Panama City Smiles : Dental Braces in Panama City, FL

There are several orthodontic options to straighten crooked teeth, correct bite, eliminate gaps, and ease teeth crowding. At Panama City Smiles, we offer traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and short-term ClearCorrect aligners.

In order to decide which option is best for your case, you will need to have a preliminary exam and evaluation with Dr. Anish Patel. He will take a medical history, do a thorough exam, and take some X-rays and other images to get a comprehensive picture of what is needed to correct your specific alignment issues. Together, you will determine which orthodontic treatment is right for you and develop a treatment plan. Below, you will find an overview of each of the options we provide.

Here we do the traditional braces as well as the clear correct that we talked about. Traditional braces, the first visit is kind of like a consult so we will take a look and we will take some records. A lot of times if it’s a simple case we can pretty much tell you exactly what to expect then half the time we need to go ahead and load all that stuff into the computer software and run various scenarios in the software and then we can decide exactly what the best course of treatment is going to be for the patient. That’s really the best thing about the ortho that we provide, it is individualized by patient, it’s not a one size fits all kind of deal here. We have various wire sizes and everything that we can run through the computer without even ever having to put anything in the mouth so it makes it a lot more predictable.

Traditional Dental Braces

Braces have metal brackets and wires that apply pressure to the teeth to reposition them over a period of months or, in some cases, years. Though there are many orthodontic options today, traditional braces are still the best choice for many people of all ages when it comes to straightening crooked teeth, repositioning teeth in a crowded mouth, or adjusting an irregular bite to aid in proper chewing. Braces can also correct an overbite, underbite, or crossbite – any of which can negatively affect or cause pain in the jaw and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Braces are most often used for cosmetic reasons, but they also improve functionality of the mouth and uniformity of the teeth.

The main components of traditional braces are:

  • Brackets – small squares (usually made of stainless steel) that are affixed directly to the front of each tooth with a special dental bonding agent. Brackets act like handles, holding the arch wires that move the teeth.
  • Arch Wires – wires that attach to the brackets and act as tracks to guide the movement of the teeth.
  • Orthodontic Bands – stainless steel bands cemented to the teeth that wrap around each tooth to provide an anchor for the brackets.
  • Spacers – separators that fit between teeth to create a small space prior to placement of orthodontic bands.
  • Ties – small rubber rings or fine wires that fasten the arch wire to the brackets.
  • Buccal Tube – situated on the band of the last tooth, it holds the end of the arch wire securely in place.
  • Ligatures – tiny elastic rubber bands that hold the arch wires to the brackets.
  • Springs – may be placed on the arch wires between brackets to push, pull, open, or close the spaces between teeth.
  • Elastics – rubber bands that attach to hooks on brackets and are worn between the upper and lower teeth. They apply pressure to move the upper teeth against the lower teeth to achieve a perfect fit.
  • Facebow Headgear – a wire gadget that is used to move the upper molars back in the mouth to correct bite discrepancies and also to create room for crowded teeth. The facebow consists of an inner metal part shaped like a horseshoe that goes in the mouth, attaching to buccal tubes, and an outer part that goes around the outside of the face and is connected to a headgear strap.

Getting Your Dental Braces

I have had just regular dental work and a couple crowns put in and then I heard that Dr. Patel did braces and I decided to have braces done. Two of my daughters were like “mother, at your age” and well when I was probably at the age when it would have been a good idea to do it, I was busy putting braces on you and your two brothers. I had these teeth were out of line and one on the bottom that just didn’t sit well with me and I just decided I wanted them straightened. I think even from the very first visit when I came here not knowing anyone or anything about Dr. Patel, there was just a comfortable feeling and Dr. Patel as I’ve said before, has been very pleasant. Then my choice to go into braces, he has made that experience almost enjoyable and the staff is very friendly. It is a good feeling when you can walk in and they say “hi Marcie or hi Marcia, how are you doing” and I have enjoyed coming here and being a patient.

To place braces, Dr. Patel will bond brackets made of metal to your teeth. Then he will place wires through the brackets, which guide the teeth into their correct positions. After your braces are attached — and after each visit in which your braces are tightened — you may experience some discomfort for a few days.


How Dental Braces Work

Braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied.

Length of Treatment

Orthodontic treatment with traditional braces varies greatly from patient to patient, depending on factors such as age, degree of misalignment, and other issues. The usual length of treatment for most cases is one to three years.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as traditional braces and work exactly the same way. But ceramic braces use tooth-colored or clear brackets and tooth-colored wires, so they are not as noticeable as braces with metal brackets. The two main drawbacks of ceramic braces are: they tend to stain over a period of time, and they cost more than traditional braces.

Lingual Braces

The word “lingual” means pertaining to the tongue. Lingual braces are placed on the tongue side of your teeth, the back of your teeth instead of the front. Just like traditional metal braces, lingual braces use brackets and wires to apply pressure and change the position of your teeth. Treatment length varies from patient to patient.

The major benefit of lingual braces, also called “incognito” braces, is that they work as well as traditional braces but are not visible when you smile. Lingual braces are an alternative for adults looking for orthodontic treatment that does not look like traditional metal braces. Lingual braces cost more than traditional braces, but for many people, the benefit of hiding orthodontic treatment is worth it.

Oral Hygiene with Dental Braces

Though wearing dental braces can make oral hygiene more challenging, with the need to brush and floss around brackets and wires, it is extremely important to be vigilant about your oral health during this time. Braces wearers are at a higher risk of developing dental problems like gingivitis, plaque and tartar buildup, and tooth decay. Taking great care of your teeth and gums while you wear your braces keeps you healthy during your orthodontic treatment and ensures you have a healthy and beautiful smile when your braces are taken off!


An invisible alternative to traditional dental braces is ClearCorrect, an orthodontic treatment that uses a series of soft plastic aligners instead of metal wires and brackets. You start with an aligner very closely molded to your teeth. You wear each aligner for several weeks before changing to a new one. With each new aligner, your teeth are gradually forced closer to their desired positions.

The main benefits of ClearCorrect are that they are invisible, comfortable, and removable. The aligners are clear, so no one will know you have them on. They are soft and comfortable, with no wires or metal involved. And they are removable for eating, drinking, and brushing and flossing your teeth.

ClearCorrect short-term orthodontics cost about the same as traditional braces, but for most people, they work much faster. Each case is different, but the average length of treatment is between six months and one year.

Keeping Your Teeth Straight

The use of a retainer is a very important part of post-orthodontic care. Even though dental braces or aligners may have successfully straightened your teeth, they are not completely settled in their new position until the bones, gums, and muscles adapt to the change.

A retainer is a custom-made, removable appliance that helps teeth maintain their new position after braces have been removed or a full series of aligners have been used. Retainers, typically made of rubber or clear plastic and metal wires that cover the outside surface of the teeth, need to be worn all the time for the first six months and then usually only during sleep. Dr. Patel will advise you about how long to wear your retainer.

Ready for Straighter Teeth?
Have you been considering orthodontics to straighten your smile and restore your confidence? Now is the time to take the first step. Call Panama City Smiles at (850) 588-0185or use our online form to request an orthodontic consultation with Dr. Patel. Today is a great day to get started on your new smile!