Orthodontics: Frequently Asked Questions - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Orthodontics: Frequently Asked Questions


At Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics Erie, we strive to empower our patients with the ability to make informed decisions about their dental health through education and discussion. To help you decide which orthodontic treatment option can best help you achieve straight teeth and a beautiful smile, Dr. T.C. Hardy has compiled some frequently asked questions about your orthodontic treatment options.


What Type of Braces Do You Offer?

  • Short-Term
  • Clear brackets with “Clarity Advance APC” 
  • Invisalign®
  • Lingual (Incognito)

What is the difference between Clear Braces and Traditional Metal Braces?
As opposed to traditional braces, which have a metal bracket, clear braces use ceramic brackets that are made to match the color of your teeth. Clear braces coupled with color bands stand out like no other option on the market today. Because ceramic brackets are white already, when you add the color bands they really add some pizzazz to your smile. Wearing braces should be fun! Clear braces make it fun! Learn about all your design options from our friendly staff at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics.


What is the cost of Invisalign®?
Invisalign® costs are often very similar to the price of traditional wire braces. However, depending on the condition of your teeth, the length of the treatment and the number of aligners required, the price will vary.
Will other people be able to see my Invisalign® aligners?
The Invisalign® aligners are made of clear plastic and are designed to be virtually undetectable, allowing you to correct your orthodontic issues in a discreet manner. In order to get the best result possible, most patients will require small, tooth colored bumps called attachments on several of their teeth. With tooth colored materials, they are practically invisible as well.
How does Invisalign® straighten teeth?
As you progress through the Invisalign® treatment, your teeth will be gently and gradually moved into their ideal position. By utilizing a series of these custom-fit aligners, you will begin to see the position of your teeth shift. Over the course of treatment, the trays are slightly adjusted, bringing you closer to that straight, beautiful smile.

Can I remove my Invisalign® aligners during the treatment process?
The Invisalign® aligners are designed to be removable, allowing you to eat, drink, and clean your teeth with ease. However, patients should keep in mind that in order to optimize the results of the treatment they should wear the aligners as often as possible.
Will Invisalign® have an impact on my speech?
During the first few days of your Invisalign® treatment, you may notice a slight lisp in your speech as you adjust to wearing the aligners. After this initial adjustment period, patients’ speech typically returns to normal.
Am I allowed to drink beverages while wearing my Invisalign® aligners?
Dr. T.C. Hardy recommends that patients only drink cold water when the trays are in. Occasionally a patient can drink from a straw when they are drinking anything other than water, but it should always be cold to prevent distortion of the trays. Please talk to the doctor or staff at the beginning of treatment concerning any eating or drinking habits.
How do I clean my Invisalign® aligners?
Invisalign® aligners can be easily cleaned by scrubbing them with a toothbrush and water. Occasionally, if needed, antibacterial hand soap and a toothbrush can give it an extra good cleaning. Just make sure you rinse the aligners and your toothbrush well before using them again!
How long will my Invisalign® treatment take to complete?
Although the length of your treatment will vary depending on your individual bite, most of our adult patients complete the treatment within 12 months. For patients using Invisalign Teen®, the growth of their permanent teeth will also impact treatment time.


Who can wear Incognito braces?
Incognito braces are suitable for all age groups, children, adolescents and adults who want to correct their tooth position. Your orthodontist will be glad to provide you with more information. In most cases people opt for Incognito braces as they do not want their braces to be visible for professional or aesthetic reasons.
What do the braces look like?
Our braces have a unique design and fit. The bracket bases are contoured to hug the lingual (tongue-side) surfaces of your teeth for optimal comfort, fit and performance. They have a very low profile so they are less likely to interfere with your speech. Our special custom made archwires are precisely programmed with your unique prescription to ensure efficient, effective tooth movement.
What makes the Incognito braces system different from the rest?
The Incognito braces are 100% customized to deliver specific results for each patient. Your orthodontist determines your treatment plan and then your braces are custom made just for you. We use the latest CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping and robotic technologies to fabricate your braces with your unique treatment prescription built in.
How long does treatment take with Incognito braces?
Treatment time varies by each individual patient and the amount of work required to align the teeth. Due to the advanced technology in the customized brackets, precise bracket placement and precision bent wires, your teeth will move in the most efficient manner possible.
Will my speech be affected with Incognito braces?
As with traditional braces, every person reacts differently. However, most patients do not experience a speech impediment. Those patients who do experience a minor speech impediment during the first couple of weeks find that this improves with each passing day. Your orthodontist can also provide you with speech exercises.
Are Incognito braces painful?
For the first two weeks after your braces are put on, your tongue, lips and teeth may be sore, just as they would be with traditional braces. You will be given instructions from your orthodontist as to how to care for and adjust to your new braces.


Schedule an Orthodontics Consultation Today

If you have more questions about your orthodontic options at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. T.C. Hardy, please contact our office today.