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Factors that Affect Orthodontic Treatment Time

By Orthodontics

Did you or your child just get braces or Invisalign? If you’re like the rest of the patients at our Tulsa and Claremore orthodontist office, the first thing you’re probably wondering is how long your treatment will take. While there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all answer, there are a number of things that can affect the length of your orthodontic treatment.

At The Brace Place, we know adjusting to life with braces can take time — but don’t wish it away. Instead, look at your treatment time as a journey towards the smile of your dreams. That said, there are certain things you can do to keep your orthodontic treatment on track. While it won’t necessarily mean you’ll get your braces off faster, it will at least minimize delays.

The length of your orthodontic treatment comes down to a few factors. Some depend on you — like how well you care for your teeth and whether you listen to your doctor’s advice or not. Others, like how complicated your case is, are out of your control. To get a better idea of how long your braces or Invisalign treatment will take, here’s a list of common factors that contribute to treatment time.

1. Your Oral Hygiene Practices

As you already know, the health of your teeth depends on how well you take care of them. Same goes for braces or Invisalign. The more diligent you are about brushing and flossing, the fewer delays you’ll have throughout your orthodontic treatment. So in many ways, practicing good oral hygiene will actually help you get your braces off faster!

If you have braces, you should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, but ideally after every meal so you don’t have pesky food particles hiding behind your brackets and wires all day. The same rules apply if you have Invisalign. Brushing your teeth after you eat will help keep your aligners (and teeth!) stain-free.

2. How Well You Adhere to Your Doctor’s Instructions

Believe it or not, there’s a method to your orthodontist’s madness. When Dr. Patel tells you not to eat crunchy foods or play sports without a mouthguard, it’s not because he doesn’t want you to have any fun — it’s because he wants your braces treatment to go as smoothly as possible. Listening to your doctor and following his or her instructions will mean less time in the orthodontist chair and more time enjoying your life. So do what your orthodontist says and your treatment will be over before you know it.

3. Avoiding Damage to Your Braces

Speaking of crunchy foods and mouthguards, any damage to your braces can cause setbacks in your orthodontic treatment. For people with braces, that means avoiding crunchy, sticky or chewy foods, and any foods you have to bite into (like apples or raw carrots), and wearing a mouthguard for any contact sports. For those with Invisalign, this means taking care of your aligners and only washing them in lukewarm water, since hot water can warp the plastic.

4. Losing Your Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign wearers, this one’s for you. We get it: things happen and at some point during your Invisalign treatment, you might end up misplacing your aligners. Our first word of advice is not to panic. Just call your orthodontist and he’ll be able to suggest the best course of action. This may mean going back to your previous set of aligners or skipping ahead to your next set, depending on your unique situation. Disrupting your Invisalign plan can definitely slow down your progress, though, so be careful and always put your aligners safely in their case when you’re not wearing them!

5. Your Current Smile

This is easily the biggest contributing factor to how long your braces or Invisalign treatment will take. Your treatment plan is based on your original smile and is 100% tailored to your specific needs. Some people are working to correct an over- or underbite, while others are treating issues like crooked or crowded teeth. Determining the length of your treatment comes down to how far your teeth need to move to reach their optimal position. Severely misaligned bites typically take longer to correct than minor issues, like a few crooked teeth. It all depends on your current smile — basically, the less complicated your condition, the shorter your treatment will be.

We know you’re excited to see your new smile without your braces or Invisalign in the way. To keep your treatment moving forward without delay, make sure to practice proper oral hygiene, listen to your orthodontist’s instructions and, most importantly, be patient. That way, when the day comes to remove your braces or put away your aligners for good, you’ll be able to think back on your treatment experience with a smile.


Answers to the Questions We Hear Most Often from Our Claremore & Tulsa Invisalign Patients

By Orthodontics

The decision to get braces isn’t always easy. Even though braces are incredibly common, they can still make wearers feel self-conscious about their appearance and interrupt their lives. It’s important to us at The Brace Place to provide our patients with options so they can make the best decision for their teeth and lifestyle. Fortunately, there’s an effective alternative to traditional braces, free from uncomfortable metal and wires.

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment used to achieve the same results as braces — but instead of using fixed brackets and elastics, Invisalign uses removable plastic aligners to gradually straighten your teeth. As a provider of affordable braces in Tulsa and Claremore, Dr. Anand Patel at The Brace Place is also an expert in Invisalign. Curious if Invisalign is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know to make the choice between braces and Invisalign. Read More

straight teeth matters

Why Having Straight Teeth Matters

By Orthodontics

When someone flashes you a dazzling, straight smile, it’s hard not to appreciate it. After all, we’re a pretty smile-obsessed culture. A person with a nice set of pearly whites just seems healthier, happier and more vibrant. While most of us probably wouldn’t mind giving that impression to others, beyond looking fantastic, does having straight teeth matter? The answer is, yes. In fact, there are proven social, emotional and health benefits of straight teeth. As a Claremore and Tulsa orthodontist, I strive to create results that are equally as functional as they are beautiful so that you look and feel your absolute best when you finish treatment. Here are a few of the important positive effects of braces and Invisalign: Read More


Choosing the Right Orthodontist: Questions to Ask at Your Consultation

By Orthodontics

Once you decide you’re ready to straighten your teeth and get a smile you love, your next step is choosing an orthodontist. While braces or Invisalign are both amazing tools, they require a lot of behind-the-scenes planning and know-how from a certified specialist in orthodontics to give you the amazing results you’re looking for. In addition to wanting to have the best possible outcome, it’s also important that the treatments offered work for your lifestyle and needs. That’s why you’ll want to ensure the orthodontist you choose is a great fit for you. The best way to determine that is to ask questions. Any orthodontist will be more than happy to answer them. If you’re unsure of where to start and asking yourself, “What should I ask my orthodontist?,” we’ve got you covered. The following questions are a great starting point when choosing an orthodontic practice: Read More


What are the Benefits of Invisalign® Teen?

By Orthodontics

The New York Times recently reported about a huge uptick in younger patients being treated with clear aligners instead of braces. In fact, the makers of Invisalign Teen said sales of the treatment went from 100,000 to 235,000 from 2013 to 2017. It’s something we’ve seen firsthand at The Brace Place too. More of our patients are opting for Invisalign Teen and traditional metal braces are no longer an automatic middle school or high school rite of passage. Though today’s braces are more streamlined and attractive and are still an amazing option, there is a lot to be said for clear aligner treatment. Here are some of the benefits that our Claremore and Tulsa Invisalign Teen patients love: Read More


Do Braces Hurt?

By Orthodontics
Patients often ask do braces hurt? Or, does Invisalign hurt? The good news is, once you get acclimated to your appliance, you won’t experience any Invisalign or braces pain. In fact, you’ll probably forget you’re even in the midst of orthodontic treatment. However, you will have some discomfort when you first get your braces put on or start wearing your aligners, as well as after adjustments or switching to a new Invisalign tray. Thankfully, sensitivity is mild and easily managed. Here is what you need to know about the temporary discomfort, as well as the tips we give our Tulsa and Claremore braces and Invisalign patients to alleviate it. Read More


7 Myths About Getting Braces as an Adult

By Orthodontics

Perhaps you never had braces when you were a teenager or maybe you did and you forgot to wear your retainer regularly and your teeth have since moved. There are a variety of reasons adults seek out orthodontic treatment and, if it’s something you’re considering, you’re not alone! The American Association of Orthodontists estimates that about 27% of all orthodontic patients in the United States and Canada are 18-years-old or above. That holds true at our practice as well, since approximately 30% of our Claremore and Tulsa braces and Invisalign patients are adults and that number is growing. In fact, our oldest patient at The Brace Place was 78! In spite of the increasing amount of grown-ups in the orthodontist’s chair, there are still plenty of myths abound about wearing Invisalign or getting braces as an adult. Here are seven common ones that we’re countering with facts.

  1. I’m too old for braces or Invisalign and treatment won’t be that effective.

Am I too old for braces? It’s a question Dr. Patel hears frequently and the answer is, absolutely not! There is no age limit on having a healthy, confident smile. As we’ll discuss shortly, there are so many benefits of adult orthodontic treatment. Dr. Patel has the training and experience to get you amazing results at any age. The fact of the matter is that the forces from braces or Invisalign guide the teeth into place in the same way, whether you’re 16 or 60. Of course, there are advantages to undergoing treatment while the jaw is still growing and developing. However, even in the case of a skeletal issue, there are ways to correct the problem in older patients. Treatment can address an array of cases, including crowded teeth, crooked teeth, spacing or gaps, a relapse after past orthodontic treatment, overbites, buck teeth and deep bites.  

Another important thing to remember is that a big part of any treatment’s success is compliance. Our adult patients are typically responsible and invested in their own treatment, so they follow Dr. Patel’s instructions and wear the aligners, things like rubber bands or post-treatment retainers according to schedule and this improves their outcomes.

  1. Getting braces as an adult will mean being in treatment for years.

Orthodontics is continually evolving and progressing as a field. Dr. Patel uses the latest techniques, appliances and technology to straighten teeth more quickly than ever before. Both braces and Invisalign have seen plenty of engineering and materials upgrades and they apply a small amount of force over time instead of a strong force in a short period like they used to. This has actually been shown to shift the teeth into place faster and with significantly less discomfort. Thanks to innovations like digital x-rays and our iTero® digital scanner, which allows for digital, 3D treatment planning, Dr. Patel has more visual information and is able to plan your treatment from every angle. The precision is unparalleled and your treatment is more efficient, meaning you spend less time in braces or Invisalign.

  1.   I’ll have to wear metal braces.

At The Brace Place, we make sure we have plenty of orthodontic options for adults – and kids and teens – to ensure you feel completely comfortable with your choice in treatment. You’ll be happy to know that adults tend to be great candidates for esthetic treatments like clear braces and Invisalign. Clear braces work the same way as traditional braces except they’re made from a composite material that blends in with your smile, so they’re less noticeable. In the past, you had to worry about staining and breakage but the type of clear braces we use reduces staining and is extremely durable. Invisalign involves a series of clear, removable, plastic aligners that are virtually invisible and are meant to fit your busy lifestyle. Yet, even if you do decide you want metal braces, they’re so much smaller and more streamlined than they used to be. You won’t get the stereotypical “metal mouth” look with modern braces.

  1.   Adult orthodontic treatment is inconvenient.

The Brace Place is a high-tech office and we have digital systems in place, as well as advanced diagnostic equipment and treatment options. As we noted, we can straighten your teeth more quickly and comfortably. However, this also means you’ll have fewer appointments and the visits you do have will be a breeze. We’re committed to making wearing Invisalign or getting braces as an adult, child or teen a convenient, enjoyable experience. We’re always willing to work with you to ensure the teeth-straightening process fits your schedule.

  1. Having straight teeth is purely cosmetic so treatment isn’t worth the investment.

Yes, wearing Invisalign or getting braces as an adult will make your smile look fantastic and can even take years off your appearance. Yet, there are a host of other benefits of braces for adults that go way beyond the cosmetic perks. Straight teeth are easier to clean, which boosts your oral hygiene and reduces your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Since gum disease is tied to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as premature labor in women, there is a definite oral health and overall health connection. Additionally, by improving the function of your teeth and jaws, orthodontic treatment can also:

  • Help you breathe, speak and chew properly
  • Reduce abnormal wear of teeth
  • Make protruding teeth less susceptible to injury
  • Balance bite forces to alleviate headaches and pain in the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ
  • Create space for dental implants in cases of missing teeth
  • Enhance your self-esteem and confidence!
  1.   Braces and Invisalign for adults are extremely expensive.

We’re on a mission at The Brace Place to make orthodontic treatment affordable for our patients. We accept most PPO insurances, which can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs. We also don’t do the traditional large down payment model that other practices have. Instead, we’ll create a personalized financial plan with you before you start treatment. We have in-office, no-interest financing with choices like no down payment or a low down payment, as well as options for low monthly payments to spread out the cost of your treatment. You can get your dream smile in a way that works for your budget without having any interest hanging over your head.

  1.   Dental insurance won’t cover adults or esthetic options like Invisalign or clear braces.

Traditionally, insurance covered people 18-years-old and under for orthodontics, however, plans have evolved and there is dental insurance that covers braces for adults. It’s a good idea to chat with your employer about what your options are. If you have dental insurance that covers braces for adults, that typically means it covers all braces and not just metal ones. So chances are esthetic options, including Invisalign, will be covered like traditional braces would be. Just because a treatment is more discreet, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t address your functional needs as well. At your free consultation, we’ll be able to estimate your insurance coverage. If you have it, we’ll even file claims on your behalf once treatment starts.

If you’re considering trying Invisalign or getting braces as an adult, schedule a free consultation with our Claremore and Tulsa orthodontist, Dr. Patel. He can help you decide on the treatment option that will bring out the best in your smile!


Braces-Friendly Food in Tulsa & Claremore, Oklahoma

By Orthodontics

So you’re thinking about straightening your teeth or, perhaps, your smile journey is already underway. Whichever path you’re on, if you’re like most of our patients, you probably have questions about braces and food. The good news is you can still eat the vast majority of your favorite foods while you’re in orthodontic treatment and you won’t have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. To help give you a better idea of what’s still on the menu, we’re covering what to eat with braces and the foods to avoid, as well as sharing The Brace Place team’s favorite spots for braces-friendly food in Tulsa and Claremore, OK. Read More

Get to Know Our Tulsa Orthodontist: A Q&A with Dr. Anand Patel

By Orthodontics

At The Brace Place, our Claremore and Tulsa orthodontist Dr. Patel gives patients fantastically straight teeth and healthy bites. Beyond the practice, he’s also a dad, Guns N’ Roses fan and hamburger aficionado. Who knew the doctor behind The Brace Place was rocking out to metal? To help you get to know Dr. Patel a little better and see what other fun facts we could uncover about him, we decided to put together some questions for him. Here’s our Q&A with Tulsa orthodontist Dr. Patel: Read More


How We Make Our Claremore and Tulsa Invisalign® and Braces Affordable for Everyone!

By Orthodontics

After having braces as a teenager, my self-esteem skyrocketed and I know firsthand how loving the way your teeth look can change your life for the better. Everyone deserves to have the same opportunity to transform their smile into a lifetime of confidence. In fact, that’s part of our mission statement! So, when I opened the Brace Place, my goal was to make orthodontic treatment accessible, allowing more people to experience its benefits. One way we do that is by ensuring that getting the care you need is convenient. We invest in the latest technology and treatments, offer flexible scheduling and keep wait times to a minimum so that the process of straightening your teeth doesn’t interfere with your day-to-day life. Even more importantly, we work hard to make our Claremore and Tulsa Invisalign® and braces affordable for any budget. Here’s how:
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