Our orthodontist, Dr. Kurt Kacer, is a top Invisalign provider in Tucson and treats the most Invisalign Teen patients in the area. Dr. Kacer and the DentalPros team develop custom treatment plans for each patient based on the patient’s orthodontic needs and lifestyle. We work with our patients on flexible financing so that nothing stands in the way of a great smile.
ALL ABOUT BRACES
BRUSHING AND FLOSSING
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.
EATING WITH BRACES
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
FOODS TO AVOID
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.
LOOSENING OF TEETH
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.
LOOSE WIRE OR BAND
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.
RUBBER BAND WEAR
To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time… so please … follow instructions.
If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. A protective mouth guard is provided for playing contact sports.
TYPES OF BRACES
Thanks to today’s advances in orthodontic technology, DentalPros can provide our patients with more options when it comes to wearing braces than ever before. While regular metal braces are still widely used, clear braces are becoming increasingly popular along with removable appliances that can be used for mild cases of misaligned teeth.
Please see below or ask us to learn more about the types of braces we offer at our office. You need to speak with your orthodontist to determine which appliance is right for you.
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are smaller and more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have aesthetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger than metal braces. The only drawback to ceramic brackets is that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits with certain foods and smoking.
Clear appliances, such as Invisalign, use a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. And, no one can tell you are wearing those aligners because they are invisible! Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.
INVISIBLE BRACES (LINGUAL BRACES)
The invisible alternative for patients who don’t want to wear braces or when invisible braces by Invisalign are not an option. Placed behind your teeth, no one will know that you are wearing braces unless you tell them. These unique braces are created using state-of-the-art technology and are 100% customized to the shape of your teeth and to your dental situation. Lingual braces have the unique prescription that Dr. Kacer creates for you, built-in to ensure you get the results you want. With lingual braces you get efficient, effective tooth movement and great aesthetics.
Show off your Wildcat spirit with our Wildcat Block A Braces! These fun braces are only available at DentalPros! Stand out from the crowd with these fun braces that will make your smile unique. Are you a true Wildcat fan and love to show your support for your team? If you are on a journey to straighten your smile, why not combine your treatment with your school spirit and ask about our EXCLUSIVE Wildcat Braces!
ITERO DIGITAL IMPRESSIONS
An accurate impression is essential for effective treatment planning and orthodontic care. The iOC Scanner captures the contours of tooth and gingival structures, producing an accurate digital orthodontic scan in just minutes.
The iTero handheld wand takes a digital, 3D image of your prepared teeth, stopping as needed. You can look at the iTero 3D image on the screen in real-time. Now instead of UPS shipping impressions to the lab to be scanned, the digital image is electronically sent to the lab and is available in the Invisalign Clincheck system the next day. The accuracy and detail of the iTero scan vs a putty impression is kind of like watching HDTV over standard definition TV. These digital scans don’t need to be rescanned so by removing the “clay modeling step” we have greatly improved the accuracy.
BENEFITS OF TEETH SCANNING
- ELIMINATES IMPRESSIONS, the most invasive procedure in daily orthodontic care.
- SUPERIOR ACCURACY with no distortion from patient movement during set, removal of impression, or disinfection.
- ONSCREEN VISUALIZATION allows for immediate adjustment to create the ideal orthodontic scan the first time.
- INCREASED PATIENT COMFORT by eliminating the goop and gagging with traditional impressions.
- SINGLE USE IMAGING SHIELD to ensure maximum cleanliness.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD A CHILD FIRST VISIT THE ORTHODONTIST?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that most children should have an orthodontic screening by age 7. This allows Dr. Kurt Kacer to determine if orthodontic treatment will be required and the best time for the patient to be treated. Many of the dentists in our community have been trained to identify orthodontic problems early, and may refer you to our office earlier than age 7.
WHY ARE CHILDREN BEING EVALUATED AT SUCH AN EARLY AGE?
Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth.
If early treatment is indicated, Dr. Kacer can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment, after all the permanent teeth erupt.
DOES EARLY TREATMENT BENEFIT ALL CHILDREN?
Early treatment does not necessarily benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more easily and efficiently corrected in the teen years when all the permanent teeth have erupted. Some skeletal orthodontic problems should not be addressed until growth is more advanced or completed. The doctors develop a plan for treatment based on each individual child’s needs. If the doctor decides the patient is not ready for treatment, they are placed on our orthodontic supervisory program.
WHAT IS THE ORTHODONTIC SUPERVISORY PROGRAM?
The orthodontic supervisory program is for patients who are not ready for treatment and have been placed on recall. This program enables us to monitor the eruptive pattern of the permanent teeth. Sometimes, poor erupted patterns of permanent teeth may be eliminated with early removal of baby teeth and reduce the treatment time required for braces. We will notify your general dentist of any recommendations made during your visit. We normally see the patients on recall every 6-8 months to observe their progress as they grow. There is no fee for this program and it helps the orthodontist determine the optimum time to begin treatment and achieve the best possible result for your child.
IN ADDITION TO A BEAUTIFUL NEW SMILE, WHAT ARE SOME OTHER BENEFITS OF ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
Braces can improve function of the bite and teeth, improve ability to clean the teeth, prevent wear on the teeth, and increase the longevity of natural teeth over a lifetime.
IF A CHILD HAS TREATMENT EARLY, WILL THIS PREVENT THE NEED FOR BRACES AS AN ADOLESCENT?
Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent more severe problems from developing, and simplify future treatment. Because all of the permanent teeth have not yet erupted when early treatment is performed, their final alignment may not have been corrected. Typically, a shortened comprehensive phase of treatment (Phase II – full braces) in the teen years, after all the permanent teeth have erupted, completes the correction. However, in some circumstances, further orthodontic treatment may not be indicated.
DO WE STILL NEED TO SEE OUR FAMILY DENTIST DURING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
Patients with braces and other orthodontic appliances require more effort to keep their teeth and gums clean. Because we want to insure the highest level of dental health, we recommend you see your family dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings every 6 months during treatment.
Between the ages of 11 and 15 is the most common time for orthodontic treatment, and for good reasons. By 12, most, if not all, of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps and bad bites can easily be detected. These problems will hardly ever correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment.
This is also a good time for orthodontic treatment because many negative associations of braces are not present. Many children in this age range undergo orthodontic treatment, and children are very often able to be convinced to wear braces because they see their friends wearing them, too, and want to fit in.
Besides the benefits of fitting in with their friends, children at this age have high metabolisms, which can help shorten overall treatment time and reduce the discomfort of orthodontic treatment.
Call our office for an initial FREE examination, and we will be able to determine the best time for the treatment and outline: the treatment plan, the treatment duration expected, and the approximate cost for the treatment.
Orthodontics is not just for children and teens. In fact, 1 in every 5 patients in orthodontic treatment is an adult. No one is too old for orthodontic treatment.
Adults seek orthodontic treatment for many of the same reasons as children. Some adults had orthodontic problems as children but were unable to correct them until now. Others, who had treatment as children, may need further treatment as adults due to relapse or limitations in initial treatment.
Benefits of Treatment
Adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment in many ways. These include:
- Align the teeth to create a more aesthetic and beautiful smile
- Correct relapse after previous orthodontic treatment due to lack of long term retainer wear
- Improve the ability to brush and floss, especially for crowded or overlapping lower front teeth
- Create a better or more comfortable bite and ability to chew
- Address missing teeth
- Close spaces between the teeth
- Reduce excessive wear on the teeth due to grinding or poor bite
- Jaw surgery to correct discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws.
Appearance of Braces
Many adults are concerned with the appearance of braces. Often, Invisalign® (The invisible alternative to braces) can be used to treat adults. This technology involves clear removable aligners, fabricated through advanced 3D imaging to align the teeth. For more severe problems, we have the option of clear ceramic brackets instead of metal.
Orthodontic treatment is no more uncomfortable for adults than children. Adults undergoing orthodontic treatment report the same level of soreness as children (although adults are more willing to tell us about the soreness).
Typically, the teeth are most uncomfortable 12-24 hours after an orthodontic adjustment and will disappear within 3 to 5 days. Modern appliances are smaller and more comfortable to wear. Modern techniques, with the new titanium technology, put less pressure on the teeth to cause discomfort, while moving the teeth more rapidly and efficiently. It also decreases the time required between adjustments to every 8 – 10 weeks. Treatment time, on average, is completed in 15-18 months.
The fee for adult orthodontic treatment is determined the same way as child or adolescent treatment. It is based on the severity of the problem, the complexity of the correction, the appliances used and the length of time to correct.
Dr. Kurt Kacer has treated individuals in their 50’s, 60’s and even their 70’s. It is never too late to gain the smile you have always wanted.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
How retainers are worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers all the time for one year following the removal of braces.
After approximately one year, the patient can wear the retainer just at night. This is to allow the wisdom teeth to develop without ruining the patient’s beautiful smile. Dr. Kurt Kacer will see you every six to nine months to make recommendations on the wisdom teeth and an X-ray will be taken every one and a half years.
Once the wisdom teeth have been decided on, wear your retainer at least one night per week. This is because, as you get older, the muscles that surround your teeth will get tighter and place pressure on your teeth, causing them to move or crowd.
How to care for retainers
- Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
- Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
- Keep away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them.
- Clean before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed. If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Fixed retainers (Bonded Wire)
This wire should stay on forever. The only exception is if your family dentist says you are not keeping it clean and it is beginning to cause gum or bone problems. If this should occur, please have the wire removed and replace it with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. Kacer prescribes. The fixed wire will protect the teeth as the patient gets older and your facial muscles get tighter. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month check ups.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
- Mouth breathing
- Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Playing a musical instruments with a reed
- Lip sucking
- Pen or pencil biting
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
- Severely rotated teeth
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.
Dental examinations and cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home, to include thorough brushing and flossing techniques. His or her family dentist should see the patient at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations.
Patients Love Us!
The staff is fantastic, friendly, and always so helpful! We have always had great experiences! -Theresa
Very friendly staff. They make the process very easy. -Jeanne
My whole treatment plan was explained in great detail, and the results have not disappointed. Thank you so much. -Martin
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