Straighter Smiles Ahead
We all want a beautiful, straight smile. Orthodontics is the treatment of irregularities of the teeth, more commonly called “braces”. Problems can vary from teeth that are too crowded or close together, to smiles that have wide open spaces between the teeth. There can be alignment problems that cause the teeth to improperly bite together, or have teeth that are mis-aligned behind one another. There are a few different approaches to straightening teeth, some of which we will discuss here on this page. The Smile Anchorage can be reached at (502)243-9200
There are several options for treating teeth that are misaligned or crooked, from traditional metal braces to Invisalign®. There are some shorter term options like Six Month Smiles®. In general there are three types of treatments that might be the right choice for your smile.
Traditional metal braces are the tried-and-true workhorse of straightening teeth. Metal braces have some advantages and disadvantages. While the primary disadvantage is the metal-mouth appearance, they offer The Smile Anchorage the ability to control the movement of the teeth in small, deliberate increments. You can never lose your metal braces, a real possibility with the removable braces options. Removable braces rely on the patient to wear them almost 24 hours per day. If the patient does not, they may not work as intended. That’s not a problem with metal braces since they can only be removed by the dentist.
Many patients want the options that are provided by clear braces. They are virtually invisible, they can be removed to clean them easily, and they are a much more lifestyle friendly form of braces. Today, Invisalign® braces are better than ever, with the ability to treat more difficult cases than they were able to treat in the past. Straight, well aligned teeth are much healthier and easier to care for than crooked, out-of-position teeth. If you think that treatment with Invisalign® is the right choice for you, give The Smile Anchorage a call and come in for a free consultation so that we can determine if you are a good candidate for the clear alternative to braces.
Sometimes a full orthodontic treatment isn’t necessary, and there are occasions when the full orthodontic treatment requires two stages. Appliances are the answer to those two situations. An appliance is a device that is worn like a retainer. They may have screws, springs or attachments that allow the development of your teeth and jaws. This development can sometimes eliminate the need for complete orthodontics. In a different scenario, the appliance may need to be worn for a period of time before beginning your orthodontic treatment. Call The Smile Anchorage and get a free orthodontic consultation to learn what your needs may be.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Smile Anchorage understands that you will have questions about treatment with braces. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding orthodontic treatment.
A broken wire on your braces can be extremely annoying. Likewise, it can possibly cause some trauma to the surrounding soft tissue of the cheek or gums. The best action to take immediately is to place a small amount of orthodontic wax on the end of the broken wire. If you do not have any ortho wax, There are alternatives. For example, place a cotton ball, gauze or other barrier material to prevent the wire from poking the cheeks or gums.
DO NOT CUT THE WIRE. Cutting the wire could potentially be dangerous. Most importantly, the primary danger is being swallowed or aspiration (breathing into the lungs) of the cut piece of wire. The wire cutters used in a dental setting are a special type of cutters. They are designed to hold the cut end of the wire so that it cannot be swallowed or get into the lungs.
Loose Brackets & Bands
A small amount of ortho wax can be used to keep a loose bracket from moving around. If the bracket has completely come off, keep it if you still have it. Brackets can be re-cemented.
If one of the bands that surround your back teeth have come loose, keep the band. First, put it somewhere safe until you can schedule an appointment. Next, bring it with you to the dental office. We can re-cement the bracket or band when you come into the office.
Sometimes Braces Hurt
Over the years, great improvements have been made to increase the comfort level and decrease the soreness associated with wearing braces. For metal braces, you should expect to experience some discomfort when the brackets and wires are first placed on your teeth. At each visit when wires are changed, you may again experience some minor discomfort. This is due to the new forces placed on the teeth
A Different Kind Of Hurt
Loose or shifting wires can poke your cheeks or gums. These pokes and sticks are aggravating. If a wire gets loose or moves out of place, call our office so that we can address the problem. As a temporary measure, place ortho wax over the loose end of the wire. Another aggravation is the rough metal on the inside of the lips and cheeks. Metal scratches skin. This leads to sore lips and gums. If a sharp edge is present, place a small amount of ortho wax over the metal brackets or wires to eliminate soreness on the lips or cheeks. This typically decreases over the first couple of weeks of wearing the braces.
Regarding Clear Aligners
Clear braces like Invisalign® have less of these issues since there are no sharp metal edges or wires. However, that doesn’t mean you are in the clear with regard to discomfort. If you are wearing Invisalign® aligners you may also experience minor discomfort at the initial delivery and each time you change aligners. Again, this is due to the new forces placed on your teeth. Discomfort fades in a few days.
Manage The Discomfort
When your braces hurt, take action. For either metal or Invisalign® braces, the discomfort can usually be managed with over the counted pain relievers like Tylenol and Motrin or aspirin. Additional steps can be taken to reduce the pain. Eat a soft diet during those few days. Apply ice packs to reduce the discomfort. Cold drinks help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Likewise, cold foods do the same.
Most of all, be patient. While there can be some minor discomfort, remember that everyone in braces has had to deal with the same feeling. In the end the minor discomfort is well worth the result.
What Will Braces Cost In Louisville, Kentucky
Orthodontic treatment requires a fair investment. But, the return is life changing. Because of individual needs and variations in treatment it is difficult to say how much your personal cost will be. However, we will address some generalities about how much braces cost in the Louisville area. Additionally we will discuss what makes those costs vary. These generalities will apply if you live outside of this area, but the price information varies wildly from one area of the country to another. Braces Nationally range from $4,000 to $8,000, and as much as $10,000 or more for lingual braces.
**DISCLAIMER: The numbers discussed here reflect prices at the time of this writing, June 2017. It is difficult to say with any accuracy how much your treatment will cost without first having an orthodontic consultation at The Smile Anchorage.
Braces cost an average of $4,450 in the Louisville area. However, this information is a bit misleading. Because it includes treatments of different types and durations, the figure is skewed a bit. For example, the number includes Invisalign® Express and Invisalign® Lite cases, which have lower cost than full orthodontic cases.
Full, Light Or Express
First it is important to make a distinction between “full” orthodontic treatment and cases that are less involved. Full cases require a substantial treatment time. Conversely, less involved cases take considerably less time. For example, Invisalign® has several treatment options Invisalign® Full, Invisalign® Lite and Invisalign® Express. The Invisalign® Express is further broken down into Invisalign® Express 5 and Invisalign® Express 10. Each of these treatment require different amounts of time to complete. As such, they have varying costs associated with that treatment. The Invisalign® Full option is comparable to a normal, full metal orthodontic treatment. The time for treatment is typically more than a year to complete. Here in our office, comprehensive orthodontic treatment with traditional metal braces costs $5300, including initial orthodontic records, and retainers after finishing. This is comparable to an Invisalign® Full treatment. Braces cost less when the treatment is less involved. For example, the Invisalign Lite treatment fee is $4100 in our Louisville office. This includes the initial orthodontic records,
but does not include retainers.
Know What The Fee Covers
The fees associated with orthodontics at The Smile Anchorage include the initial records required for starting your case. The fee also includes the materials (brackets, wires, trays) that you use during treatment. Additionally, the fee includes the periodic visits that will be required throughout your treatment. Some of the fees include retainers that you will need after the braces are finished. Some fees do not include retainers. Make sure to consider this when comparing treatments.
Save $500 Now
An orthodontic consultation is always free at The Smile Anchorage. So, if you want to learn if braces are right for you, give us a call. If you are ready to get started with treatment right now, you can download this form and bring it to our office to receive $500 off orthodontic treatment**, excluding the Invisalign® Express options. Other Invisalign® options are eligible for the discount, including Invisalign® Lite, Invisalign® Teen, and Invisalign® Full.
** Excludes orthodontic appliances, retainers or certain short term orthodontics such as Invisalign® Express 5 or Invisalig® Express 10
Follow the button below to print your $500 savings.
Treatment Phase & Other Factors
Everything discussed here assumes that you are in need of phase one treatment only. Two phase treatment has additional fees due to the increased complexity and time requirements. Other treatment is not considered that may be needed before treatment can begin. For example, extractions to create space. Or, repairing existing active cavities.
The Biggest Hidden Cost
Regarding braces, the greatest hidden cost may be not getting them at the right time. Your age matters. Ask Dr. Ranney. A consequence of not having orthodontics as a teen caused his adult treatment to have an astonishing additional cost. Without insurance, he would have never been able to be treated. The entire cost to straighten his teeth was over $59,000.00! Treatment required surgery, as well as braces. Conversely, getting braces too young can be cause for a second round (two phase) treatment. Sometimes this is necessary. Sometimes waiting is the best option, saving you the extra expense.
Lesser Known Benefits Of Braces
Regarding braces, appearance is certainly one aspect of orthodontic treatment. But there is much more to be gained by having a straight and healthy smile. Actually there are many more advantages gained through orthodontics. Notably, improved overall health of the mouth and body is achieved. Misaligned or crooked teeth can be detrimental to your mouth. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and healthy. Misalignment leads to tooth decay, bone loss, gum disease, problems with the ability to chew food, difficulties with speaking as well as other problems.
Teeth chew with greater ease when they are properly aligned. That is to say, teeth and jaws that are not in the correct position have a more difficult time biting and chewing. Teeth with poor alignment wear more often than well aligned teeth. Teeth need repair more often when they are not aligned and have damage from improper bite and poor chewing.
Nutrition & Digestion
Nutrition is important. Chewing is the first step in digestion and nutrition. Food is better prepared for the body when it is chewed well. Teeth grind food. If food isn’t ground enough, nutrients are not delivered as well during the digestive process. Food particles are better used when the teeth have properly prepared them for digestion.
Poorly aligned teeth cause speech problems. For example, misaligned teeth can cause difficulty with sounds starting with the letter “f”. The tongue interferes with “s”, “t” and “d” sounds when teeth are out of place. One of the lesser known benefits of braces is that they can often correct this problem. So, call The Smile Anchorage and schedule a consultation.
Improved Health Of The Mouth
Teeth stay clean better when they are straight. That is, the natural shape of teeth when aligned helps keep them cleaner. Food is swept away better during brushing. Overlapped teeth trap food. Crooked teeth decrease brushing effectiveness. Both conditions lead to increased plaque build-up. Increased plaque causes more cavities. Plaque causes more gingivitis and gum disease in higher amounts. Hygiene is easier when teeth are straight.
Protect Teeth From Trauma
Protruding teeth are damaged more often. The protrusion of the teeth increases the risk of damage during sports or normal daily activities. Straight teeth are better protected during sports. Especially when they are also protected by a professionally made mouth guard.
Improved Self Confidence
Self esteem and self confidence are greater when you have a straight, white smile. According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), 99.7% of all Americans believe that it is an important social asset to have a great smile. &4% believe that a bad smile can hurt your career. 96% believe that a great smile makes you more attractive. Whether or not these feelings are accurate, having a straight smile can certainly boost your self image.
Food With Braces – To Eat Or Not To Eat
One of the great benefits of Invisalign® clear aligners is that they allow you to remove them while eating. Your diet can remain virtually the same as it was before starting the treatment. Sticky foods should generally be avoided, but with great home hygiene care you can eat virtually anything you like. Most everything you read here does not apply to those who are wearing Invisalign® Clear Aligners.
In contrast, with traditional metal braces you will need to avoid foods that are hard or sticky as well as foods that are crunchy. Really sticky foods like taffy or caramels can stick to the brackets and help cause cavities. Crunchy and hard foods like carrots, nuts or candies can cause the brackets to come loose from the teeth or they can bend the arch wires, in turn causing the teeth to move in a direction that you don’t want.
Download this food list and put it on the ‘fridge until you get used to the things you can and cannot have.
Foods fall into one of several categories.
Hard Or Crunchy Foods
Eating hard or crunchy food with braces has the risk of bending wires or knocking a bracket loose from the tooth. Avoid these foods at all cost.
The risk is just too great that damage will occur to the braces.
Crunchy Taco Shells, Tortilla Chips
Sunflower, Pumpkin or Other Seeds
Nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews, corn-nuts, etc)
Cough Drops, Hard Candies, Butterscotch
Tootsie Pops, Suckers
Ice. Crunching ice is a no-no
Bagels or Other Hard Breads
Whole Carrots, Apples or Pears
Skittles, Runts or Nerds
Butterfinger Candy Bars
Snickers, Payday or Other Nut Containing Candy Bars
Chocolate Candies With Nuts
Any Other Food With NUTS!
Apples and pears can be eaten if you first cut them into small pieces.
Sticky Or Chewy Foods
Sticky and chewy food with braces also carry a risk of bending or breaking wires or loosening brackets. Additionally, these foods carry an added risk of higher rates of cavities. Due to their stickiness they can remain on the teeth longer. As a result, cavities can occur.
Chewing Gum or Bubble Gum
Taffy, Starburst, Now-N-Later or other taffy-like candies
Gummy bears, worms, frogs, anything. Just say no to gummies!
Jelly Beans, Jelly Bellies
Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies
Airheads (which are sort-of taffy)
Candy Apples or Caramel Apples
Tootsie Roll, Frootsie Roll
Licorice or Twizzlers
Chewy or tough cuts of meat
Meat on the bone
Foods That Stain
Avoid foods that stain teeth. Coffee stains teeth. Additionally, Tea stains teeth. Similarly, red wine stains teeth. Likewise, some berries and fruit juices stain teeth. These are to be avoided or used in moderation to avoid stains on the teeth.
Things You Just Shouldn’t Eat
The following items are not foods. Likewise you shouldn’t be chewing on them.
Toenails. Yes, we said toenails!
Pens, pencils, erasers, forks, toys
In conclusion, if it isn’t food, it isn’t for chewing.
Some Treats You Can Eat
We understand that on occasion you might want a treat. The following is a list that contains some candies
and other treats that can be consumed while wearing braces. Keep in mind, they should be consumed in moderation, as many if not most are still sugary and can cause dental decay.
Plain M&Ms (no nuts)
Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups (no nuts or candies)
Kit Kat Candy Bars
Plain Hershey’s Kisses (no nuts)
Plain Hershey’s Chocolate Bars (no nuts)
Cream Filled Chocolates / Truffles
Fudge (no nuts)
Donuts (no nuts or sprinkles)
Ice Cream or Milkshakes
Just Had An Adjustment? Try These Soft Foods
After you have new wires or other adjustments made to your braces, you may have some discomfort or tenderness in your teeth for a day or two. During this time you may want to choose a soft diet while your teeth get used to the changes. Foods to consider are:
Meatloaf or Meatballs
Pasta or Mac-N-Cheese
Fruit or Vegetable Juice
Well Cooked or Steamed Vegetables
Ice Cream or Milkshakes