Traditional braces have long offered patients a way to obtain a beautiful smile. Wearing braces is not all fun and games though, as they can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and time-consuming. Damon braces brings a modern element to traditional braces, and Dr. Baharak at Smiles 4 Life Orthodontics in Park Slope is pleased to offer this alternative to patients as they seek a better smile.
What are traditional braces?
The metal braces you’ve seen people wearing for years consists of brackets, bands, and wires that are used to pull teeth into better positions and improve your bite. Traditional braces have several negative characteristics, including pain after adjustments, frequent office visits, and a process of two years or longer. As the popularity of improving smiles has increased, so has the desire for options that offer faster results, less discomfort, fewer office visits, and less visibility.
Do I need braces?
There are a number of factors Dr. Baharak looks for during an examination that might indicate braces are warranted:
- Overcrowded – One of the most common complaints among patients, a lack of sufficient space in the mouth can lead to overcrowded teeth. They may be overlapping or pushed forward, making it difficult to brush and floss appropriately.
- Overbite – When the upper arch sticks out over the lower arch more than it should, an overbite occurs. Excessive overbites can increase risk of tooth trauma from an injury or fall.
- Underbite – The opposite condition when the lower arch protrudes over the upper arch when the jaw is closed, an underbite occurs and can make the jaw disproportionate. Chewing may be difficult, and the face sometimes looks older than the person really is.
- Open bite – If the top and bottom front teeth don’t touch when the mouth is closed, an open bite occurs that may make it hard to breathe correctly and cause speech problems.
- Crossbite – If an upper tooth falls behind a lower tooth when the mouth is closed, it’s called a crossbite. Severe tooth wear, excessive gum recession, or asymmetric jaw growth can result.
What are Damon braces?
The biggest difference between Damon braces and traditional ones is that Damon braces are self-litigating (or self-tightening). This means that Dr. Baharak does not need to frequently adjust your braces to tighten the wires; they tighten themselves by a sliding mechanism attached to each bracket. The mechanism gradually moves continuously, pulling your teeth into better positions. Your teeth realign and your bite improves at a faster pace than traditional braces due to this feature.
What is memory wire?
A memory wire is another element that makes Damon braces unique. The sliding brackets are attached to this wire, and as the wire works to return to its normal length, it pulls your teeth along with it. It also allows your jaw to expand and therefore, pull your palate into better position as well. The memory wire reduces the pressure that you feel on your teeth that is common with traditional braces. The lower amount of force means less discomfort for patients.
What are the benefits of Damon braces?
In addition to the increased comfort brought about by the self-litigating system, there are fewer visits to Smiles 4 Life Orthodontics since the wires don’t require adjustments. Damon braces don’t require elastics, which are known for being noticeable in smiles, and even offers clear brackets to make your braces less visible. Overall treatment time is reduced as a result of the continuous movement produced by Damon braces.
How are Damon braces attached?
The first step is having a thorough exam and cleaning by your dentist to ensure your mouth is healthy. Then you’ll have an appointment with Dr. Baharak to assess your condition, take X-rays, and discuss your desires so that a treatment plan may be created. If you proceed with Damon braces, you’ll undergo the painless process of placing the brackets. You may choose between metal or clear brackets. They will be firmly bonded to your teeth and then the memory wire is placed into the clasping system. You may experience some minor discomfort the first few days, but overall you can expect much less pain than with traditional braces.
What are some common questions about Damon braces?
- Are Damon braces used on adults? Yes, both adults and adolescents can benefit from this treatment.
- Will I have pain after adjustments? Discomfort is considerably less with Damon braces, and adjustments are much less frequent.
- Do faster results mean harsher treatment? No. Treatment is completed more quickly with Damon braces, but it is actually more gentle than other braces.
- Are the brackets unsightly and bulky? These brackets are smaller and less conspicuous in your smile, especially if you choose clear brackets.
How do I care for my Damon braces?
Oral care while wearing any type of braces should be done meticulously and consistently. You want to be sure you eliminate food particles that can cause tooth decay. Brush gently while angling your toothbrush toward each bracket, and then floss carefully. It can require some patience to keep your mouth clean, but the end result will be worth it when you’re enjoying your beautiful new smile.