Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Orthodontic Fashion

Most teenagers, and most adults for that matter, are really occupied with their appearance. One of the main reasons for getting braces is to improve one's appearance, but who actually wants to wear braces for two years or so? Those metal braces, yuck. Well, today there are some options that were not available when we were kids. First, braces are made up of brackets and/or bands that attach to the teeth. Then there is a wire of some sort that goes around the arch connected to the brackets in some manner. In the past you had to place a metal band around each tooth. Now there are bonded brackets, which are getting smaller and brackets that need no attachment device to connect the wire. The wire usually is attached by a small wire ligature or an "O ring" type alastic. These come in many colors and usually must be replaced monthly. Some kids pick out colors to make a fashion statement. There will be pink, purple, orange, or even black, team colors?, holiday expressions? You see all kinds of things. There are even gold brackets and wires. It looks pretty sharp actually. That's some bling bling.

For those who are concerned about even that, there are clear (really slightly opaque) ceramic brackets. Most wires are still silver, but there are some coated wires.

Now there is this thing called "Invisilign". There is also a similar product called "Orthoclear". That's great, but it has its limitations. It is often more expensive. It is not for growing patients---that means for the most part adults only. Invisilign is also only for what I would call mild crowding. The cases with moderate to severe crowding still require traditional braces.

So, whatever is you taste.... Fashion is a fickle thing. I read recently that teenagers in Thailand were getting phony braces placed just for a fashion statement, even though their teeth were fine. (That's risky and against the law by the way). More on braces here:When is the Best Time to to Start Braces?


orthobuddy said...

I would greatly appreciate your advice. I am an OrthoClear patient who is concerned about the way my treatment is going so far. I'd like to know whether my concerns are valid. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks.


Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Well, I don't know your specific concerns. I consulted our orthodontist and he recommended expressing your concerns to your orthodontist and ask for options like a mid-course correction or even braces. He does like Orthoclear better than Invisilign.

helixsocal said...

I would greatly appreciate your input. I finished invisilign 4 years ago. I lost my retainer shortly after and continued using the last alignor as a retainer. Well, I recently lost that alignor. Is it possible to order a replacement for the last retainer even though I finished the process 4 years ago?

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

I would suspect they would need to get a new impression to fabricate your appliance/retainer. As time goes by, teeth shift a little and old retainers don't fit so well anymore. Sometimes you can make a retainer from an old plaster cast, but I doubt they would keep such a thing more than 6 months.

RW said...

Hi Dr. Dean,

My son is 7 yrs old and has a new bottom tooth that is growing out but at something like a 30degree angle to the one next to it. Even his bottom 2 middle teeth had to be pulled out to make way for the new ones that started coming out from behind them. Those are ok now.

What can be done about this one at an angle ?

Thank you.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...


Many teeth move around as the erupt or the ones next to them come in. Often orthodontic treatment is indicated of the position is not ideal. That can be conventional braces or some sort of smaller appliance that moves the teeth. See my post on Permanent teeth coming in behind baby teeth.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Oh, RW, I'd still get it looked at, you never know what is going on unless you take and x-ray and get a proper exam.

RW said...

Thx for the reply Dr.Dean.

I had look at the post you asked me to look at.

In my son's case the baby tooth has already fallen out. But the new tooth which is still less than half out, is at an angle to the adjoining tooth instead of being in line with it.

I am not sure if I am allowed to post a pic...but if that's possible then I'll post a pic so that you can see exactly what I mean.


cure adult acne said...

I also wear braces and whenever I have mine adjusted I pick either color dark blue. The color does not fade fast unlike other colors. I never tried that multi-color thing... might try it soon. sounds a great idea.

Angelina said...

hello doctor i google some thing and saw this site i will be thank full if u can help me in any way. 3 and half year old boy have full 2 sets of teeth usaully kids have it in this age but behind his upper teeth there is kind of a round gum most look like full round jaw behind the upper teeth and i can see a tooth coming out behind the front teeth. we went to to doctor but he was so much crying and not able to do xray he checked the gum behind the teeth and pus and powder was coming out of it we have an other oppointment coming out which dentist wil do xray. do u have any idea what is it and what is the treatment.dentist said we will do xray its look like cavity behind teeth but if it some thing else than we will do surgery. please hlep me out i m very concern what u think what is it?thnak u

Dr. Dean Brandon said...


I can't really say. Could be a dental abscess from the tooth. I am sure your dentist can figure it out.

lovely said...

hi dr. is it ok if i dont consult ortho before im going to have braces??

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

I always recommend a patient receive a dental and orthodontic evaluation prior to any comprehensive orthodontic treatment. In other words, don't let a non-dentist do anything.

That's kind of like not seeing a doctor before a kidney transplant.

Paul Bear said...

There seem to be rumblings online about avoiding metal altogether. Zirconium-based ceramics are the next big thing, and clear polymer braces are getting rave reviews.

Paul| aimdental.com.au