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When people think of orthodontic treatment, they probably conjure up an image of a teen or pre-teen with a mouth full of metal. But what happens to that teen when the braces are removed?

“Every day in our office is fun, but the day a patient gets his or her braces removed is always an exceptional day,” says orthodontist Dr. Michael Stosich. “For many patients, braces have come at an already awkward and uncomfortable time. They may have avoided smiling before, because they were embarrassed by crooked, crowded or oddly spaced teeth. But after treatment, they can’t stop smiling, and neither can we.”

Orthodontics doesn’t just transform smiles, it can transform lives. Below is just one of the many smile stories Dr. Stosich and his team have received after providing braces treatment.

Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
Someone told me recently that crooked teeth can be inherited from their parents. Is that true? If my parents had braces as a teenager, does that mean I’ll need them, too?
Sincerely,
Kelly M.

Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Kelly,
It’s true, in some cases, crooked teeth are a genetic trait. Just as you inherited your brown eyes or blonde hair from your mom or dad, you can also inherit an imperfect smile. But, that doesn’t mean just because one or both of your parents had braces that you will need them, too. It does mean, though that you should be seeing an orthodontist regularly to monitor the growth of your jaw and how your permanent teeth are erupting.

Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
We think our teenage daughter needs braces, but are worried about the cost. Will it harm her mouth if we wait a while for orthodontic treatment?
Sincerely,
Sam W.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Sam,
The simple answer to your question is yes – it could in fact hurt your daughter if you wait too long for orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign treatment what to look for
Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
I love the idea of Invisalign. I’m not in your area, and am unsure how I can find the right provider for me. What is your advice on how to find a skilled Invisalign provider?
Sincerely,
Martha P.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Martha,
That’s a great question. Finding the provider that is right for you takes some research and effort. You can start by going to the Invisalign website and searching on their site for Invisalign providers in your area. You can see providers with different statuses, such as Elite or Premier. These refer to how often the provider uses Invisalign as a treatment option.

Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
I love the idea of Invisalign. But I have a pretty severe overbite, and I’ve read that Invisalign probably won’t work for me. Why not?
Kelly T.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Kelly,
When Invisalign first came on the market, it was limited in the types of malocclusions it could correct. It provided great results, but was only really used for mild orthodontic issues.

But there is good news. In the hands of the right orthodontist, Invisalign aligners can treat a host of malocclusions.

invisalign teen
Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
My son needs braces for a mild crowding issue. His dentist thinks that Invisalign Teen is the right way to go. It sounds great, but honestly, I’m not sure my teenager is responsible enough to use it properly. What is your advice?
Sincerely,
Paula H.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Paula,
Invisalign Teen is a great treatment option for many teens. We all know that teens can be self-conscious, and they already may be embarrassed by their smile. Invisalign allows them to straighten their smile invisible, without drawing more attention to their problem. Another great advantage of Invisalign is that it is removable. And for many, especially busy and forgetful teens, that can also be one of its biggest drawbacks.

Invisalign aligners
Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
I’m considering Invisalign to perfect my smile. I have a friend in Invisalign treatment, and she was talking to me about the buttons her orthodontist is using. I thought Invisalign was just a series of aligners, similar to retainers, and made straightening your teeth easy and almost unnoticeable. What are these buttons?
Sincerely,
Pat R.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Pat,
Invisalign is a wonderful treatment option for most patients. Simply pop your aligner in, wear it for 22 hours a day, taking it out to brush, floss and eat. Then, as prescribed by your orthodontist move on to a new set of aligners until your teeth are beautifully straight. Seems easy, right? And it is, in a perfect world. But as we all know, we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes treatment is more intensive than that.

Stephen, the patient

Dear Dr. S.,
My son’s orthodontist says that it appears that his mouth is simply too small for his permanent teeth, which is why the orthodontist is recommending we remove some a couple permanent teeth to make room for braces to help the remaining teeth find the right location. Removing permanent teeth sounds like a big step to me. What should we do?

Sincerely,
Joe R.

Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Joe,
A common reason why teeth get crowded in a patient’s mouth is in fact a jaw that is too small. While in many cases, braces alone are enough to correct a malocclusion, in a patient with severe crowding, and in whom the jaw has stopped growing, removal of one or more permanent teeth might be a way to correct the issue.