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Rethink your perception of braces, a time-tested way to get a confident, healthy smile

Braces are a tried-and-true way to reposition your teeth and correct a range of problems with your “bite,” how the opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws come together when you close your mouth. So, braces distinguish themselves from a range of other orthodontic treatment options that have become available over the past few decades. These alternatives to braces include aligner treatments like Invisalign®.

Braces themselves have also evolved; at Abel, Phan & Associates in Sterling, Virginia, we may discuss discreet braces made from transparent brackets and tooth-colored wires with you or your child. Likewise, cutting-edge braces include those made from a material developed by NASA. These braces are designed with specialized wires that respond and adjust to the wearer’s body heat. In turn, they can conform to the teeth with fewer adjustments than what is required of patients who wear traditional braces. 

With that being said, the same basic principles apply to braces – whether they are made from space-age materials or not:

  • Braces are designed to your mouth’s specifications; they are made up of brackets threaded through wires.
  • These brackets are connected or securely fixed with small bands (or rings) to the teeth.
  • This system is designed to place low yet constant force on the teeth, which helps move the teeth through the bone to reposition them.
  • Braces must be adjusted as advised by a dentist or orthodontist, usually about once every six to 18 weeks. Their precision adjustments allow for treatment to progress on schedule and as intended.
  • During these visits, dental professionals like Drs Anna Abel and Chuong Phan also assess the health of your teeth and gums and make recommendations to enhance cleaning techniques and comfort.

From the get-go, at Abel, Phan & Associates, we partner with patients to assure the transition to wearing braces is as seamless as possible. We offer suggestions on products and techniques to effectively clean between and around brackets and wires. Alternately, we may determine that patients are good candidates for orthodontic treatment with aligners. This alternate therapy is based on the same fundamental principles as traditional braces. These oral appliances (aligners) place consistent and gentle pressure on the teeth to gradually reposition them; however, unlike braces, aligner trays are removable. They can be taken out of your mouth for ease of cleaning and eating.

A healthier, more attractive smile awaits! We look forward to discussing your options for treatment. Call (571) 450-9848 to schedule an appointment with Drs Abel or Phan in Sterling/Potomac Falls.

Dr. Chuong Phan

Dr. phan

Dr. Anna Abel

Dr. Abel

Husband and wife duo Drs. Chuong Phan and Anna Abel lead the Abel, Phan, and Associates dental team.

Dr. Phan is a Howard University College of Dentistry graduate and has practiced for over 20 years. His favorite clinical procedures are orthodontic and endodontic treatments, including root canal therapy. He has been trained in many prestigious institutes. Dr. Abel graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and has over 20 years of experience. Her favorite procedures are cosmetic services like veneers, implants, and oral surgery. She has trained with top-level organizations.

Both doctors are regular volunteers at Northern Virginia Dental Clinic, providing care to low-income patients, for which they have received many honors. They have also volunteered to help disadvantaged communities, especially children, through many foreign missions.