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All you need to know about braces

What are braces?

Braces, also known as dental braces, are devices used in orthodontics to straighten and align often crowded teeth.

 

In the United States and Canada alone more than 4 million adults and teens wear braces in an effort to improve their smile, fix gaps, correct underbites, and overall dental health.

 

These devices work by applying continuous pressure with special wires and brackets over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction.

Which types of braces are available?

There are several types of braces available, tailored to your specific treatment.

 

Traditional braces.

 

Braces (composed of brackets, a base, archwire, and a slot) are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help widen the palate or jaws and to otherwise assist in shaping the teeth and jaws.

 

The archwire is adjusted periodically as your teeth slowly move into the desired place.

 

Clear braces (Invisalign)

 

These require that patients wear a succession of progressively different clear aligner trays (usually 18–30) that move the teeth. Each aligner guides the teeth into a better position than the previous one.

 

Lingual braces

 

They are similar to traditional metal braces but are positioned on the back of your teeth. Cleaning teeth can take longer compared to regular braces.

 

The type of braces that your orthodontist recommends will depend on several factors, such as your age and whether you have an overbite in addition to having crooked teeth.

 

Braces are custom-made and individual to the needs of each person.

How is the braces treatment process like?​​

Dental braces treatment is performed in three phases:

 

  • Placement of braces

  • Periodic adjustments

  • Use of a retainer after the braces are removed.

 

Fixed dental braces typically consist of these components:

 

Brackets. They are attached to the outside or backside surfaces of the teeth, made of stainless steel, ceramic (clear or tooth-colored) or other materials.

 

Ring-like bands that encircle the molar teeth made of stainless steel or titanium.

 

An archwire that connects all of the brackets and bands and controls the movement of the teeth.

 

Small rubber bands or metal ties to secure the wire to the brackets.

 

A headgear attached to the braces may be helpful for complex cases and are usually worn at night.

 

Temporary anchorage devices that offer an alternative to headgear or rubber bands. These are tiny screws placed through the gums into the jawbone, used as anchors to apply continuous pressure to move the teeth.

Are braces painful?

Although some parts of the process could involve a sense of pressure, overall, getting braces is not painful.

 

Should you feel some kind of discomfort, your dentist may suggest over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen for relief.

What are the risks of having braces?

The risks associated with having braces depends on the patient’s habits and care.

 

In the short-term, braces create tiny spaces around your teeth that can trap food particles and promote bacteria-filled plaque deposits. If you fail to remove such deposits of food and plaque, that can lead to:

 

  • Tooth decay

  • Gum disease

  • Enamel damage leading to stains

 

Other possible risks include shorter root lengths and loss of correction if you don't follow your orthodontist's instructions carefully after your braces are removed.

When should I expect the results of having braces?

You should expect your final results from braces after 18 to 24 months.

 

The time depends on many factors such as bone density, misalignment severity, age of the patient, and the type of braces. 

What is the cost of braces?

Braces costs depend on the type and treatment for your specific needs.

 

Contact one of our doctors for information about prices and all-inclusive packages.

Find a Doctor in the DR

Dr. Manuel Sanabia

Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Raúl Del Toro

Orthodontist

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