Braces Specialist

Iris Erdell, DDS, MS Orthodontist

Orthodontist located in Walnut Creek, CA

If you like the idea of having perfect teeth but the thought of wearing braces makes you nervous, you can put your worries to rest — ongoing innovations and advancements in orthodontics have made getting and wearing braces easier and more comfortable than ever! Iris Erdell, DDS, MS Orthodontist in Walnut Creek, California offers a complete range of braces for patients of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. To learn more about the benefits of braces, call or book your appointment online today.

Braces Q & A

Iris Erdell, DDS, MS Orthodontist

What are braces?

Braces are orthodontic appliances that apply controlled force to your teeth to change their position. They consist of two main parts: small brackets and adjustable archwires.

The small metal or ceramic brackets are attached, or bonded, to your teeth, and the archwires pass through the slots in the brackets. The archwires are adjusted and re-adjusted throughout the treatment process to incrementally move your teeth.

For some patients, rubber bands that hook to the brackets are also a necessary part of treatment. These rubber bands fine tune the bite and make all teeth touch evenly. This is important because a good bite and straight teeth will ensure proper function and dental health.

What is the ideal age for braces?

Although patients of all ages can benefit from braces, the treatment often is associated with older children and adolescents. Having braces at an earlier age in life is considered ideal largely because braces work faster on children’s growing jawbones.

For children, beginning treatment with braces typically occurs sometime between seven and 14 years of age. The ideal age for orthodontic treatment depends on the patient’s bite issues, the severity of these issues and dental development. However, it is never too late to get braces — Dr. Edell has successfully treated countless adults, many of whom did not have an opportunity to get braces earlier in life.

The length of treatment with braces varies depending on the severity of your alignment issues, the current position of your teeth, and how quickly your teeth and jaw respond to the applied, controlled force of the braces.

Are there different types of braces?

Dr. Erdell uses American Orthodontics brand braces, made in the United States. She offers traditional metal braces, which are made of stainless steel, as well as clear braces, which are designed to blend in with the natural color of your teeth.

Today’s braces are much more aesthetically pleasing. Old-school metal braces were far more noticeable than today’s metal braces, which are much smaller. In addition, modern metal braces have heat-activated archwires that use your body heat to help move teeth more quickly and comfortably than in the past.

Clear or ceramic braces are made out of a clear, sapphire-like material and are even less noticeable, because they blend in very nicely.

No matter which type you choose, braces are an efficient and effective way to reposition crooked teeth, correct bite alignment, and get the smile you’ve always wanted.