Braces help in the treatment of crooked teeth, overbite or underbite. They help to reduce problems associated with having misaligned teeth such as trouble speaking properly, eating or cleaning of the teeth. Misaligned teeth can also be a source of low self esteem because of the fear of speaking or smiling in front of people.
Although general dentists can do basic alignments, orthodontists are the ones who have specialized knowledge in correcting teeth irregularities. So if you have a tooth alignment problem, the dental professional determines the best treatment to give you and one of them is the use of braces.
Braces help to keep your teeth straight by applying pressure on the teeth for a time such as a year, and moving them in a given direction.
The basic features of braces are brackets and the arch wire. Brackets are bonded to the teeth and they are the handles for the arch wires. The arch wires are connected to the brackets and they are the ones that move the teeth to the desired position in the mouth by applying gentle pressure.
Types of braces
There are different types of braces and you may have the freedom to choose the ones you want. They include the traditional metal braces, clear, ceramic, lingual and Invisalign braces.
These are the traditional braces that consist of metal brackets that are applied to the teeth using adhesive and are connected together using an arch wire.
The arch wire is the one that exerts pressure so that the teeth can move into the desired position. The braces tend to be noticeable.
However, colored bands or ligatures can be included for connecting the brackets to the arch wire and you can have the color changed each time you go for tightening.
The braces are worn for about one to three years, after which a retainer is used to ensure that the teeth remain in position.
Although they are the least expensive and can use colored bands, they are the most noticeable braces, which is a fact that makes them less popular.
These are just like metal braces but are less conspicuous because ceramic can be made in colors to match your teeth or made clear and transparent. Ceramic material is created when a number of inorganic materials are mixed to create a new material.
The material is strong therefore the braces tend to be tough.
Ceramic braces blend nicely with the teeth because they come in many shades and are therefore less noticeable. They are also strong, are more comfortable and can be fit on most patients.
However, they tend to be more expensive than metal braces, may take longer to be installed and may be larger than other braces. You also need to be careful not to stain them considering they are transparent.
Some of the things that can stain them include drinking a lot of coffee or smoking. However, because it’s the ties and elastic wires that get stained, the ties can be changed during adjustment.
The braces can also fracture easily and therefore they are mostly used on top teeth and not on teeth involved in chewing.
These are braces placed inside the mouth instead of outside like other braces. This makes them invisible because they are hidden. Lingual braces are metal brackets but on the inside of teeth.
The advantage of these braces is that they are not visible. However, they can only be installed by an orthodontist who is highly skilled. Other than that, they can irritate the tongue, take a long time to install and only a few people qualify to have them. You may also find it difficult to get an orthodontist who can perform the procedure.
These braces do not involves brackets and arch wires, but consist of clear retainers that are made of invisible plastic. They are worn over the teeth and are removable. They are suitable in simple cases of crooked teeth.
To create these retainers, the orthodontist measures your teeth and the information is used in making of plastic trays. You are required to wear the braces for a while and when you go for another appointment, the teeth measurements will be taken and new retainers are made.
Each new retainer helps the teeth to move into the desired position.
The good thing is that these braces are not visible, they can be removed during cleaning and meals and they do not damage the teeth or irritate the gums. On the other hand, they tend to be more expensive and cannot be used in extreme cases of teeth misalignment.
Invisalign are for adults and teenagers. They best suit people wanting to have their teeth straightened but without people knowing it and noticing the braces.
Your teeth can be straightened using braces, giving you that great smile you have always desired as well as having a good face structure. The good thing about this is that you are not limited to one type of braces.
There are a variety of braces which you can choose with the help of your dentist based on the severity of the teeth misalignment, the amount of money you intend to spend and your preference.
The most familiar type of braces is metal braces. These are the most common, are among the least expensive and can be used by most of the patients. You just need to get used to them being conspicuous.
If you are uncomfortable with metal braces, then you can opt for ceramic ones. These can blend with your teeth so that they are not as noticeable. However, you need to take extra care of them so that they don’t get stained or break.
For those who don’t want people to know they are straightening their teeth using braces, lingual braces and Invisalign come in handy. The hurdle you may face is finding an orthodontist to apply them because you need someone with high level of skill. They are also uncomfortable. In the case of Invisalign, they are more expensive and are only suitable if your problem is minor.