Are you interested in getting braces but need help figuring out where to start?
Or you may have already decided to undergo orthodontic treatment but have questions about the process and potential benefits. The topic of braces can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
Braces are a popular orthodontic treatment that can help straighten teeth and improve dental health. They are a standard solution for those who suffer from crooked or misaligned teeth or have difficulty maintaining proper oral hygiene.
Many braces are available, ranging from traditional metal braces to invisible aligners. This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about braces, including the various types of braces and their expected benefits.
We will also discuss the process of getting braces and the steps you can take to ensure successful treatment. After reading this post, you will better understand the basics of braces and how they can improve your smile.
What Are Braces?
Braces, also known as orthodontic brackets, refer to devices used to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. They are made of metal or plastic brackets attached to each tooth’s front with wires running through them.
The tension created by these wires helps move the teeth into their correct positions over time. Depending on the severity of the case, braces usually take between 12 and 24 months to complete treatment.
Types of Braces Available
Traditional Metal Braces
Metal braces are one of the most commonplace orthodontic treatments, featuring metal brackets affixed to each tooth.
The brackets are a base for attaching metal wires or bands, commonly called archwires. These provide the lateral pressure needed for transferring the teeth into their desired positions and may be connected using elastic ligatures to secure them further.
Regular visits with an orthodontist ensure that pressure is applied evenly across all teeth while they move into place. Furthermore, frequent cleanings are necessary due to increased plaque buildup from wearing traditional metal braces.
Despite newer bracket systems becoming available and more convenient alternatives such as clear aligners emerging, traditional metal braces remain a classic choice among many seeking orthodontic treatment, making them an indispensable part of the dental industry.
Ceramic braces are a popular alternative to traditional metal brackets and wires, as they feature the same type of construction with clear or tooth-coloured brackets. This makes them much more discreet than metal braces but still just as effective at moving teeth into their desired positions.
Ceramic braces typically use rubber bands or other materials like springs to connect archwires and brackets. They can also be more fragile than metal braces, requiring regular adjustments and replacements. They are also more prone to staining and discolouration over time, so proper cleaning is essential for maintaining their appeal.
However, with the appropriate care, ceramic braces can provide an aesthetically pleasing alternative to orthodontic treatment.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces in that they use brackets and archwires, but they differ because the components are placed on the inner side of the teeth instead of the outer surface. This makes them virtually invisible to others, making them an ideal option for those seeking orthodontic treatment without any added visibility.
Lingual braces require more precision when installing them, as each bracket may need to be adjusted for the archwires to fit correctly against the teeth. They are also more costly and time-consuming than traditional metal braces, making them a less popular option.
Despite these drawbacks, lingual braces can deliver effective results with minimal visibility, allowing patients to maintain their natural smile throughout treatment.
The Process for Getting Braces
A dentist or orthodontist must perform an initial examination to determine the most suitable braces for each individual.
This will involve taking x-rays and impressions of the teeth to create models that can be used for evaluating different braces. After this process, the dentist can discuss the most suitable braces for their particular needs with the patient.
Once the braces have been selected and fitted, regular visits to the dentist or orthodontist are necessary to ensure that they are correctly adjusted as the teeth begin to move into place. This process can take several months to two years, depending on how much movement is needed.
After the braces have been removed, retainers may need to be worn to keep the teeth in their new positions and prevent them from shifting back. With proper care and maintenance, braces can provide an effective solution for straightening teeth and achieving a healthier, more attractive smile.
Common Questions About Braces
Q: How often do I visit my dentist or orthodontist for adjustments?
A: Most patients will need to visit their dentist or orthodontist about every 6–8 weeks to adjust the braces properly. This can vary depending on individual needs, so it is best to consult your dentist or orthodontist for more specific information.
Q: How long does it take to get braces?
A: The process of getting braces typically takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the complexity of the individual case. After that, regular dentist or orthodontist visits are needed to properly adjust the braces as the teeth move into place, which can take anywhere from several months to two years.
Q: Will wearing braces hurt?
A: While it is normal for some discomfort and soreness to occur when first getting braces, this should subside after a few days. If any severe pain or discomfort persists, it is best to contact your dentist or orthodontist for assistance.
Q: Can I eat with braces?
A: Generally speaking, avoiding eating hard and sticky foods while wearing braces is recommended to prevent damage to the brackets and wires. If certain foods that are typically not allowed when wearing braces need to be consumed, it is best to discuss this with your dentist or orthodontist beforehand.
Caring for Your Teeth While Wearing Braces
Proper oral hygiene is essential while wearing braces to prevent bacteria build-up and cavities. It is important to:
Brush your teeth at least twice daily, paying special attention to the brackets and wires.
Floss regularly, preferably after each meal.
Use an interdental toothbrush or water flosser to get into hard-to-reach areas.
Avoid sugary or acidic foods and drinks that can damage the teeth.
See your dentist or orthodontist regularly for check-ups and adjustments.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong while wearing braces. With proper care and maintenance, you will enjoy the benefits of a beautiful, straight smile for years to come.
Whether you’re looking for straighter teeth or improved dental health overall, there’s no doubt that braces can be beneficial in both short-term and long-term ways!
The process starts with an initial consultation with an orthodontist, who will evaluate your case and create a custom plan based on X-rays taken during your visit. Then it’s all about fitting the device onto your teeth! Regular checkups throughout treatment ensure everything is going according to plan—but before you know it, you could be smiling brighter than ever!
If you need orthodontic work done, don’t hesitate to consult a professional today!