Comprehensive Treatment for Adolescents and Adults.
American Orthodontics Mini Twin Bracket™
We use the mini-twin bracket from American Orthodontics. This bracket is among the smallest and lowest profile on the market increasing their comfort and durability. These brackets adhere to the outside of the teeth and are connected by a wire. Metal braces are a great option for kids and young adults as they are customizable with fun colors. We have almost 30 great colors to choose from and those colors will be changed every time you visit us!
3M Clarity Advanced Brackets™
Clear braces are an alternative to traditional metal braces offering an aesthetic advantage. While clear braces still adhere to the outside of the teeth, they are much less noticeable than traditional metal brackets. These braces are a great option for teenagers and adults and can achieve very similar results as traditional metal brackets. Here are just some advantages of the Clarity Advanced Brackets:
- Because they have a very low profile and “ultra-small” design, Clarity braces are comfortable to wear
- Made of innovative new, ceramic material for an attractive appearance creating confidence in your smile during your entire orthodontic treatment
- Very translucent bracket which picks up the natural color of your tooth so they are minimally noticeable
- Designed to resist staining and discoloration throughout treatment
- Made with a fine-grain ceramic material that increases the strength of the bracket and minimizes bracket breakages
Invisalign treatment utilizes a series of clear removable custom fitted trays to gradually align teeth. Invisalign can treat a variety of cases and Dr. Kopicki will discuss with you whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign.
Invisalign offers several advantages over traditional braces:
- Provides virtually invisible straightening of your teeth
- No food restrictions
- Because they are removable, you can brush and floss your teeth like normal without the wires of the braces getting in the way
- Invisalign is made of smooth, comfortable plastic which is less likely to irritate your cheeks and gums versus traditional braces
- Office visits are spread further apart, usually about every 6-8 weeks so that your busy schedule will not be interrupted
- No emergency visits for broken brackets or poking wires
Treatment involving a team of dentists and dental specialists to coordinate and plan optimal treatment for a patient. Along with orthodontic treatment, patients may require additional periodontal, surgical or restorative procedures; frenectomies, gingivectomies, bone grafts, exposures of impacted teeth, tooth extractions, cleft lip and palate surgery, orthognathic surgery, implant placement, veneers or crowns.
What are they?
Spacers, also called separators, are small circular elastics that are placed in between the teeth. They create space between your teeth so that bands can be accurately fit at your next appointment.
What will they feel like?
Your teeth may be sensitive but the discomfort should only last a few days. Taking over the counter pain relievers should help. (Please consult with your physician if you have any allergies to medication.)
What do I do if a spacer falls out?
If one or two spacers fall out, simply keep your next scheduled appointment. There is no need to call. This usually means that enough space has been created for the bands to be properly placed. If all of your spacers fall out, please call our office and we will advise you on whether you need to come in to have them replaced.
What should I do to prevent them from coming out?
Avoid sticky or chewy foods and do not floss in the areas where the spacers were placed. You can still brush normally and floss in areas where there are no spacers.
These are metal rings that fit all the way around your back molar teeth and have a bracket welded to the side. They will be fit after your spacer appointment. They will remain on your teeth during your entire active orthodontic treatment and will be removed when your braces are completed.
Separators & Bands
These are the individual braces that are bonded to the outside of your teeth with special orthodontic tooth glue. They will remain on your teeth during your active orthodontic treatment and will be removed when your braces are completed. Sometimes, brackets are used on the back molar teeth instead of bands. They can be metal or ceramic (clear).
Elastics are small rubber bands that attach to hooks on the top and bottom braces. They help correct your bite and fit your top and bottom teeth together. Make sure to wear them as prescribed by Dr. Kopicki. The more consistent you are with your elastic wear, the faster your teeth will move and the faster your braces will be done!
A palatal expander is a very common appliance used during orthodontic treatment. It is used for a variety of reasons but most commonly it is used to correct crossbites (when the top teeth fit inside the bottom teeth) or to create space for permanent teeth. The expander is cemented to your upper back teeth and sits close to the roof of the mouth. It puts gentle pressure on your teeth and gradually widens the upper jaw. In order to activate the expander, a key is inserted into a small hole in the middle of the appliance and pushed front to back. Dr. Kopicki will advise how often and for how long the appliance needs to be activated. Please see the video below for a visual on how to activate the appliance. Once the desired width is achieved, the expander must stay in place for several months in order to hold the correction.
Powerscope Class II Corrector
This appliance helps correct overjet (when the top teeth stick out too far relative to the bottom teeth). This appliance is a spring loaded arm that attaches from the top to the bottom braces and puts gentle pressure on the teeth, pushing the lower teeth forward and the top teeth back to achieve the desired bite correction. The Powerscope is usually inserted about half way through treatment and will stay in for an average of 4-6 months.
FORSUS Fatigue Resistant Device
Very similar to a Power Scope, this appliance also helps correct overjet (when the top teeth stick out too far relative to the bottom teeth). This appliance is a spring that attaches from the top to the bottom braces and puts gentle pressure on the teeth, pushing the lower teeth forward and the top teeth back to achieve the desired bite correction. The FORSUS is usually inserted about half way through treatment and will stay in for an average of 4-6 months.
This appliance is used to correct overjet (when the top teeth stick out too far relative to the bottom teeth). This is used when the upper jaw and lower jaw are not well aligned with each other and helps the lower jaw catch up with the upper jaw. This appliance can be used separately or in conjunction with braces and typically stays in the mouth for an average of 6-9 months. It places gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws, pushing the lower teeth forward and encouraging lower jaw growth while pushing the top teeth back to achieve bite correction.
Retainers are worn at the end of active orthodontic treatment to keep the teeth in place. It is very important to remember to wear your retainers or your teeth will start to shift. There are several different types of retainers:
- Hawley – These traditional retainers consist of plastic on the inside of the mouth and wires across the front teeth to hold teeth in place. These retainers are very durable and will last a long time. Please see the video on how to care for your Hawley retainers.
- Essix – This retainer is a clear horse-shoe shaped appliance that fits down over your teeth. These work well as retainers but tend to wear out and may need frequent replacement.
- Permanent Retainers – These retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth. They are great because you don’t have to remember to wear a retainer every night but they can be difficult to clean. Flossing is especially challenging.
Dr. Kopicki will discuss retainer options at the end of treatment and decide which retainers are ideal for you!
Retainer Care Instructions
Treatment For Adults
Are adults good candidates for orthodontic treatment?
Adults are excellent candidates for orthodontic treatment and it is becoming much more common for adults to receive treatment. In fact, Dr. Kopicki has treated several patients in their 70s who have wanted a nicer smile! There are many different treatment options for adults. Depending on the difficulty of the treatment needed, adults can be treated with traditional braces, ceramic braces or even Invisalign. There is no age limit to moving teeth and it is never too late to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
What differences are there between treating children versus adults?
Growth – The biggest difference between children and adults is that a child’s jaws are still growing while growth is complete in adults. That being said, appliances can often be used in children to align the upper and lower jaws while with adults treatment may involve extractions of permanent teeth or, in severe cases, surgery in order to fully correct the teeth and bite. However, these situations are not common and most of the time, teeth can be straightened and bites aligned in adults using less invasive methods.
Missing Teeth/Periodontal Problems – Sometimes, adults are missing permanent teeth or may have problems with the gums and bone that surround the teeth. This can add to the complexity of treatment needed. For an optimal result, treatment involving a team of dentists and dental specialists to coordinate and plan treatment for a patient may be necessary. Along with orthodontic treatment, patients may require additional periodontal, surgical or restorative procedures to get maximum functional and esthetic results. Dr. Kopicki will coordinate your treatment with a team of dentists and specialists if necessary so that your end result will be a bite and smile that will last you a life time.
Treatment For Teens
What? I have to get braces?!?!
Braces have come a long way in the past several years and are now very small and much more comfortable than they used to be. Metal braces can now be customized with fun colors that you can be proud to show off. Also, the option of getting clear braces or even doing Invisalign Teen™ can reduce the visibility of your orthodontic treatment giving you a confident smile throughout treatment!
Getting braces on is a very easy process. We simply polish and dry your teeth, paint on a primer to help your braces stick to your teeth and then place the brackets on almost like a sticker. We then use a bright light to harden the cement that’s on the bracket so the braces stay adhered to your teeth. The discomfort of braces has also decreased over the years. We now use extremely flexible wires to start so that the initial soreness is very manageable.
What foods can I not eat with braces?
As a general rule, you should avoid foods that are VERY HARD, STICKY and CHEWY. The foods you should definitely stay away from are:
- Hard Taco Shells
- Sticky & Hard Candy
While there are some foods that you should stay away from, you can still eat the majority of what you were eating before. Some foods that are recommended for braces are:
- Soft candy (peanut buttercups)
- Ice Cream
- Mashed Potatoes
Keep in mind that if you are treated with Invisalign Teen™, you can eat all of the foods that you used to enjoy because the aligners can be easily removed for meals!
How can I make sure that I get my braces off on time?
While a lot of your orthodontic treatment depends on the overall difficulty of correcting your bite and how quickly your teeth move, there are definitely things that you can do to make your treatment go as smoothly as possible so you finish on time! The things that will really help you out are:
Keeping All Of Your Appointments – Skipping orthodontic adjustment visits will definitely add time to your overall treatment because your braces aren’t being adjusted as often as they should. Dr. Kopicki will let you know how often you need to return to keep you on track!
Wearing Your Elastics – THIS IS A BIG ONE!!! If you wear your rubber bands as prescribed, your teeth will move much faster and your bite will be corrected much more efficiently than if you don’t. In fact, if you don’t wear your rubber bands, it is likely that your treatment will take even longer than originally estimated. This is a very big factor in making your treatment predictable and timely.
Not Having Loose Brackets – A loose bracket can result from eating the wrong foods or playing sports without a mouth guard. Every time a bracket comes loose from one of your teeth, that tooth stops moving with the rest of the teeth. Depending on where you are in treatment and how long the loose bracket has been there, you could potentially add a lot of time to your braces treatment. This is especially true if your brackets break on a regular basis. Make sure to tell your parent if you notice a loose bracket so it can be repaired in a timely manner.
Playing Sports with Braces
At Germantown Orthodontics, we strongly recommend wearing a mouth guard for sports. It is important to cover your teeth during sports to minimize potential harm to yourself or your braces if you are to get hit in the mouth or face. As a courtesy, we will provide you with a mouth guard when you get your braces on. If you would like to purchase your own, make sure that it is an orthodontic mouth guard specifically made for braces. These types of mouth guards fit around the orthodontic appliances and allow for tooth movement while still protecting the teeth. Please do not use the “boil and bite” types of mouth guards as those are fit to your specific tooth position. Because we are moving your teeth with your orthodontic treatment, the “boil and bite” types will not fit your teeth for very long.