Time was, when the thought of Braces could be frightening, especially for a child. Would there be name calling and teasing? It is not something that anyone wanted even if they needed it.
Today, however Dentists have truly gone into a different dimension when it comes to Braces, not only on the physical look, but more so on the expertise involved in positioning them. There are now even many different colours available on the market making it a rather sought after fashion accessory.
No wonder everyone is asking: “Do I need Braces?”; “How do braces work?”; “What colours are available for me to choose?”; “is it metal or is it plastic?”
Hopefully this article will answer some of these pressing questions for you.
What should you consider before getting braces?
Your Dentist will ensure a proper and detailed examination is conducted to establish the need for Braces. This examination is vital in order to establish if you have crooked teeth, a misaligned bite and is this a misalignment of the under-bite or the over-bite?. Once the examination has been concluded and it is confirmed that Braces are the option for you, your Dentist will guide you through the process.
This examination might include:
- Questions about your general health and wellbeing
- A full clinical examination
- Impressions will be taken of your teeth
- Photos will be taken of your face and teeth
- X-Rays will be taken of your mouth and head
Your Dentist will recommend an appropriate treatment plan which is based on the findings of the information gathered during your examination.
In some cases your Dentist might recommend a removable retainer and this might solve the problem, however, if the examination results indicate braces then rest assured your Dentist has done his homework properly and his findings are that this is the best option to achieve the required result.
So, how do braces work?
Ok, the recommendation received from your Dentist is that you require Braces. So, how do braces work?
The purpose of Braces is to ensure continuous pressure is applied over a period of time to slowly and systematically move or redirect or reposition your teeth into the required position. This angle or the degree of pressure will have been determined during the examination which was conducted by your Dentist.
Various components are involved to make the Brace effective.
Brackets are small squares which are bonded (glued, obviously with special dental glue), directly onto each tooth, or these brackets could be attached to orthodontic bands. Brackets also thought of as handles, hold the archwires that move the teeth.
Orthodontic Bands or Stainless Steel Bands could either be clear or tooth coloured and this is cemented to the teeth using a dental bonding agent. The bands wrap around each tooth to provide an anchor for the brackets. Remember some people have brackets with no bands. Your Dentist will advise you on exactly what you will need.
This is exactly what it says. Spacers act as separators that fit in between teeth to create a small space before the orthodontic bands are placed.
These act as a track to guide the movement of the teeth. They are attached to the Brackets.
These are either fine wires or rubber rings which are needed to fasten the archwire to the brackets.
- Buccal tube:
Placed on the last tooth to hold the end of the archwire securely in place.
These are tiny elastic rubber bands which hold the archwires to the brackets.
This may be placed on the archwires between brackets to push, pull, open or close the spaces between teeth.
- Head Gear:
This item may be used to correct irregularities of teeth. This is a wire type gadget used to move upper molars back into the mouth, or used to create room for crowded teeth.
- Elastic or rubber Bands:
These are elastic or rubber bands which are attached to hooks on brackets and are worn between the upper and lower teeth in various ways. It applies pressure to move the upper teeth against the lower teeth to achieve a perfect fit of every individual tooth.
And finally life after braces?
As mentioned before gone are the days where it is frowned upon if you have braces. In actual fact more and more people are now comfortable with them. You have so many choices now, selecting brackets for instance, which can be ceramic or tooth coloured making them less obvious. Orthodontic bands are finally considered cosmetically acceptable and therefore you are able to choose the required option to suit your social scene as well.
The required time for braces varies from person to person, depending on the nature and the severity of the problem. Ask yourself though “do I have a social life now?”, if not,” will I have a social life after going through the journey which guarantees me the perfect bite?”, YES! So, YES there is life after braces and life will be filled with a perfect smile.