How IPR Can Improve Your Smile With Braces or Clear Aligners

Braces and clear aligners do amazing jobs of creating beautiful smiles. Sometimes, though, gaps can develop because the teeth are not the proper shape. Interproximal reduction fixes this. 

Interproximal reduction, or IPR (medical abbreviation), makes teeth smoother by removing some enamel and bumps, helping them align properly. It’s a painless method that Shoe Orthodontics uses to gain space between crowded teeth and improve your smile. 

What Is IPR (Interproximal Reduction)?

Interproximal reduction, or IPR, smooths rough spots on tooth enamel between teeth. These spots may keep the teeth from fitting together perfectly. Eliminating these spots creates space to move the teeth together better and gives you a better smile. 

Interproximal reduction makes your teeth smoother and more even, helping them align perfectly with their neighbors. This creates a nicer appearance because the teeth fit together without any gaps.


How Do You Get IPR?

Interproximal reduction is done with one or more tools designed to sand down and polish your enamel. At Shoe Orthodontics, we use a polishing strip or a handpiece and bur. 

A handpiece and bur is a tool with a small grinding head that fits between the teeth. It grinds down the enamel to make it smooth and round. 

The polishing strip is a metal band. It smooths and polishes the enamel. This makes the enamel as smooth as the rest of the tooth.

You can also use guide discs to perform IPR. A guide disk works like the bur, but the rough grinding surface is on a rotating disc. Think of it like a sander smoothing a wooden surface until it’s smooth and splinter-free. 

Why Do I Need IPR?

Orthodontic treatment moves your teeth into their proper positions, lining them up side-by-side. If the sides are smooth, the teeth will line up the entire length of the sides. 

The sides will only partially line up if the teeth are rough or misshapen. This creates small gaps between the teeth, which makes the teeth look less straight than they actually are. IPR eliminates the gaps and gives the tooth a more pleasing shape. It also makes it easier to floss the teeth and keep food particles and plaque from between them. 

Does IPR Hurt?

Interproximal reduction doesn’t hurt! Shoe Orthodontics takes great care to shave off only millimeters of enamel from your teeth. This small amount of enamel keeps your teeth from becoming sensitive. It also keeps your teeth from hurting. 

Your teeth can get warm from the friction of the bur or strip tools. That’s why we use a water spray during the process to reduce the heat and make the process more comfortable. 

You might feel a slight pressure from the bur tool as it moves between your teeth. This is normal and shouldn’t hurt. 

The IPR strip feels like gritty dental floss going between your teeth. While it may feel “weird,” it’s a painless process. You’ll end up with smooth, beautiful teeth! 

When Do You Get IPR?

The best time to get interproximal reduction is during your orthodontic treatment. That way, your braces or clear aligners can move the teeth closer and close the gaps once the IPR treatment is done.

Why is it best during treatment? Before treatment, your teeth are likely not in their proper places. It’s difficult to see whether gaps will form once the teeth are moved into place. 

If we wait until after treatment, you will have gaps that need to be closed. That’s why we prefer to do IPR during treatment. 

How Does the Space Close? 

Once your teeth are reshaped, your braces or clear aligners will continue to do their jobs. They will close the gaps between your teeth and line them up correctly. 

You should see the spaces close pretty quickly! Our braces patients usually see their gaps close within a few weeks at most. Patients with clear aligners should notice the gaps gone after changing out their clear aligner sets once or twice. 

By the end of your treatment, you should have straight teeth and aligned jaws that will look good and be functional for a lifetime. 

Interproximal Reduction Treatment in Hanover, PA

Interproximal reduction helps make smiles beautiful with braces or clear aligners during treatment. The result is a straight, beautiful smile that will be easier to clean and can last a lifetime. 

Are you ready to see what orthodontic treatment can do for you? Request a consultation with Shoe Orthodontics, and let us show you how different your smile can be! 

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