Braces are an orthodontic treatment option that can help you achieve a smile that is straighter and healthier. One of the most common orthodontic treatments available, braces work to improve your smile by gradually, gently realigning your teeth. Braces consist of a system of metal brackets, wires, and bands. The brackets are attached to the front of your teeth and are connected to each other through the use of a metal wire and bands. As we adjust the wire, the braces guide your teeth to their ideal positions in your smile. Ceramic braces are also often available, which are the same color as your teeth for a more discreet orthodontic option.
- Crowded teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Problems with the bite, including crossbite, open bite, underbite, and overbite
During your treatment, you will visit our office on a regular basis so we can make sure that your braces are adjusted as needed to continue progressing towards a straighter, healthier smile. Our skilled dentist and team will help you reach all of your oral health and appearance goals through personalized, high-quality care. To learn more about braces, please contact our office today.
Dental braces are devices placed directly on the teeth to move them. Braces are the most common way to achieve optimally aligned teeth for most of us. Apart from straightening teeth, braces are used to enhance the relationship between the upper and lower jaws of how our teeth come together. Braces for the movement of the tooth fall under the “orthodontics” dental specialty that is the study and treatment of improper bites (malocclusion). For cosmetic as well as functional improvement in the position of the teeth, an orthodontic brace treatment is used.
Types of braces
- Metal wired braces:
- These are the most common type of bracelets. Typically, they are made of stainless steel. Metal brackets are attached to the teeth and secure a wire made of rubber with elastic ties. The “self-ligating” brackets are used as an alternative to the use of elastic ties to clip onto the wire.
- Ceramic wired braces:
- Also referred to as “clear braces,” are a cosmetic alternative to the wired braces of metal. The brackets are ceramic to match the teeth shade and use clear elastic ties. Also available are self-ligating ceramic brackets. The downside of ceramic braces is that, compared to metal braces, they are more likely to break.
- Clear aligners:
- These braces are made of a clear plastic and made without the application of brackets or wires on the teeth. These are also referred to as “clear braces” and offer a very comfortable treatment option. This method, however, has limitations. Clear alignments can only tilt and rotate teeth. Using traditional braces, on the other hand, allows the entire bodily movement of a tooth (and its root) into the desired position.
Procedure for braces
A thorough evaluation and record-taking with an experienced clinician is the initial step to obtain braces. Dental impressions (molds) are used to make study models and X-rays are used to examine the position of the teeth. Measures are also taken in the mouth. A treatment plan is created once it has been thoroughly evaluated. This plan will specify what was diagnosed for correction, recommendations for treatment, and an estimated time for how long it will take for treatment. There is a clinician-patient discussion where all risks, benefits, and treatment alternatives are reviewed.
For placing traditional braces, brackets are attached to all the teeth in the arch with special dental cement. To make room for metal bands with attached brackets, elastic spacers are sometimes placed between the molars for 1 to 2 weeks before the brackets are placed. Typically, these metal bands are placed around the last molars and can withstand the forces of chewing in the back teeth better than bonded brackets.
Post brace procedure
Once braces are removed, it takes more records (molds and X-rays) to evaluate the end result. In addition, plans are made to keep the newly positioned teeth in place for a dental retainer. The teeth may shift without a retainer. Two types of retainers are usually available, removable or fixed. For easy brushing and flossing of teeth, a removable retainer is used, it is made of acrylic and metal wires or a clear rigid plastic tray. Usually a fixed retainer is attached to the back of the teeth. The advantages of this type of retainer are that it can not be lost and that it retains the position of the teeth more effectively. Typically, retainers must be worn full-time after braces are removed for a period of time, followed indefinitely by part-time wear at night for removable retainers. Retainers usually need to be worn for a lifetime for adults who complete orthodontic treatment. The dentist or orthodontist will recommend how long you should wear your retainer.
Please call us today for any further questions you have about achieving the perfect smile you want.