! When you schedule an evaluation with us, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have with Dr. Kristen and Dr. Penny. Our expert team will also be happy to answer any questions you have about the treatment process. You can expect us to cover a range of important topics during this initial visit, including:  

  • how orthodontic treatment can benefit your smile
  • which treatment options will be the best fit for your needs and goals
  • any payment options that are available to you

You’ll also learn more about the differences between our most popular treatment options: traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Since these tend to be the two options we use most often, it can be really useful to understand a bit more about both! But first, let’s go over the basics of orthodontic treatment. 

How braces and aligners work

While they may look very different, braces and clear aligners are both designed to move your teeth into more optimal positions by applying constant gentle force over time. This aligns your teeth and jaws and improves the appearance and function of your smile. These are both excellent options for anyone hoping to achieve a healthier smile, but there are some important differences between the two that you should know before choosing which is right for you. 

Traditional braces

Traditional braces have been an orthodontic staple for years, and, as such, they have a well-established history of successfully correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues. Metal brackets are attached to the teeth, then held together by a system of wires and tiny rubber bands. Modern braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than the braces of the past, and can correct your smile faster, too! Sawgrass Orthodontics offers metal and clear braces to ensure you have a treatment that fits your lifestyle. 

Braces are a fixed orthodontic appliance, which simply means they cannot be adjusted or removed by the patient. Though they work well for treating essentially all orthodontic issues, they’re especially effective at treating more serious or complex issues! With braces, treatment durations vary from case to case, but the average time you’ll spend in braces tends to be about 18-30 months. 

Maintaining your braces can come with a bit of a learning curve. Brushing and flossing with all those brackets and wires can take some practice, but with patience it will become just another part of your daily routine in no time. There are even a variety of accessories available to make oral hygiene easier while a patient is in braces, like water piks that help rinse hard-to-reach places or ortho picks for braces-specific flossing. 

Food restrictions are another crucial part of this maintenance—patients will need to avoid anything that can damage their braces throughout the treatment process. This includes any snacks that are crunchy or sticky, so foods like raw apples and carrots, certain kinds of candy, and popcorn are off the menu until the orthodontic process is complete. 

Patients in traditional braces can expect follow-up visits about every 8 weeks. Once we ensure everything is progressing according to the treatment plan, Dr. Penny and Dr. Kristen will change the bands attached to your brackets and may replace your wire as well. These adjustment appointments are generally pretty fast—most last no more than an hour. While there can be some slight residual soreness after each adjustment, this is only temporary. 

These visits are an essential part of treatment and help you achieve the best results in the least amount of time possible!

Should You Choose Braces Or Invisalign?

Invisalign clear aligners

Invisalign is our most popular alternative to traditional braces in our Sunrise office. Instead of brackets and wires, this innovative system uses a series of removable clear aligners to straighten your smile. Invisalign features personalized trays that are made of a smooth high-performance plastic and they are designed to fit snugly but comfortably over your teeth. Invisalign won’t rub against the gums or cheeks the way braces sometimes can, and most patients adjust to them quickly. 

The time you’ll spend wearing Invisalign will still depend on how you react to treatment, as well as your compliance with your doctor’s instructions and wear time. General, patients spend somewhere between 12-18 months in Invisalign, although it can take more or less time depending on the case. With Invisalign, the treatment time will also depend on patient compliance. Those wearing the removable clear aligners must keep them in for at least 20-22 hours every day and switch them out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks as recommended by Dr. Kristen and Dr. Penny. Failure to do so can lead to longer treatment times and less optimal results.

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they are very easy to maintain. They’re designed to be taken out before eating and drinking anything other than water, so you never need to worry about food getting stuck in between the brackets and wires. Aligners are also removed before brushing and flossing, which makes dental hygiene a simpler process. This removability also means that, with Invisalign clear aligners, you can eat what you want, when you want!

Like braces patients, those in Invisalign will be scheduled for regular follow-ups with Dr. Kristen and Dr. Penny every 10-12 weeks. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo your progress, so it’s important to keep up with these visits.

Should You Choose Braces Or Invisalign?

Find the best fit for your smile with Sawgrass Orthodontics

Traditional braces and Invisalign aligners are both excellent options for patients looking to improve their oral health and achieve a beautiful smile, but one treatment may be a better fit over the other for your needs, wants, and lifestyle. By working with our experienced team, you are guaranteed to find the best treatment option for you.

If you’re ready to explore everything orthodontics has to offer you, get in touch today to Free Consultschedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Penny and Dr. Kristen in our Sunrise office. We’re committed to keeping your mouth looking great and feeling great for a lifetime!

- Dr. Langford

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