Today, people of almost all ages are benefiting from braces. Braces not only improve the look of teeth that are crooked or crowded. They can improve an irregular bite and correct jaw positioning and jaw joint disorders.
Braces are worn to apply pressure to and reposition the teeth, usually over a few months to longer for more advanced cases.
To place braces, your dentist or orthodontist bonds brackets made of metal, ceramic, or plastic to your teeth. Then she places wires through the brackets, which guide the teeth into their correct positions. Sometimes, dentists can attach lingual braces to the backs of teeth, hiding them from view.
After your braces are attached, and after each visit in which your dentist tightens your braces, expect some discomfort for a few days. Also, regular oral hygiene becomes especially important while you are wearing braces.
Risks with braces are minimal. But people with allergies to metal or latex, or those who have periodontal disease, are at greater risk for problems during treatment. Root shortening is also a problem if teeth are moved too quickly.
An alternative for correcting minor spacing problems involves wearing a series of clear, customized appliances called aligners, or invisible braces. Your dentist will reshape and replace them about every two weeks to progressively move your teeth. Unlike traditional braces, aligners can be removed while eating, brushing, and flossing.
Often there are two phases to treatment with braces: wearing braces, and then using a retainer to hold your teeth in their new position. Retainers can be removable or permanently bonded in behind your teeth.
Types of braces:
1. Metal braces/Traditional braces
These are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces”. However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces than many adults remember. Plus, new heat-activated archwires use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and less painfully than in the past.
2. Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in to teeth. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be even less noticeable.
2. Lingual braces
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth.