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What Are Braces?

Orthodontic braces are commonly known as dental braces. It is a way of straightening or moving your teeth to improve how they look and how they work. Braces improve alignment, provide bite correction and enhance the arch form.

How Long Will The Treatment Take?

This depends on how out of position your teeth are, as well as your compliance. It may take 1 year to a few more years.

Do I Need Braces?

A dentist usually recommends braces if you have the following:

  • Teeth that are visibly crooked or crowded
  • Not enough or too much spacing between your teeth
  • Difficulty flossing between and brushing around crooked teeth
  • Upper front teeth that stick out – called Overjet
  • Lower teeth that bite too far behind your upper teeth – called Overbite
  • Upper front teeth that bite behind your upper teeth – called Underbite
  • Jaws that click or make noises when you chew or wake up. If left untreated, these problems can result in a poor smile, tooth decay, gum disease, headaches, and earaches, as well as speaking, biting, or chewing problems.

Types of Braces

Your dentist will know what appliance is best for your particular problem but you often have a choice. Braces generally come in three varieties: Traditional Braces, Self-Ligating Braces, and Clear Aligners (Invisalign).

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional braces are the type of braces we commonly see. It is made from high-grade stainless steel and has metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using a type of cement.

The brackets are linked to each other with an archwire, which puts pressure on the teeth to cause them to move slowly into the correct position. The arch wires are connected to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures or o-rings, which your dentist will change each time he/she tightens the braces.

Self-Ligating Braces (Damon Braces)

Self-ligating braces are a type of brace that does not need o-rings because the bracket itself held the arch wires to the brackets. This type of brace has become popular with dentists and patients because it provides gentler treatment and requires fewer dental visits. Self-ligating braces have a sliding mechanism thus less friction and pressure on the teeth. It is also easier to keep clean than the traditional. Damon braces offer a clear transparent ceramic material that works the same way but is less visible to others. This became a popular choice for adults.


Procedure for Braces

  • Appointment for an orthodontic check-up and record. This includes taking a patient’s history, clinical examination, diagnostic pictures, radiographs, and model casts of the teeth.
  • Discussion of the present condition of the teeth, the treatment plan, and objectives, as well as costs.
  • Installation of the braces, which involves cleaning and polishing the teeth, placing a cheek retractor, and using bonding cement and a laser light machine to secure the brackets to the teeth.
  • Monthly adjustments to evaluate tooth movement and make necessary changes to the treatment plan.
  • Removal of the braces and adhesive, which is relatively painless but may cause temporary discomfort.
  • Placement of a retainer, which can include removable Hawley/Begg wrap-around wire retainers, removable clear plastic retainers, or bonded permanent retainers, as recommended by the orthodontist/dentist.
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