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The Process of Getting Braces

Before you get braces, your dentist or orthodontist will determine if braces are suitable for you and will help solve the problems you face.

First they will conduct a visual inspection of your teeth.

If they determine that you need braces, they will set up what is known as a “records appointment”. At this appointment, X-rays, molds, and impressions are made of your mouth and teeth.

These records will be used to help determine the best action to take.

The full course of treatment may be between six months to two and a half years depending on the issues.

The fist step of fitting the braces is to apply adhesive to help the cement bond to the surface of the tooth.

Normally, the teeth will then be banded and brackets added. Dental cement is used to apply the bracket and light will be used to help this harden quickly. This usually takes a few seconds per tooth.

Spacers may be used to create room for molar bands to be added later to ensure brackets will stick. These can be used when previous dental work such as fillings makes it difficult to secure a bracket to the teeth.

An archwire is then threaded between the brackets and affixed with elastic or metal ligatures. The archwires will need to be adjusted frequently to help achieve the desired outcome.

When the archwire is cold, it is normally flexible so that it can be easily threaded between the brackets. After it heats up to body temperature, the archwire attempts to retain its shape. This is what applies the light force needed to move the teeth.

Often there is a problem because there is not enough space in the mouth for all the teeth to fit properly. If this is the case, then some teeth may be removed. Alternatively, an expander may be used to enlarge the palate or arch.

Braces need to be adjusted every couple of months and this may cause a little discomfort. But most of the time with braces you will forget they are there.

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The Pros and Cons of Hidden Braces

While regular metal braces with an arch wire and elastics are still the most common, some people opt for a different approach.

One option is lingual or “hidden” braces which are fixed to the inside of the teeth.

They still use brackets and wires, but those brackets and wires cannot generally be seen by others.

Rather than having brackets bonded to the teeth and wires attached with elastic, lingual braces have brackets built for each tooth.

The brackets are fixed to each tooth with cement and then the arch wire is threaded through the brackets.

Pros of Lingual Braces
They look better than regular braces
They work as effectively as regular braces
Food caught in them is not usually visible to others
May be more stable than other options

Cons of Lingual Braces
They can take longer to get used to
The way you talk may be affected, especially at first
Caring for them is more difficult
Cleaning takes longer
They can be more expensive as they have to be custom made and installation is more complex

Why Teenagers Need Braces

The idea of getting braces may at first be daunting to a teenager.

But the benefits definitely make it worthwhile.

It may be hard to believe at first but the long-term benefit is a better smile that makes you look great.

Truth is about 70% of US teenagers need braces so, if you look around your class, probably about two out of three of your friends have braces or will have them soon.

Just take a look in the mirror and decide if you like your smile.

Whatever you think now, your orthodontist will make your smile even better.

Think about how much that will boost your social life.

However, it’s not just about your smile, there are many health benefits of braces:

– You will be able to chew your food better: When teeth are not straight, you can’t chew your food correctly. This can cause an upset stomach.

– You will avoid dental problems: If you do not get orthodontic treatment when you need it, your teeth will be hard to clean and your gums will hurt.

– You may avoid developing a breathing problem: The roof of your mouth can sometimes partially block the air passages in your nose. This causes you to snore loudly and may contribute to a condition called “sleep apnea”.

Therefore braces can make a big difference to your life both now and in the future.

Differenent types of dental braces

Though many people still picture a “mouthful of metal” when they think of braces, there are now many more options available.

Dental braces work by applying pressure to the teeth so that they move gradually into a new position.

The pressure usually comes from a metal wire attached to tiny brackets placed on each tooth.

These brackets are what used to create the “metal mouth”.

However modern brackets are much smaller and are glued on the front of each tooth.

Added pressure is applied to the teeth using rubber bands called ligatures.

They can be made to look more attractive using different colors or gimmicks.

In addition to the much-improved traditional braces, there are now many more options:

– Mini Braces: Smaller than traditional braces

– Clear Braces: Porcelain braces with tooth-colored brackets

– Lingual Braces: Placed behind the teeth to be less noticeable

– Removable Braces: Similar to mouthguards and made of clear plastic

Whichever types of braces you choose, they all work in the same way and help you have straighter teeth which leads to better dental health and a great smile.

How braces look good

Braces are orthodontic appliances that can help straighten out crooked and crowded teeth.

As well as making you look better, they can help improve your dental health.

Many people have been put off wearing them because of how they look but modern braces can be very inconspicuous.

One way of making them inconspicuous is by having the brackets – the part that attaches to each tooth – fixed to the back of the tooth.

The brackets can be also be made in many different materials such as metal, ceramic or plastic so they can be more attractive or less visible.

They can also be designed to appear less noticeable – say be being clear or tooth-colored.

You can also choose to have them in virtually any color. You can even have them gold-plated or glowing in the dark.

Some people like to have their braces shaped in as something distinctive such as a heart or a football.

Choosing the right toothbrush for your needs

It would be easy to get overwhelmed by the huge range of dental care products now available.

Even looking just at toothbrushes present a wide range of choices.

There are hundreds of manual and powered toothbrushes to choose from.

Start by looking for products that carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance – this is an important symbol of a the product’s safety and effectiveness.

When you buy a toothbrush, replace it every three to four months. Replace it sooner if the bristles become frayed as a worn toothbrush will not clean your teeth properly.

Make it easy for your children to brush their teeth by choosing a child-sized toothbrush and make it more interesting for them by selecting fun colors and designs.

Often people who have difficulties with hand, arm or shoulder movements find that powered toothbrushes are the best choice. However, it’s also possible to make a few small changes to modify a manual toothbrush and make it easier to use.

For example, you can:

– Enlarge the handle with a sponge, rubber ball, or bicycle handle grip
– Lengthen the handle with a piece of wood or plastic
– Bend the handle slightly while running it under hot water

Your dentist will give you tips on what toothbrushes would be right for your needs.