If you are considering getting braces, it would be better to know how braces work and what it does to improve not only your dental aesthetics but your whole facial appearance as well. As explained at www.infinitydentalcare.com.au/adult-braces, more adults are seeking teeth straightening treatments nowadays without knowing how it could benefit them. Before heading to your dentist to get braces, let us first find out why it’s important and how it can solve your dental issues.
Dental braces work by continually adjusting the teeth, making it move, and stay steady in the right position. You will notice people with braces having an arched wire that’s connecting their teeth, This is the material that puts pressure on the teeth while the other materials are placed to hold the teeth in place. Getting braces is a huge decision to make and it requires knowledge and the right information to avoid misleading theories and myths about the said dental treatment.
According to historians, braces started around 400-300 BC when Hippocrates and Aristotle are contemplating ideas on how to straighten the teeth while trying to improve dental health. Researchers found plenty of evidence that proves this claim, several mummified ancient corpses were discovered wearing metal wires on their teeth. It’s also been said that even Cleopatra herself wore her own pair of braces. In the 18th century, orthodontics started to develop and achieve great progression opening an era of advanced dental treatments and procedures. Today traditional braces and especially clear braces are advertised online and there is a great variety of options for adults to choose from.
Composition of Dental Braces
A dental brace is composed of 3 things. The first one is the bracket, the small type box that you see attached on each tooth is called a dental bracket. An archwire, which is the second component of braces, will be attached to these brackets according to the dental plan made by the dentist. It is considered as the main and most important part of the whole braces, its job is to create pressure to move the teeth to the correct position and hold it in its right place. Lastly, elastics will be placed on each bracket to add more pressure and support. In some cases, devices like spring and headgear are added to the brace as well.
Types Of Braces
In getting braces, one must also consider the type of dental braces that fits them the most. Dental braces could be made of various materials depending on your preference. And each type has its own pros and cons.
- Metal braces, the traditional kind of dental brace, is made of stainless steel. The arched wire that connects the teeth are made of different materials like copper and titanium. Over the years, the archwires of metal braces have evolved, the newest archwires can now adopt body heat making it a heat-activated component that can easily move the teeth without causing too much pain. Since this type is much more obvious on the mouth than the others, this is the cheapest type of dental brace available in the market.
- Lingual braces are just like metal braces made of the same materials, however, these are placed on the inside of teeth making it invisible from the outside. This is a rare type of brace that is not always recommended to everyone because it could cause extreme discomfort compared to regular dental braces. Since it’s placed on the inside, lingual braces are difficult to clean, the amount of time for regular adjustments take longer, and it can be more painful. If you are planning on getting braces, consult your doctor first if this type is suitable for you.
Clear braces have started to emerge and skyrocketed as one of the most sought after type of braces.
- Ceramic braces could be made of aluminum oxide or polycrystalline. This type of clear braces is just the same size and shape as metal braces, the only difference is that this has tooth-colored or clear brackets giving an illusion that the person isn’t wearing dental braces. Clear braces are less obvious and could cost much more than metal braces, the only downside is that clear braces stain easily if not properly cleaned.
- Invisalign is another type of clear braces, this is like a mouthguard piece that’s customized to fit the patient perfectly. These clear plastic aligners can be removed and must be replaced every 2 weeks. Invisalign is made of a thermoplastic material, in other words, flexible plastic. It gives an almost invisible illusion and the wearer can eat or drink anything as they please, although this type of braces will not work on people with severe dental conditions and children. It’s also quite expensive, easy to lose, costly to replace and treatment takes longer.
Dental Braces Procedure
Initially, the orthodontist will examine the condition of the teeth and determine which teeth are not in the right position. Manual and x-ray examination will take place to help the dentist identify the positioning of the teeth and if getting braces is necessary or not. It’s also important to discuss the dental health history of the patient to guide the doctor in the treatment and procedures. Afterward, the dentist will inform the patient of the type of braces that are best suited for them and move on to the next step.
The process of fitting the braces is quite simple, a cheek retractor will be used to make sure that all teeth are visible, clean, and dry. The teeth will be polished and air-dried before the placement of the braces. Dental glue or dental cement will be used to bond the brackets on the teeth, and this is will be strengthened by a high-intensity light. After this, the cheek retractor will be removed followed by the attachment of dental archwires to the brackets.
The orthodontist will then plot a regular schedule for your dental braces adjustment. This step is crucial and important as it will ensure that your braces are still in the right position. The elastic wires placed on the brackets get weak over time reducing the pressure on the teeth, thus a regular replacement is needed. For every adjustment, you will notice the progress and development in the teeth gradually. After each adjustment, the patient will feel soreness and tightness in their mouth, this is a common occurrence caused by the changes in the positioning of the teeth and the newly acquired pressure on the dental braces. The pain usually lasts for 4 to 6 hours and may come and go for several days.
When the teeth are placed in the desired position, the removal of the braces takes place. The elastic and archwires will be removed followed by the brackets. The remaining dental cement will then be cleaned up by the same equipment used to clean cavities, revealing a newer and brighter smile.
Dental Braces After Care
Getting braces is like getting a new pair of shoes, a new bag, or new clothes. Things like these need proper care to last and stay presentable. After getting your braces, it’s important to always keep the mouth clean and care for it the best way possible.
Things to remember:
- Continue brushing and flossing your teeth 2 to 3 times a day. Plaque and other bacterias can be easily trapped inside the dental brackets causing bad breath.
- Clean your braces, the dentist will teach you how to properly remove and put back on the elastics and other removable parts of the braces, gently brush around the wires and brackets. Take your time and clean all the way from the inside to the outer part. Clean the brackets and teeth individually to ensure that no plaques and food particle remains.
- Rinse and check. After cleaning, check if you cleaned everything and no spot is missed, rinse with mouthwash afterwards.
- Strictly follow the dental adjustment schedule. Visit your dentist regularly to prevent any dental issues.