Dental braces are devices used to align the teeth and improve the dentition. Orthodontists usually help to correct teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly, but general dentists also so some basic procedures.
Braces and orthodontic treatment are used to correct:
- Misaligned bite (underbite or overbite)
- Teeth that are crowded or crooked
- Upper and lower jaws that meet not properly
- Misplaced midline
- Gaps between the teeth
Correction of all these problems is necessary to get a nice smile and healthy mouth. It helps to avoid such problems, as tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss and affected speech and chewing.
The braced help to move teeth in the right direction by applying gentle pressure over a period of time. They also affect the growth of the jaws and retrain the muscles.
Braces consist of bands, wires and/or brackets. Brackets are the small squares that are attached to the tooth surface. They are like handles what hold the arch wires, which move the teeth. Bands are stainless steel materials that are cemented to the teeth with special bonding materials. There are different braces, but no one of them works for everyone. The dentist will advice a patient the most appropriate option.
- Depending on how the brackets fix:
- Wands are fixed around the teeth, while brackets are attached to the front of the tooth.
- Wands are fixed around the teeth, while brackets are attached to the back of the tooth (lingual braces)
- Metal bands that wrap around the teeth
- Depending on the material:
- Metal (traditional) braces are the most noticeable type but at the same the least expensive. The modern brackets are smaller and kids can choose colored bands.
- Ceramic braces are tooth-colored and therefore less visible but more expensive. They move the teeth enough fast, but stains easily.
- If a patient has no serious dental problems, he or she can choose invisalign, which is almost invisible and can be easily lost. It consists of 18 to 30 clear plastic aligners, which are removable and are replaced every two weeks. A patient can eat whatever he or she wants, but the option is appropriate only for teenagers and adults. This treatment lasts longer.
Braces are usually fixed regularly to achieve the desired results. A patient wears braces from few months to years depend on the severity of the problem. After braces are removed, most patients will need to wear a retainer during the first six month and then only at night. A patient may choose any braces: from bright colors for kids to clear styles preferred by many adults.
First time taking the braced may be uncomfortable, but then a patient used to them. After each visit to the dentist and adjustments, a patient may feel pain. The dentist will prescribe medications to relief the pain.
A person with braces should eat a well-balanced diet and cut hard foods into smaller pieces. It’s recommended to avoid any irritant foods, like sweets, chips and soda.
The proper removal of foods debris from around the braces will protect the teeth and gums from diseases.