Do Braces Damage Teeth?

Fixed braces have been around far longer than most people realize. In fact, the concept behind braces (i.e., using wires to physically realign teeth) reaches all the way back to ancient Egypt. Archaeologists uncovered this fact by examining the crude braces affixed to the teeth of certain mummies. 

Although we know some ancient cultures performed simple orthodontic work, it wasn’t until the 1800s that physicians created what we would call “modern braces.” French physician Christophe-Francois Delabarre invented modern braces in 1819 when he first used wires and wedges to correct tooth misalignments. In the following years, more physicians improved upon Delabarre’s invention to create braces that resemble what we use today.

To this day, braces are still one of the most popular devices in orthodontics. Safe, reliable, and capable of treating mild-to-severe alignment problems, braces remain a popular go-to option for correcting bite issues. 

Despite this familiarity, patients always have questions about braces before treatment begins. Some of the most common questions we hear at consultations include:

If you’ve been asking yourself the same questions, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Read on to learn how braces work and how they can improve your oral health.

Do Braces Damage Teeth? NO.

For those new to braces, they can seem a bit intimidating. After all, braces are most commonly made with a metal like titanium or stainless steel. If you don’t understand how they work, it’s natural for you to wonder if braces damage teeth. 

Braces icon.

Simply put, braces fitted by a professional, licensed orthodontist will not harm your teeth. 

The bonding process uses a composite adhesive to affix brackets to your teeth. Not only is bonding completely safe, but it’s also pain-free and takes only a few minutes to complete. 

After attaching all the brackets, your orthodontist threads a metal archwire in between them. This is another safe, painless process that is relatively brief. 

Once in place, the braces allow your orthodontist to reposition your teeth by adjusting the archwire’s tension. The wire applies constant pressure to the teeth, and by periodically adjusting how tight the wire is, your orthodontist gradually moves your teeth until into flawless alignment.

Broadly speaking, treatment takes around 12-24 months to complete. After that, your orthodontist will remove the brackets and wires—revealing your gorgeous new smile!  

Potential Causes of Damage: Inexperienced Physicians
and Bad Oral Hygiene

Braces should never pose a risk to your teeth. Professional orthodontists attend rigorous training programs to learn how to use braces as a safe, effective treatment. By partnering with a trained orthodontist like BHO’s Dr. Monica Madan, you can find braces treatment for:

Orthodontists like Dr. Madan have the expertise necessary to create personalized treatment plans to correct your bite issues without complications. In recent years, some dentists have begun offering braces treatment as well. However, be warned that general dentists lack the years of training that orthodontists undertake to apply braces. As such, seeking out orthodontic work from a dentist does put you at risk of tooth-damaging complications. 

To avoid potential problems, always seek orthodontic work from a trusted professional and always follow their oral care guidelines. Remember, braces do not damage teeth, but teeth can still develop cavities and other problems during your braces treatment. 

While wearing braces, you must be diligent about your oral care to avoid potential health issues. We recommend the following measures for the best possible outcome:

  1. Use an Automatic Toothbrush to Clean Your Teeth. Automatic toothbrushes are better at removing plaque than conventional toothbrushes and can help your teeth stay cavity-free throughout treatment.
  2. Brush Your Teeth Up to Five Times a Day. We know this sounds like a lot, but food can get stuck in between your teeth and brackets throughout the day. Brushing once at night, after meals, and before bedtime will keep your teeth from developing cavities.
  3. Focus on Cleaning Every Bracket. Brackets quickly become filled with plaque if you do not faithfully clean them every day. Brush above, below, and in between each bracket to keep any plaque from developing. Using an oscillating brush head specifically built for cleaning brackets will help, too.
  4. Floss Daily and Try Floss Alternatives. Although braces may make flossing more difficult, it’s important to continue flossing every day during treatment. If you are struggling with traditional floss, thread floss and water flossers may be more effective.
  5. Rinse With Mouthwash Every Day. Fluoridated mouthwash can fortify your teeth against cavities and other issues. 

Ready To Improve Your Smile? Call Beverly Hills Orthodontics Today

If concerns about whether braces damage teeth have made you hesitant about orthodontics, you can rest assured that braces are one of the most reliable, safe, and effective treatment methods available today. Capable of treating all kinds of bite problems with a wide range of severity, braces can help give you a healthier, better-functioning, and more attractive smile 

At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we have been using braces to improve smiles since 2008. With offices in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, and Downtown LA, the BHO team is here to provide you with the best orthodontic care in the Los Angeles area. If you have any lingering questions about braces, oral care, or anything else related to orthodontics, we can give you answers during a consultation. Call today to schedule!

Are Dentists Orthodontists?

For those who are unfamiliar with the world of oral health, dentists and orthodontists may not appear to be very different. After all, dentists and orthodontists are similar in many ways: we both attend dental school and we both work with teeth.

Given these commonalities, we here at Beverly Hills Orthodontics understand why new patients don’t always have a clear understanding of what orthodontists actually are. In fact, we spend many of our consultations explaining what sets us apart from dentists. Some of the most common questions we hear from patients include:

If you’ve been asking yourself the same questions, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll attempt to clear up any “dentist vs. orthodontist” confusion by answering these questions and more. By the end of the blog, you’ll be able to tell the difference between dentists and orthodontists so you know which of these physicians is best suited to treat your specific issues. 

Are Dentists Orthodontists?
No!—But All Orthodontists Are Dentists

If the headline above seems confusing, give us a minute to explain. Dentistry is a medical field focused on maintaining the health of:

Hopefully, you have been visiting a dentist regularly since you were around 12 months old. From this point on, all people should visit the dentist twice a year for essential services, including:

A dentist who provides these services is called a general dentist. Anyone who graduates from dental school can become a general dentist once they pass their three National Board Dental Examinations. 

Some dental school graduates, however, pursue further specializations. The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes 12 dental subspecialties, including:

Dentists, Orthodontists, and Why Specialties Matter 

Now that we’ve established that dentists are not orthodontists, we can focus on why we differentiate between dentists and orthodontists at all. 

Health icon

Structurally speaking, the human mouth is complex. Although we don’t often realize it, basic tasks like eating, speaking, and laughing require bones, gums, teeth, and muscles to work in harmony. A general dentist can provide basic oral care, but complex issues—like bite problems—require a specialist.

Distinctive Dental Training

After graduating from dental school, orthodontists attend a 3-year residency training program focused only on orthodontics. Their study concentrates on understanding how teeth move and learning to correct complicated alignment problems such as:

General dentists do not receive this training. Correcting bite problems requires a deeper understanding of oral function, tooth movement, facial growth, and facial orthopedics—far more than what standard dental school covers.

Alignment Experts

Residency programs provide orthodontists with the expertise and experience required to:

While dentists are typically not trained to perform these specialized tasks, some do offer Invisalign services. They are able to do so because the manufacturer-supplied software creates treatment plans for them. Invisalign software is advanced enough to design aligners, although each face is unique and can present complications midway through treatment. 

The difference between dentists and orthodontists is similar to knowing you should visit a general doctor for a cold vs. understanding you need an ophthalmologist for eye surgery. If you want a perfect smile without the risks and limitations of dentist-provided Invisalign, schedule an appointment with a licensed orthodontist. 

Schedule a Consultation at Beverly Hills Orthodontics Today

Dentists provide many important services, like cleaning teeth and gums, identifying problems, and performing procedures to keep your mouth healthy. Many also specialize in cosmetics, like veneers. Orthodontists and general dentists often work closely to provide patients the best care possible.

If you are serious about improving your smile, you want to partner with a professional orthodontist like BHO’s own Dr. Monica Madan. Dr. Madan and the BHO team understand what it takes to create custom treatment plans that meet the lifestyle preferences of each patient. Whether you have mild crowding issues or severe bite problems, BHO can give you a perfect smile using methods that work around your schedule. Call us today to learn more. 

Invisalign vs. Braces for Adults: Choosing Which Is Best for You

Have you been thinking about improving the look and function of your smile? You’re not alone. 

In the last few years, adult orthodontic treatment—usually Invisalign vs. braces for adults—has become more popular than ever before. Today, one out of every three orthodontic patients is 18 or older—an all-time high in the field

Although the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that patients begin treatment at an early age, children and teenagers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from orthodontic care. Adults can achieve the same results with Invisalign and braces as younger patients. 

Self-Care = Health Care

The only major difference between child and adult orthodontic care usually comes down to the length of treatment. Younger teeth that are still growing are easier to realign, which leads to quicker results. As long as adults have healthy teeth and jawbones, orthodontic treatment can still produce the perfect smile. 

With the aid of Invisalign and braces, practices like Beverly Hills Orthodontics can eliminate any number of issues in adult patients, from mild crowding to severe bite problems. Beyond mere aesthetic improvement, the health benefits of adult orthodontic treatment include:

How To Choose

If you’ve been considering orthodontic work for yourself, it’s important to understand your options. Most adult patients are likely to be eligible for today’s two most popular treatments: Invisalign and braces

While certain factors can disqualify some patients from Invisalign treatment, most adults will be able to choose between Invisalign and braces during their initial consultation. So, how do you decide between the two?

To help future patients make the best treatment decision, we’ve created the following guide: Invisalign vs. Braces for Adults. In it, we outline the major differences between Invisalign and braces, including limitations, upkeep, and other ways they can affect the day-to-day lives of adult patients. These quick links allow you to jump ahead to different parts of the guide:

Invisalign vs. Braces for Adults 

As an adult considering orthodontic treatment, you’re probably wondering how Invisalign or braces will impact your daily life. Each treatment option fits into your lifestyle in different ways.

Between work, family, and social commitments, we know that modern life can be hectic. That’s why Beverly Hills Orthodontics makes it a priority to design a treatment plan that works with your schedule. Below, we’ll take a more detailed look at how each option can affect you.

Speech and Appearance

If you are concerned that orthodontic treatments will affect how you speak, we have good news: neither Invisalign nor braces will significantly affect your pronunciation or the sound of your voice

When speaking for the first time after your initial aligners or braces treatment, you may think you sound a bit different for a couple of hours. However, you will quickly sound normal to yourself and others afterward. 

Some of our patients have reported a change in the sound of their “head voices” (i.e., the sound of their own words when speaking), but their family, friends, and co-workers can’t tell the difference. Moreover, orthodontic work may even improve your speech once treatment is over. 

When it comes to personal appearance, however, Invisalign and braces have very different effects. In fact, aesthetic change is one of the biggest deciding factors between Invisalign vs. braces for adults

Invisalign aligners are extremely discreet. They are completely transparent, and people only really notice them when they are standing close to you. On the other hand, braces are made of metal and will quickly draw the eyes of others. Although ceramic braces and lingual braces are less noticeable, braces in general will change the way you look. Two of the most popular aesthetic options we offer include UnBrace and Lightforce braces.

Lifestyle Impact: Braces

Fortunately, today’s braces are smaller and more comfortable than past models. If you are used to the way braces appear in old movies, you will be pleasantly surprised to see how much better today’s braces look! 

Braces are made of three core elements:

By periodically adjusting the archwire, your orthodontist applies pressure to the brackets to move your teeth.

Upkeep

Until treatment ends, your braces will never leave your teeth. As a result, you will have to change your lifestyle a bit to accommodate them and avoid damaging the archwire and brackets. These lifestyle changes include:

Lifestyle Impact: Invisalign

With Invisalign, you will wear a series of removable plastic aligners that are custom-made to fit your teeth. Each aligner is designed to apply pressure strategically, which gradually moves teeth into better positions. 

After wearing one aligner for a week or two, you will move on to the next one until you reach the end of your set. Because clear aligners can be removed at any time, Invisalign comes with fewer restrictions than braces.

Upkeep

Invisalign does not have any of the same restrictions as braces. As long as you remove your aligners when appropriate, your treatment includes:

Treatment Responsibilities: Invisalign

Although Invisalign carries very few lifestyle restrictions, it does require more personal responsibility than braces. If you choose Invisalign, you will be able to remove your aligners at any time. While you must wear them for at least 20-22 hours a day, Invisalign offers patients unparalleled freedom.

Aligners must be in place for at least 20 hours every day to apply enough pressure to move teeth. Leaving them out for longer than 20 hours a day will not only delay your progress, but you also run the risk of creating additional treatment complications. 

In extreme cases, you may even need new aligners to fix the issue. If you lose or break an aligner, you will run into similar problems. 

Treatment Responsibilities: Braces

With braces, you never have to worry about losing aligners or keeping track of how long you wear them. You simply follow the upkeep instructions outlined in the section above and visit your orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks for a check-up and wire adjustment. 

These regular appointments often take less than 15 minutes and establish a time for you to ask any questions and ensure your treatment is on track. 

As an added convenience for those in the Los Angeles area, BHO has four offices across LA, allowing patients to choose the location that best suits their needs. Our locations include:

Have More Questions We Didn’t Cover in Our Guide?
BHO Has the Answers

Invisalign and braces are the two most popular orthodontic treatments offered today. Available to most adults, both Invisalign and braces provide patients with a lifetime of better oral health, improved oral functions, and perfectly straight teeth.

“Should I Get Braces?”
When To Make the Commitment

Over the last few years, adult braces have seen a steady rise in popularity. Although some people automatically associate orthodontic work with children—especially teenagers—recent data shows that more and more adults are wearing braces now than ever before. 

The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) website notes that one-third of all orthodontic patients today are over age 18—an all-time high. Similarly, a report by Fortune Business Insight reveals that every AAO member has had a 7% increase in the number of adult patients. This trend suggests even greater demand for adult orthodontic treatment, with a projected market growth rate of 14.3%—$9.6 billion—by 2029. 

Adult braces are becoming more popular for a number of reasons. After postponing non-essential treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are beginning to resume a regular dental care schedule. In addition, the global shift to remote work has many adults seeking cosmetic dental treatments after watching themselves in countless online meetings. 

An increasing number of adult patients are embracing their braces, thanks to more widely available dental care, greater awareness of treatment options, and a general increase in orthodontist referrals from dentists. A few insurance plans even provide better coverage for adult braces and other orthodontic work

Finally, modern braces are more comfortable, attractive, and effective than earlier models. These improvements have convinced more adult patients to seek orthodontic treatment. 

If you’ve been asking yourself—“Should I get braces?”— you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll review the most popular reasons for seeking orthodontic work and outline some of the signs indicating braces may be right for you. 

“Should I Get Braces?” Why Adults Seek Orthodontic Treatment

Braces—like all other orthodontic treatments—can benefit patients of all ages. 

Braces

Alignment problems like crowding, smile gaps, crossbites, underbites, and overbites may develop at an early age, but they often cause issues throughout your life. In fact, many of these issues only grow worse with time, and can lead to lost teeth, gum problems, and impaired oral function. 

Thankfully, braces are versatile enough to improve the smiles of adults, as well as children and teens. Here are a few ways you could benefit from orthodontic work.

Cosmetic Improvements

The most obvious benefit of braces is that they can dramatically improve the look of your smile. 

Crooked teeth and misaligned bites often make people feel self-conscious about their appearance. This self-consciousness can cause feelings of embarrassment in public and heighten social anxiety. If you’ve experienced these feelings, you’re not alone. 

According to statistics from the American Dental Association: 

Getting braces will help eliminate the alignment issues that make you feel self-conscious and boost your public confidence.

Better Oral Health

A crooked smile can hurt more than just your self-confidence. It can also cause significant oral health problems over time. 

Overlapping teeth are harder to clean than straight teeth. When brushing and flossing become less effective, unhealthy amounts of oral bacteria begin to grow. 

If you have mild crowding or a slightly misaligned bite, you may not notice any adverse effects. However, if you have moderate-to-severe alignment issues, you have a higher risk of experiencing some significant problems, including:

After completing your braces treatment, your teeth will be much easier to brush and floss, which leads to better long-term oral health.

Improved Oral Functionality

Severe bite problems can also impede essential oral functions, like chewing, speaking, and even breathing. For instance, an open bite may cause someone to develop a lisp, while irregular incisor and upper anterior teeth can impede the proper pronunciation of specific sounds. 

Crooked teeth can also scrape your lips, gums, and cheeks while chewing, causing periodic pain and leading to a higher risk of choking. Severe bite problems may also cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder—a common source of chronic jaw pain. 

If you are experiencing any of the above issues, there is a good chance that braces will bring you relief.

Signs You Should Consider Braces

Now that we’ve seen the many specific benefits, we can address the larger question: “Should I get braces?”

Here at Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we have been improving smiles across Los Angeles since 

2008. During our orthodontic consultations, we help patients decide whether braces are the right treatment choice to correct their problems. 

Based on our consultations, we have noticed some patterns that indicate whether braces are an ideal option. These signs include:

If you’ve noticed any of these signs for yourself, braces are probably right for you!

Ready To Speak With an Expert About Orthodontic Options? Call One of BHO’s Four LA Locations Today!

If you’re unhappy with the look of your smile or are experiencing specific oral health issues, the answer to “Should I get braces?” should be a resounding YES! 

Whether you have slightly crooked teeth or major misalignments, braces can correct your smile and provide you with a lifetime of health benefits. Call one of BHO’s offices in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, or Downtown Los Angeles today to begin your treatment journey. 

Invisalign vs. Braces for Teenagers: Which Is Best for Your Child?

Orthodontic care has long been associated with teenagers in American culture; some may even consider getting braces to be a rite of passage. Just watch any ‘80s teen comedy and you’re bound to see more than a few characters showing off their braces! 

Today, the connection between teens and orthodontics is still strong, despite a record number of adults seeking the same smile-straightening treatments. Experts recommend that patients begin attending orthodontic appointments at age 7. By that age, orthodontists can see how permanent teeth are erupting in a child’s mouth and can pinpoint emerging alignment problems, such as:

During these early appointments, orthodontists can also perform interceptive treatments that can minimize misalignments for simpler orthodontic treatment once the patient is old enough for Invisalign or braces. While every patient is different, most receive braces between the ages of 10 and 14, depending on treatment needs and tooth eruption.

Of course, once a child is finally old enough for treatment, they face a decision: Invisalign vs. braces? For teenagers today, clear aligners from Invisalign and conventional braces are both viable treatment options. Various digital advancements and hardware improvements over the last few years now allow orthodontists to use Invisalign or braces to treat even severe problems. 

So, how do you know which treatment plan is right for your teen? Keep reading for knowledgeable answers from Beverly Hills Orthodontics’ team of experts

Invisalign vs. Braces for Teenagers: How They Differ

If your teen is about to start orthodontic care, there’s a good chance they are already debating between Invisalign and braces. 

Up until just a few years ago, Invisalign was not an option, as many teens wouldn't qualify for treatment. In the 2000s and early 2010s, orthodontists were limited to using Invisalign for correcting only mild problems, like slight crowding or minor bite issues. 

However, Invisalign has come a long way since then. Orthodontists like BHO’s own Dr. Monica Madan can now use Invisalign to treat mild, moderate, and even severe alignment issues—the same issues they use braces to correct. Therefore, the decision between Invisalign and braces is often determined by the option that works best for the patient’s lifestyle. 

Invisalign

Although Invisalign and braces can treat the same issues, they do so in very different ways. Invisalign is a clear aligner treatment. Over the course of 12 to 24 months, patients wear custom-made, completely transparent aligners that gradually move teeth into better positions. 

Generally speaking, Invisalign sets contain anywhere from 20-30 aligners, and every few weeks the patient changes to a new aligner set as treatment progresses. Invisalign aligners are:

Braces

While Invisalign shifts teeth via removable aligners, braces shift teeth with brackets and wires.  At the beginning of treatment, an orthodontist glues brackets onto your child’s teeth and connects them with a steel archwire. Over the course of 12-24 months, the orthodontist periodically tightens the wire at regular appointments. Adjusting wire pressure enables the orthodontist to move teeth in specific directions, eventually creating a perfectly aligned smile. 

Given how Invisalign and braces move teeth in such distinct ways, it’s easy to understand how they might also affect the patient’s daily routines in different ways. In our next section, we discuss these differences in greater detail.

Invisalign vs. Braces for Teenagers: Key Factors To Consider 

As we noted earlier, though both orthodontic treatments achieve the same results, the choice of whether to use Invisalign or braces will affect your child’s lifestyle and daily routine in different ways. Below, we list the most important factors to consider when deciding between the two options: food, aesthetics, and personal responsibility.

Before you and your teen visit the orthodontist, we suggest you discuss these factors together and list any questions to bring up at your consultation.

Food Limitations

Invisalign will not affect your teenager’s eating habits at all. They simply need to remove their aligners before eating, then they can eat whatever they want (though existing allergies or sensitivities remain, of course). Once the meal is finished, your teen can rinse their mouth with water and place the aligners back on their teeth. 

If your teen opts for braces, however, they will not be able to eat certain foods. Sticky foods, like licorice or gummy candy, can get stuck in the braces themselves and pull the wire out of position. Hard foods like nuts can cause similar damage. Your teen will also be unable to bite into foods like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob with brackets in place—they will need to cut such foods into smaller pieces instead. 

Fortunately, patients with braces can still eat most foods as long as they are careful not to damage their brackets and wires. 

Invisalign Food Limitations Braces Food Limitations
  • No limitations at all
  • No sticky candy
  • No hard foods
  • No biting into hard fruits and veggies

Aesthetic Differences

One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign is how little it affects patient appearance. While brackets and wires will obviously change the way your teen’s smile looks, Invisalign trays are hard to spot unless you are very close to the patient’s mouth. 

On the other hand, braces have become much more inconspicuous in recent decades. Smaller brackets and wires have made braces both more comfortable and more attractive. Many patients even find that they like the way today’s braces make their smiles pop! Of course, if your child is hesitant about changing their look so drastically, Invisalign may be the better option.

Invisalign Aesthetic Differences Braces Aesthetic Differences
  • Aligner trays will be noticeable to those standing very close to your child
  • Highly visible brackets and wires will change the look of your child’s teeth

Daily Responsibilities

All orthodontic treatments require a certain degree of personal responsibility from patients. For Invisalign patients, wearing aligners for 20-22 hours a day is the most important task. 

At any moment of the day, Invisalign patients have the power to remove their aligners to eat, drink, brush, floss, or participate in physical activities. However, it’s essential that every patient wears their aligners for at least 20-22 hours every day to keep treatment on track. When patients don’t follow this rule, it can cause major issues, including:

These strict requirements make Invisalign difficult for some teens to fit into their busy lives. 

Braces have no such requirements. In general, patients with braces don’t need to make any adjustments themselves. An orthodontist handles all wire adjustments.

Teens with braces need to brush up to 5 times a day and floss once at night. 

Patients can also use handy little interproximal brushes after eating to prevent food from getting trapped around brackets and rinse with mouthwash for extra fluoride. Floss with traditional floss every night.

Invisalign Daily Responsibilities Braces Daily Responsibilities
  • Your child must wear their aligners for at least 20-22 hours every day
  • Your child will need to brush up to 5 times a day and floss nightly

Is Your Teenager Ready for Orthodontic Treatment? Contact BHO Today to Schedule a Consultation

Invisalign and braces have both earned positions as today’s most popular orthodontic treatment options. With modern technological advances, orthodontists like BHO’s Dr. Madan can use either treatment to correct a range of mild-to-severe alignment issues. As such, choosing between Invisalign vs. braces for teenagers usually boils down to finding the approach that best matches the patient’s lifestyle. 

At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we have been correcting smiles with both Invisalign and braces since 2008. With that wealth of experience, we have learned how to tailor every treatment plan to the unique needs and preferences of each patient.  By partnering with BHO, you and your teenager can work with our team to uncover which approach will work best for your situation. Contact one of our offices in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, or Downtown Los Angeles today to get started!

Do Braces Work for Adults?

Dental braces have been part of orthodontics before the medical field was ever formally established. According to Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, archaeologists can trace the use of braces back to ancient Egypt, or around 3100 B.C. Crude metal bands and animal fibers found on the teeth of mummies suggest ancient Egyptians valued having straight teeth in the afterlife. In later centuries, other cultures used similar braces-style appliances to treat dental alignment problems in living patients. 

By the mid-19th century, orthodontics began to evolve as a professional medical field. Early orthodontists improved upon past appliances and eventually created what we know as modern braces. The system of brackets, wires, and rubber bands is the most efficient design for correcting problems like:

Today’s braces are more comfortable and efficient than past models, but they follow the same basic principles. 

Orthodontists glue brackets to a patient’s teeth and thread a stainless steel archwire in between each bracket. By periodically adjusting the archwire, orthodontists like BHO’s Dr. Monica Madan can gradually apply increasing pressure to move teeth. With each archwire adjustment, orthodontists steadily improve smile alignment until patients have perfectly straight rows of teeth.

Although braces are one of the oldest and most trusted tools in orthodontics, patients still have plenty of questions before undergoing treatment. Adult patients in particular tend to share some common concerns. For instance, many adult patients associate braces with younger people, which leads to questions like:

Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more!

Do Braces Work for Adults? In a Word, Yes!

While some people associate braces with younger people, braces serve as an effective treatment for patients of all ages. As long as an adult has healthy teeth and gums, braces are a viable solution for alignment problems on the path to a perfect smile. 

In fact, more adults are wearing braces today than ever before. According to statistics from the American Association of Orthodontists, one in every three orthodontic patients today is over age 18. That’s an all-time high number of adult patients in the field. 

Regardless of whether you are 18 or 80, braces follow the same basic principles to move teeth. With the aid of brackets, wires, and sometimes rubber bands or other appliances, orthodontists use selective pressure to correct misalignments and bite problems. This method is highly effective at all ages and can treat both simple and complex alignment cases.

Differences Between Adult Braces and Braces for Children & Teens

Now that we have established that braces do work for both adults and children, we can look at how age affects treatment specifics. 

The most significant factor influencing braces treatment involves oral anatomy. Experts recommend that patients undergo orthodontic treatment as children because the face and jawbones are still growing. Growing bones are easier to work with and therefore reduce overall treatment time. 

As an adult with fully formed bones and muscles, that means braces treatment can take a little longer to complete. Depending on your specific alignment issues, treatment can take anywhere from 18-36 months to finish. However, accelerated orthodontic measures can significantly reduce this time period. 

Beyond physical differences, adults often have different motivations for seeking out orthodontic care. Although people of all ages can benefit from the aesthetic boost and health improvements caused by braces, adults may have unique alignment problems caused by natural aging. Similar to the way our skin naturally wrinkles over time, our teeth also move as we age. For adults, this continued tooth movement can lead to:

Fortunately, braces are versatile enough to correct all of these problems and leave patients with healthier mouths and flawless smiles.

Braces Options

Orthodontic patients today can choose from a few different types of braces. Although all of these models use the same bracket + wire method to move teeth, they differ slightly when it comes to materials and bracket placement:

If you have more questions about which type of braces is the right solution for you, schedule an appointment at one of Beverly Hills Orthodontics’ four Los Angeles-area offices today!

Ready for a Perfect Smile? Contact Beverly Hills Orthodontics Today To Begin Treatment

Braces don’t just work for adults—they deliver excellent, reliable results. Whether you are 8 or 68, braces are one of the most effective ways to obtain a perfectly aligned smile. 

At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we offer braces treatments from each of our four locations, in  Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, or Downtown Los Angeles. Available to patients of all ages, braces can correct mild-to-severe alignment problems ranging from slight crowding to significant bite issues. Contact BHO today to learn how braces can benefit your smile!

Can Dentists Do Braces?

Here at Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we have been improving smiles across Los Angeles since 2008. Led by Dr. Monica Madan, our team uses the latest technology to ensure treatment is as comfortable and effective as possible. 

Depending on the specific alignment problems and patient preferences, we may use a combination of methods and appliances during treatment. For example, we frequently use Invisalign, accelerated orthodontic devices, and dental monitoring applications in our treatment plans to craft them around each individual patient’s unique needs. In our BHO toolbox, we also use one of the most tried-and-true orthodontic devices: braces.

Versatile, reliable, and available to patients of nearly all ages, braces have been used since the birth of orthodontics to eliminate alignment problems and provide patients with perfect smiles. Braces have also improved over time, as hardware advancements have made braces smaller, more comfortable, and more effective than ever before.

Although orthodontists have used braces treatments for well over a century, many misconceptions about them endure—including where to turn for treatment. In fact, some of the most frequent questions we hear from patients include, “Can dentists do braces?” and, “Why do I need to see an orthodontist for braces?”

To clear up any confusion about the roles of a dentist vs. those of an orthodontist, we have created this basic overview on braces and why you should always visit a professional orthodontic practice like BHO for any alignment work:

Can Dentists Do Braces? The Vast Majority Can’t—and You Don’t Want Them To

Broadly speaking, there are some general dentists in the U.S. that do provide their patients with orthodontic services. However, dentists are not orthodontists. In other words, general dentists have not received the education and training required to move teeth with care and precision. 

Dentistry is a large field that contains many different specialty areas. After graduating from dental school, dentists can either immediately begin practicing general dentistry or attend another two-to-four-year program to become a specialist. For example, you may have visited (or heard of) some of the following specialists:

All together, the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards currently recognizes 12 dental specialties—orthodontics being one of them. 

Orthodontists attend four additional years of schooling to learn about bite issues and how to correct them. The extra education provides orthodontists with insight into:

General dentists do not receive this kind of specialized training, which limits the efficacy of their attempts at orthodontic care.

How an Orthodontist Can Improve Your Smile

When it comes to braces, no general dentist will be able to give you the quality of care that a professional orthodontist can. Although dentists can learn how to use Invisalign or how to provide braces through informal programs, these programs don’t teach dentists what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. 

Essentially, dentists can learn to use specific programs or perform certain procedures, but they won’t understand the science behind what they’re doing. In a similar fashion, asking “Can dentists do braces?” is like asking “Can a family doctor deliver my baby?” That doctor may be able to deliver the baby, but they won’t foresee any complications coming, nor will they be able to address them effectively. 

Orthodontists, on the other hand, have the education and experience necessary to provide holistic care. At BHO, we create all of our treatment plans with each patient’s specific needs and lifestyle preferences in mind. For example, depending on what issues a patient is dealing with, we may combine some of the following elements to create the perfect care plan:

If any issues do occur, our team can quickly identify the problem and design a solution. If you showed up in a general dentist’s office with the very same problems, you would require a referral to an orthodontist, leaving you frustrated with extra appointments, lost time, and misaligned teeth. 

Your smile is important and deserves high-quality care. If you want the best results from your orthodontic treatment, you want to partner with an expert.

Ready for Braces? Call One of BHO’s Four Los Angeles-Area Offices to Begin Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is a complicated process. 

While braces offer completely safe, reliable, and effective treatment in the hands of an expert, it’s important to remember that they are still medical devices. Orthodontists like BHO’s Dr. Madan attend years of advanced education to learn how to safely treat patients with braces—dentists do not. 

Although dentists offer essential services that keep our teeth healthy and bright, they are not trained to move teeth themselves. 

If you have dental alignment issues, you want to work with an orthodontist. At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, our team of experts understands how to craft patient-specific treatment plans that utilize the latest hardware and digital tools. With these skills, we can help you obtain a perfect smile with speed and comfort. Call one of our offices today to schedule an appointment!

Can Dentists Do Invisalign?

In the early 2000s, Invisalign revolutionized orthodontic care. As the first clear aligner treatment to break into the mainstream market, Invisalign has always offered patients a comfortable and convenient way to eliminate alignment issues and achieve a great smile. 

Prior to Invisalign, orthodontists almost exclusively used conventional braces to treat alignment issues. Although braces are an excellent treatment solution for mild-to-severe alignment problems, Invisalign offers a few benefits that braces can't. 

One major advantage is that, unlike braces, Invisalign does not alter the patient’s appearance. Invisalign treatments use clear removable aligners that are custom-made to fit each patient’s unique dentition. While the brackets and wires of traditional braces can significantly alter one’s appearance, Invisalign aligners are barely noticeable to others.

In addition, Invisalign aligners can be removed at any time, day or night. It is important that Invisalign patients wear their aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day, but the aligners can be removed for brushing, flossing, eating, drinking, and physical activity. Because the aligners are so easy to take out and replace, Invisalign patients benefit from:

Ever since Invisalign hit the market, millions of patients have experienced these benefits firsthand after starting treatment. Today, Invisalign is still the largest producer of clear aligners in the world, beating out competitors like SmileDirectClub or Byte.

Invisalign is so popular that even some dentists are excited to offer it, which raises the question: “Can dentists do Invisalign?”

If you’re asking yourself the same question, keep reading to learn the answer.

So, Can Dentists Do Invisalign? 

The quick answer to the question, “can dentists do Invisalign?” is yes. General dentists can become Invisalign providers as long as they take a basic course from Invisalign. However, compared to an orthodontist’s specialized training—over seven years in total—dentists are significantly limited in what they can accomplish with Invisalign.

General dentistry provides patients with essential oral care. For example, a general dentist can clean your teeth and gums, diagnose health problems, and treat basic tooth and gum issues. However, Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment.

As a field, orthodontics is focused on eliminating tooth alignment problems to give their patients perfectly straight smiles. Straight smiles are not only conventionally attractive, but they also function better than misaligned smiles and offer a number of health benefits

Of course, like any other specialty, orthodontics is an extremely complicated field. Professional orthodontists like BHO’s own Dr. Monica Madan undergo years of extra study. General dentistry does not have the same kind of extensive education requirements. Only the top one or two graduating dental students are offered spots in orthodontic residencies each year. A residency adds three years of training after the standard four years of undergraduate dental school.

Although Invisalign does offer dentists a basic overview of how to use their system, the training revolves around how to use Invisalign: NOT how to straighten teeth. In other words, a dentist can perform basic Invisalign duties, including:

Because they have not received the training necessary to align teeth, however, a dentist’s abilities do not go beyond the basics with Invisalign.

Advantages of Visiting an Orthodontist for Invisalign Treatment

As we have already mentioned, orthodontists undergo years of extra study to learn how to treat misaligned teeth. Today, Invisalign is just another one of the many tools orthodontists use to treat alignment problems. 

Years of experience and on-the-job training gives orthodontists the specialized expertise that allows them to use Invisalign—one tool among many—to treat complicated issues. Here at Beverly Hills Orthodontics, founder Dr. Monica Madan and the BHO team use Invisalign to correct problems like:

Unlike general dentists, orthodontists like Dr. Madan have the specialized education and training necessary to use Invisalign in advanced capacities. Not only do orthodontists treat more complicated cases than dentists, but they also have been trained to craft sophisticated treatment plans to match a patient's needs and preferences. Invisalign treatments from BHO can include:

If you want the best results from Invisalign, an orthodontist is the right provider for you. 

You Should Visit an Orthodontist for Invisalign Treatment if You…
  • Want straight teeth
  • Want an expert to monitor your treatment progress and ensure your teeth are moving properly
  • Want to work with a specialist that can create a proper, customized plan designed to meet your specific needs

Interested in Invisalign Treatment? Schedule an Appointment at Beverly Hills Orthodontics Today!

For top-of-the-line Invisalign treatment, you should visit a professional orthodontist. While dentists can do Invisalign, their services are very limited compared to an orthodontist’s. Dentists are simply Invisalign providers, meaning that they can perform scans, order trays, and perform periodic check-ups. However, they do not have the expertise required to identify moderate-to-severe alignment problems or to strategize treatment for them. 

As a top 1% Diamond Plus Provider with a premier orthodontic practice on the West Coast, Dr. Madan and the Beverly Hills Orthodontics team have been creating Invisalign plans for over 10 years. Choosing BHO instead of a general dentist for Invisalign treatment allows you to benefit from years of specialized education and experience that only an orthodontist can provide. You’ll also receive higher quality care, broader treatment possibilities, and a keen eye for any changes in your treatment progress. Contact one of BHO’s locations in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, or Downtown Los Angeles to learn if Invisalign is right for you!

Invisalign vs. Braces: Pros and Cons To Match Orthodontic Treatments to Your Lifestyle

Orthodontic treatment has always been the ticket to a perfect smile. From correcting minor issues like mild crowding and single tooth misalignment to eliminating severe bite problems, countless people have improved their health, appearance, and self-confidence with the help of orthodontics. 

For the last 14 years, the team here at Beverly Hills Orthodontics has treated a lot of patients throughout the Los Angeles area. From our locations in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, and Downtown Los Angeles, the BHO team has been providing the greater Los Angeles area with top-notch orthodontic care since 2008.

We have consistently emphasized the importance of tailoring treatment plans to each patient’s preferences and lifestyle—then and now. As fellow LA residents, we know how hectic life can get around here, which is why we design orthodontic treatments to work around your schedule. A personalized treatment plan is especially important when discussing Invisalign vs. braces. 

During consultations, patients nearly always ask us how to choose between Invisalign and braces. As the two most popular orthodontic options today, the majority of our patients already understand how braces and Invisalign work, they just don’t know which option is right for them.

Truthfully, it’s impossible to say that one treatment is better than the other. Both options deliver great results and have their own strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing to consider is which option will work best for your lifestyle. 

If you’re considering orthodontic work, these “Invisalign vs. Braces: Pros and Cons” should help you determine which treatment is right for you:

Invisalign vs. Braces Pros and Cons

Invisalign vs. Braces: Visibility Levels

Aesthetics is a primary concern for many of our patients. After all, if you’re going to be wearing orthodontic appliances for 6 to 24 months, you’ll want to know how they will change your appearance. 

One of Invisalign’s biggest advantages is its inconspicuous look. Invisalign clear aligners are completely transparent: once patients put them in place, it’s difficult for others to tell they’re even there. If you want your appearance to remain relatively unchanged throughout treatment, Invisalign is likely the right choice for you. 

Compared to Invisalign, braces are much more obvious because they use wires and brackets to realign your smile. Although modern wires and brackets are smaller and more comfortable than those of the past, they won’t go unnoticed by others. Thankfully, many patients don’t mind the look of braces—some even take to social media to show them off! #smilegoals #loveyoursmile

For those who are less enthusiastic about the look of braces, ceramic and lingual braces provide a more discreet alternative to conventional metal wires and brackets. 

Invisalign Visibility Braces Visibility
Pros: Discreet, clear aligners provide a natural look during treatment. Modern braces are smaller and more attractive than those of the past, plus there are clear braces. 
Cons: With Anterior Attachments, trays become slightly less visible. Braces are still highly visible to others.

Invisalign vs. Braces: Personal Responsibility

Both Invisalign and braces require a certain amount of personal diligence to see results. However, these responsibilities differ greatly from one treatment option to the other. 

Invisalign patients need to wear aligners for 20-22 hours a day to achieve desired results. In general, patients should only remove them for eating, drinking, brushing, flossing, and physical activity. Aside from those instances, patients should always wear their aligners, or they risk losing progress. In certain cases, patients may need new trays or require additional procedures to put their treatment back on track.

Braces don’t require the same level of conscious daily commitment. By and large, patients with braces simply need to brush and floss 5 times a day —and avoid foods that could damage brackets/wires (e.g., hard or sticky foods, popcorn, etc.). Beyond that, the most important personal responsibility for patients with braces is to attend regular orthodontist appointments.

Invisalign Personal Responsibility Braces Personal Responsibility
Pros: Removable aligners make oral care easy and erase dietary restrictions. Braces are stuck on your teeth and can’t be removed.
Cons: Patients need to wear their aligners for around 20-22 hours a day to stay on plan and keep teeth moving. You need to brush your teeth 5x a day and floss at night, there is a significant amount of food you can’t eat, you have to maintain good oral hygiene, and brackets may break. 

Invisalign vs. Braces: Tooth Pressure and Discomfort

Invisalign and braces correct dental alignment problems by strategically exerting pressure on teeth. As such, patients of both will feel mild discomfort throughout their treatments. 

New Invisalign trays will cause a bit of discomfort for a few days. The discomfort is easily manageable and less acute than the pressure of braces, but it does last a bit longer and will return each time you progress to the next set of aligners—every 7 to 14 days. Moreover, every time you replace your aligner after removing it, you’ll feel the pressure resume. 

Braces can be uncomfortable in the immediate aftermath of a tightening appointment. Although the pressure isn’t painful, it is more uncomfortable than the pressure from Invisalign aligners. After a day or two, the pressure is usually gone until the next appointment. 

It’s also important to note that the brackets on braces can cause cheek, gum, and lip irritation. Because Invisalign trays are smoother than braces, they cause less overall discomfort.

Invisalign Tooth Pressure and Discomfort Braces Tooth Pressure and Discomfort
Pros: Invisalign’s smooth, clear aligners typically don't cause skin irritation. Tooth pressure from braces subsides more quickly than from Invisalign.
Cons: Can remove aligners when you feel discomfort which leads to lack of tooth movement.  Braces exert more powerful pressure than Invisalign, and the brackets may irritate patients’ cheeks, gums, and lips.

Have More Questions about Orthodontic Treatment? BHO Has Answers

Invisalign and braces are today’s most popular orthodontic treatments for a reason—they both work extremely well! Although they differ in terms of alignment methods, daily upkeep needs, and visibility, Invisalign and braces are both capable of correcting the vast majority of alignment problems. 

When seeking orthodontic treatment, it’s important to work with a practice that prioritizes your comfort and preferences. At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, founder Dr. Monica Madan emphasizes the value of the patient experience and crafts treatment plans that perfectly fit the unique needs of each individual. If you’re ready to begin your orthodontic journey, call Beverly Hills Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation and discover which treatment is right for you!

Invisalign Pros and Cons for Older Adults

While proper oral care is important for people of all ages, it is especially important to maintain a healthy smile in our later years. Though problems like dental crowding and overbites affect people of every age, adults over 60 are particularly susceptible to oral health problems

As we age, our bodies go through changes. Our bones gradually become smaller and weaker, our muscles naturally lose strength and flexibility, and our gums tend to recede, pulling back from our teeth. All of these factors can have a negative impact on our oral health as well as how our smiles look and function. 

For example, gum recession and more porous bones can cause mildly crooked teeth to shift even further with time. If you are someone who has had crooked teeth their whole life, you may have noticed this trend in your own smile. If you have a crossbite or other bite issue, you may also have seen it growing worse with age. 

Poor tooth alignment isn’t merely a cosmetic issue. Severe alignment issues can create a number of health problems, including:

At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we want all of our patients to be as healthy as possible and love the way they look. That’s why we offer a range of orthodontic treatments for older adult patients—including Invisalign

Chances are that you’ve been hearing about Invisalign for years. As the world’s #1 clear aligner program, millions of people have benefited from Invisalign’s comfortable and convenient treatment approach.

If you have been considering Invisalign for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we explore all the different Invisalign pros and cons for older adults (over 55) to help non-traditional patients make the best decision for their health.

Invisalign Pros and Cons for Older Adults: The Advantages of Clear Aligner Treatment

First, it’s important to note that Invisalign is just as effective for mature adults as it is for young people and teens. More than 13.4 million people across the globe have used Invisalign to improve their smiles, with no exceptions for age. In fact, Invisalign—like other orthodontic treatments—offers some excellent benefits for gum and bone health.

Orthodontic care provides patients with numerous health benefits. Both Invisalign and braces strengthen your jaw bone and improve gum health. As with every other bone, your jawbone also weakens over time and your gums tend to recede. Orthodontic work stimulates the jaw and makes brushing/flossing more effective, helping older patients maintain healthier teeth.

Invisalign in particular is an excellent choice for health-conscious orthodontic patients. Invisalign aligners are completely removable, which means that patients can take them out whenever they need to brush or floss. While oral care is possible with braces, it is more time-consuming and difficult to perform, especially if you suffer from poor eyesight or arthritis—both common “features” as we age. 

Beyond the health benefits, Invisalign offers many other advantages as well. Invisalign treatments require minimal visits to an orthodontist’s office, whereas braces need to be adjusted periodically. Invisalign treatment sets contain approximately 20 aligners. Patients wear one set of aligners for a week or two before moving on to the next pair, so treatment doesn't require additional orthodontic appointments or other supervision. 

Because Invisalign aligners are completely clear, easily removable, and custom-made to fit patients’ mouths, treatment is:

See the chart below for a quick summary of Invisalign’s benefits:

Invisalign Advantages for Older Adults
  • Improves jawbone strength
  • Leads to healthier gums
  • Fewer visits to the orthodontist vs. braces
  • Carries no dietary restrictions
  • Discreet appearance
  • Comfortable fit

Invisalign Pros and Cons for Older Adults: Disadvantages of Clear Aligner Treatment

Although there is a lot to love about Invisalign, it isn’t perfect for everyone. 

For ideal results, patients must wear their Invisalign aligners for around 22 hours every day. This offers enough time to remove aligners for meals, oral care, and physical activity, but not much time beyond that. If you think you may be tempted to leave your aligners out for longer than that (or misplace them), braces may be a better option for you.

Braces are also better suited for correcting severe alignment problems. Although BHO’s founder, Dr. Monica Madan, does create hybrid treatment plans to correct severe issues with Invisalign and additional appliances/procedures, braces offer a simpler treatment route. 

Invisalign Disadvantages for Older Adults
  • Patients must be disciplined enough to wear aligners 22 hours each day.
  • Invisalign is less effective than braces for correcting severe issues.

Have More Questions About Invisalign? Call Beverly Hills Orthodontics Today

If you’re an adult over 55 and ready to improve your smile, Invisalign could be the perfect fit for you. Convenient, attractive, and comfortable, Invisalign is an easy way to improve the look of your smile and boost your overall oral health. 

Of course, Invisalign isn’t ideal for everyone. To meet the needs of all our patients, Beverly Hills Orthodontics offers traditional braces along with Invisalign services. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our team members, schedule an appointment at one of BHO’s four locations in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, or Downtown Los Angeles today!