Braces are orthodontic appliances that are used to straighten and align teeth. They are typically made up of metal brackets that are bonded to the teeth and connected by wires. The wires apply pressure to the teeth, gradually moving them into the desired position.
Braces can be used to correct a variety of dental problems, including:
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Open bites
- Spacing problems
Braces are most commonly used in children and adolescents, but adults can also get braces. The average length of treatment is 12-24 months, but it can vary depending on the severity of the problem.
Types of Braces
There are several different types of braces available, including:
Traditional metal braces: These are the most common type of braces. They are made up of metal brackets and wires.
Ceramic braces: These braces are made of a clear ceramic material, which makes them less visible than metal braces.
Lingual braces: These braces are attached to the back of the teeth, so they are completely invisible from the front.
Invisalign: Invisalign is a newer type of braces that uses clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth.
How Braces Work
Braces work by applying pressure to the teeth, which causes the bones and tissues around the teeth to remodel. This allows the teeth to be moved into the desired position.
The pressure applied by the braces is gradually increased over time. This is done by tightening the wires at regular orthodontic appointments.
Benefits of Braces
Braces can offer a number of benefits, including:
Improved appearance: Braces can help to create a more symmetrical and attractive smile.
Better oral health: Straight teeth are easier to clean and maintain, which can help to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Improved function: Braces can help to improve the way the teeth bite together, which can make it easier to chew and speak.
Increased confidence: Many people who get braces report feeling more confident about their smile and appearance after treatment.
If you are considering getting braces, the first step is to consult with an orthodontist. The orthodontist will assess your teeth and jaw and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Once you have decided to get braces, the orthodontist will bond the brackets to your teeth. Wires and other orthodontic appliances will then be attached to the brackets.
You will need to see your orthodontist regularly for adjustments to your braces. The orthodontist will also monitor your progress and make sure that your teeth are moving as planned.
Caring for braces
It is important to take good care of your teeth and braces while you are in treatment. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and avoiding certain foods, such as hard candy and sticky foods.
You will also need to wear a retainer after your braces are removed to help keep your teeth in their new position.
Braces can be a great way to improve your smile and oral health. If you are considering getting braces, be sure to consult with an orthodontist to learn more about your options.