Malocclusions (dental imperfections) are corrected with the help of dental braces. These are bespoke orthodontic devices for moving teeth to their original position.
Usually, braces are a corrective treatment for adolescents; however, people opt for this treatment in adulthood, and the number keeps increasing.
Dental braces are designed using wires made of metal or ceramic and bonding materials that adhere them to the teeth. An orthodontist is a specialist doctor who works with braces to correct misshapen teeth.
How old you are when you start braces treatment and what you hope to correct are factors that determine how much optimal results braces will give.
In general, braces work for patients but come down to individuals and their commitment to the rules of using braces.
The way braces work in moving teeth
Via pressure exertion for a long time, braces can shift the teeth. Based on this, your jawline shape adjusts to accommodate the pressure.
Most of the time, the usual imagination is that the teeth cannot be moved because they are firmly linked to jawbones. However, beneath the gum, a membrane is flanked by bones that connect your teeth and jaw. Your teeth position is controlled by this membrane and reacts to the force exerted by the braces on the teeth.
As at the time of installation, braces don’t cause any pain between an hour to two; the orthodontist may be done fitting your braces. Within the first week, your teeth may be tender as they get used to having braces around them. And for every appointment to have your braces adjusted, you may experience tenderness in the days that follow.
In prepping your teeth for braces installation, they must be clean and dry. Then brackets made of stainless steel, ceramic, or plastic adhere to the teeth with an adhesive. You may feel discomfort; however, there should be zero pain during this procedure.
With brackets, uniform pressure can be exerted over your teeth. And brackets are linked one to another with archwires.
Made from elastic, these components of braces are positioned around the brackets bonded to your teeth to exert force on the jaw. The more conventional braces see the use of these devices. They are also called ligatures or O-rings.
Produced from metal rings or rubber bands, these may be fitted in an orthodontic visit between your molars.
As their name implies, they create more space behind the mouth and, in doing so, project the jaw to the front. Again, spacers allow braces to fit into the back of the mouth that may not have much room.
Everybody must not use spacers. Usually, spacers are needed for 1 or 2 weeks per time.
These link the brackets on the teeth. Archwires supply the force that makes your teeth shift gradually into position. Materials like nickel-titanium, copper titanium or stainless steel can produce archwires.
These are components made from metal that can be bonded to a molar. Other parts of the braces are held together by a buccal tube behind your mouth. With this, it is easy to free and add tension to varying parts of the braces.
On the braces archwires, coil springs may be adhered often. These work on two teeth and create a room by holding them apart.
It is uncommon for patients to need this, and it’s a nightly device. Where your teeth need special alignment, a headgear is bonded to the braces to exert more pressure to move your teeth.
Are braces painful?
There should be no discomfort when braces are fitted over your teeth. However, after installation and as the braces get adjusted periodically, you may experience some pain.
This pain can be described as a slight throbbing or tenderness. Where you experience discomfort after having braces installed, over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen may help you get relief.
Mini-braces: what are they?
In size, these braces are smaller than the conventional type of braces. Mini-braces don’t cover each tooth completely – the mouth has more room.
Certain orthodontists believe that mini-braces are faster working if you’re eligible for them. Would you like to give them a try? Ask your dentist if you qualify.
Are braces fast in correcting malocclusions?
Usually, braces are worn for a year to 3 years, but the time it may take will depend on who is involved and their specific condition. But you can make the most of your time wearing braces and even may go shorter by sticking religiously to your orthodontist’s rules of wearing braces.
Adult braces vs children braces
While you may still get braces as an adult, there are special bonuses that come with early braces treatment.
In adolescence, you may have the advantage of a flexible jaw and teeth that are still growing, and as such, using braces will work without much stress.
Another advantage is that treatment time may be shorter because your teeth are still moving and can harmonise with the shifting braces. Aside fromthe treatment timeline, there are other considerations for adults needing braces.
Should you be pregnant or planning to, speak with your Ob-Gyn to see if braces and your pregnancy work together.
For cases where a health problem is already present, consult your healthcare provider to determine how much impact the braces may have on those health conditions.
How to keep your braces functional
Some food types are not good for using braces and so should be avoided. Foods like chewing gum, popcorn and hard candies can get stuck between braces and your gumline.
Bear in mind that wearing braces makes your teeth prone to trapping foods that can decay the teeth. Take care of your enamel by avoiding starch-loaded and sugary foods that can cause enamel erosion.
Your orthodontist will need to adjust your braces every 8 to 10 weeks to ensure they’re moving your teeth. They will also be sure that you are on good dental hygiene and your braces are in tip-top condition. If needed, the O-rings will also be changed by the orthodontist.
By putting pressure on your jaws to straighten your smile, braces do a good job of improving teeth aesthetics. And a great smile that opens up to well-aligned teeth boosts self-esteem and general well-being.
Treatment with braces is bespoke, and the process is gradual. Would you like to have braces? Talk to your dentist now.
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