Orthodontics: Improve Your Grin, Confidence, and Oral Health

If you or your child suffers from dental misalignment, it will not simply affect your appearance. Crooked teeth can also impact your long-term oral health and dental function. Fortunately, Dr. Lysandro Tapnio of Jacksonville can improve your smile with carefully planned orthodontics. Using Clarity™ ADVANCED Ceramic Braces by 3M or Invisalign® aligners, he will calculate the exact force needed to reposition your teeth. Thanks to his experience and detail-oriented approach, your treatment will be gentle, yet highly effective. Delaying orthodontic treatment will increase your risk for several serious dental concerns. Contact our office today to learn more about braces and aligners—and to find out if they are right for you or your child.

What Happens When You Receive Orthodontics?

Before undergoing orthodontic treatment, you will have a complete oral evaluation and consultation with Dr. Tapnio. He will explain your treatment options and recommend which type of orthodontics will provide the most benefits—both during treatment and afterwards. Based on your preferences and decision, he will plan out your individualized treatment, considering optimal tooth movement and the potential length of your orthodontic care. In some cases, he may need to perform a preparatory treatment. For example, if you have severe misalignment, he may use our dental laser to expose an impacted tooth. This minimal discomfort process will make room for the tooth, reducing your risk for complications. After all prep work, Dr. Tapnio will begin your orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign treatment involves wearing clear, smooth aligner trays, one on your upper arch and one on your lower arch. You will wear your aligners 22 hours a day, remove them for eating and cleaning your teeth, and change to the next set of aligners approximately every two weeks. You will typically need to wear braces for 12 months, although this will depend on the severity of your misalignment. Most patients are eligible for Invisalign and prefer this treatment due to its smooth comfort and appearance. In the case of severely rotated teeth, teeth angled (tipped) more than 45 degrees, large spaces between teeth, and significant malocclusion, treatment with Clarity ADVANCED Braces by 3M will be more beneficial.

Treatment with Clarity ADVANCED Ceramic Braces by 3M involves brackets and arch wires like conventional metal braces, but the brackets are smaller and made of translucent ceramic that blends with the color of your teeth, making your braces blend into your smile. Dr. Tapnio is proud to offer this latest technology for patients who require wire and bracket treatment. You will smile with confidence while wearing them, and the brackets are designed for maximum comfort with a low profile and rounded corners. The application and removal of the ceramic brackets is also comfortable due to the ingenuity of 3M. Dr. Tapnio is very precise when calculating the force needed for these braces, and he will make your treatment as gentle as possible. You will typically need to wear braces for 9 to 18 months, although this will depend on the severity of your misalignment.

When your orthodontic treatment is completed, Dr. Tapnio will provide you with a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.

Are You or Your Child a Candidate for Orthodontics?

If you suffer from any of the following conditions, orthodontics can improve not only your smile appearance but also create harmonious biting function, optimally space your teeth to facilitate thorough brushing and flossing, and improve your oral health for the many years to come.

The conditions orthodontics can correct:

  • Gapped teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Turned teeth
  • Overbite
  • Under bite
  • Cross bite
  • Open bite
  • Cosmetic misalignment

Caring for and Living with Invisalign Aligners

You will remove your Invisalign aligners when you eat and brush your teeth. Maintaining regular dental hygiene is easier than with bracket and wire braces, but you must brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. To keep your aligners safe, put them in your aligner case while you are eating and brushing. Rinse your aligners and brush them lightly to keep them clean. You should also be vigilant about your regular dental visits, both for the success of your treatment and for your overall oral health.

Because you will remove the aligners when eating, you can enjoy your favorite foods. When you start wearing a new set of aligners, you will feel some tingling in your teeth for a day or two. During this time, tooth sensitivity may influence your food choices.

You will easily and rapidly become used to speaking with your aligners in your mouth. If you play a musical instrument, you will find that you readily adjust to playing it while wearing your aligners.

Caring for and Living with Clarity ADVANCED Braces by 3M

During the duration of your orthodontic treatment, it is vital that you maintain regular dental hygiene. Food and bacteria can easily get trapped beneath the wires, increasing your risk for tooth enamel discoloration and decay. Brush at least twice a day. Floss at least once, and be sure to clean underneath the wires. Dr. Tapnio can recommend special tools that will make it easier to access this area. You should also be vigilant about your regular dental visits—both for the success of your orthodontics and overall oral health.

Your teeth will tingle for 2 to 3 days after your braces are adjusted. You will need to avoid chewy or hard foods, since they can damage your braces. Nuts, popcorn, and other foods with small bits are also unwise. The pieces can become lodged under your braces, often without your knowledge. Finally, you should not chew gum while you are wearing braces.

Because Clarity ADVANCED Braces from 3M are smoother and smaller than traditional metal braces, the soft tissue of your mouth will be more comfortable. You will easily learn to speak normally and find you can smile with confidence.

The Benefits of Orthodontics

The most noticeable change will be the improvement in your appearance. Your straighter smile will enhance your other facial features, and you may feel much more self-confident about your smile. Orthodontics can also have a number of long-term health benefits. These advantages include:

  • Easier hygiene, which will lower your risk for decay and discoloration
  • A balanced, even bite
  • Improved speech
  • Reduced risk for bruxism and TMJ Disorder

Learn More About Orthodontic Treatment

If you are concerned about your dental alignment or your child’s oral health, contact us today. We will schedule your consultation with Dr. Tapnio so you can find out if braces are the right option for you.

For a textbook definition on orthodontics, read this article.