Traditional Braces are some of the most well tested and longest-lasting dental treatments that a person can have. Braces can be used to fix a wide variety of issues ranging from overcrowding to gaps and crooked teeth.
How Braces Work
Traditional braces work by slowly migrating your teeth into the correct position over time by using metal wires and mounts attached to your teeth. This system can take anywhere from 6-24 months to fully work depending on your overall tooth health.
Modern materials and advances have made braces more comfortable and less noticeable than ever before. We recommend that people try to get braces as young as possible once they get all of their adult teeth in order to take advantage of the natural movement of your teeth at this time. That is not to say that if you are an adult that you can’t get braces, far from it! Traditional braces can work just as well for adults as they do for teenagers, the only difference being that the treatment times can be a bit longer.
Traditional braces can help treat a number of different dental needs including:
Benefits of Straighter Teeth
There are many cosmetic and functional benefits to attaining a straighter smile.
More attractive smile
Naturally straight teeth or teeth straightened with braces are more attractive than crooked, crowded or abnormally spaced teeth. They help create a warm, approachable smile.
Increased self confidence
When you have straight, healthy-looking teeth, you feel more confident in your appearance and are inclined to share your smile with others.
Easier to keep clean
Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss. It is easier to get into the nooks and crannies between the teeth when they are properly spaced and aligned. With better oral hygiene, the risk of gum disease and tooth decay is lower.
Less likely to chip or crack
Crooked or protruding teeth have a higher chance of chipping, cracking or breaking in an accident or during a fall. And because crooked teeth are harder to clean, they are more susceptible to decay, which weakens tooth structure.
Better chewing ability
Biting and chewing is easier with straight teeth. Straight and properly aligned teeth also help with clear enunciation.
Do not stress the jaw
Misaligned and crooked teeth can put stress on the jaw and cause pain and discomfort. The pain can radiate through the face and neck. Straightening and aligning the teeth improves the bite to relieve stress on the jaw and alleviate related discomfort.
Braces: Treatment Details
Treatment with braces varies from patient to patient. The type of braces you wear and the length of time you will wear them depends on your specific orthodontic needs and treatment goals. These details are determined after an initial examination, discussion of your dental history and review of X-rays of your teeth and mouth.
To begin treatment, the brackets are bonded to the predetermined positions on the teeth and arch wires are threaded through the brackets. Once the braces are placed, they must be adjusted regularly to ensure the wires maintain the proper pressure to correct the issues requiring treatment. Usually these adjustment appointments take place every three to 10 weeks.
Total treatment times range from six months to two years or more. On average, most patients wear braces for about 18 months. When treatment is complete, the braces and cement bonding material are removed without damaging the tooth structure.
Adjusting To Life with Braces
There is a slight adjustment period to get used to wearing braces. A tight or sore sensation can be expected after the initial placement and periodic adjustments. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can alleviate discomfort.
You may need to make some dietary changes and avoid sticky foods that can get stuck under the braces and cause them to detach. You should also avoid consuming very hard foods that could possibly crack the brackets or wires.
How should I take care of my teeth while wearing braces?
At-home oral hygiene is essential during orthodontic treatment. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day to get rid of food particles that get caught in your braces. Dr. Pearson can tell you about some great tools to help you brush and floss properly around your braces.
Can I continue to play sports when wearing braces?
Yes. Braces should not interfere with your ability to play sports or enjoy physical activities. If you play a contact or collision sport, Dr. Pearson recommends wearing a mouthguard to protect your braces.
Will I need a retainer after I get my braces off?
Yes, a dental retainer is normally recommended to help hold the newly straightened teeth in place. These removable appliances may need to be worn full time or only at night.
How can I further enhance the appearance my newly straightened teeth?
A professional teeth cleaning is recommended after braces are removed. Some patients also opt for teeth whitening treatment because there may be a slight difference in the color of the teeth where the brackets were bonded and the surrounding enamel. Teeth whitening evens out the mismatches in color and brightens up the entire smile.
Request More Information from Dr. Pearson
For more information about the benefits of orthodontic treatment, please call or email Essentially Pure Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today.