Braces are also known as orthodontic appliances, and they are primarily used to straighten teeth alignment. Straight teeth alignment produces a better and more even smile, while uneven alignment is not only unattractive, but could present oral health issues in the long-term.
Braces can be regular brackets, lingual-type brackets, or bands. The regular brackets are usually made of stainless steel, ceramic or plastic. Many dentists prefer stainless steel because it creates less friction and will not produce discoloration. Lingual-type brackets are those braces that are attached on the back of each tooth. And lastly, traditional bands are braces that use brackets along with metal bands.
Symptoms that Call for Braces
The main problem addressed by the use of braces is called malocclusion. Malocclusion happens for many reasons. A person may have a mouth that is too small to accommodate all their teeth. There might be extra teeth that grow or there might be a missing tooth. Malocclusion also happens when the jawbones are misaligned due to TMJ disorders or bruxism. The symptoms of malocclusion are easy to see. These include crowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, underbite, overbite, and crossbite.
Malocclusions can be detected in children as early as seven years old. Braces can also be applied at such an early age. In fact, many orthodontists find it best to treat malocclusions while the teeth are still growing. Of course, adults can also wear braces. The only disadvantage of starting braces as an adult is that the procedure takes longer.
The treatment procedure for braces begins with an orthodontic evaluation. Before the orthodontist can suggest a customized treatment plan, he would want to know the patient.s medical and dental history. The orthodontist will also perform his own examination of the teeth and overall facial structure. Then, x-rays, photographs, and teeth impressions are taken.
After the evaluation process, the braces are attached. The secret to the effectiveness of braces is the continuous application of pressure. The pressure primarily comes from the elastic bands, which are attached to the hooks of brackets. The bracket.s purpose is to simply anchor the rubber bands to the teeth. The wires are utilized to guide the direction of the teeth.s movements. These wires are anchored at the buccal tube, a metal band that is wrapped around the molars.
Depending on the severity and nature of the malocclusion, the orthodontist will also use springs and facebow headgear. The braces are tightened periodically during each visit to the orthodontist until the desired teeth alignment is achieved.
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Results of Braces
Having braces will require that the patient exhibits caution with the kind of food that he eats. Brushing and flossing will also take longer. However, the final result, a perfectly even smile, is certainly worth is the effort.