Braces are often mentioned in the same sentence as teeth alignment, but they do much more than straighten your teeth. Braces can also correct crossbites, under-bites, and deep bites.
You can find clear braces or more visible metal ones. Braces come in various styles and materials, but all of them involve metal wires that attach to the teeth on either side of the jaw. The wires are then tightened into place using springs or clamps, which force your teeth into a more accurate position.
Although braces can be costly (especially if you have to get them done twice), they usually last between two and four years and make a huge difference in your appearance.
How Do You Know You Need Braces?
Malocclusion is when the teeth are not lined up properly in the mouth. This can cause problems with chewing, speaking, and breathing. There are several signs that you may need braces: if your teeth are out of alignment by more than 1mm, if you have gaps between your teeth, or if your teeth are uneven in size. If these signs are present, talk to your dentist about whether you should get braces.
Several types of braces are available on the market. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, the choice will depend on your individual needs. Here are the three main types:
Metal braces are the most traditional and often the most expensive. They are made from a strong metal alloy and are usually fitted by a dental professional. Resin braces are made from a hard plastic that is heated until it becomes soft and then shaped to fit your teeth. These are less traditional than metal ones, but they are becoming more popular because they’re easier to take care of and look less conspicuous than metal ones.
Ceramic braces are gaining popularity as a treatment for teeth needing improvement. They are often less visible than metal ones and generally last longer. There are two types of ceramic braces: white and tooth-colored. White tends to be less prominent than tooth-colored braces, also known as clear braces, but both types have the same benefits.
Lingual braces are used to correct teeth alignment. They are custom-made to fit the contours of your teeth and can be worn anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. They come in two types: fixed and removable. Fixed lingual braces stay in place with a set of screws, while removable ones can be taken off when needed and replaced with new ones as they wear out.
Invisalign uses clear, removable aligners to help correct teeth alignment. They are often considered more comfortable and less visible than traditional braces, which can be removable in the future. Invisalign is available in various styles and colors, making it suitable for almost any child.
Taking Care Of Oral Hygiene During Treatment
Regular brushing with an orthodontic toothbrush is one of the most imperative habits you can develop for good oral hygiene. Orthodontic treatment may cause your teeth to move out of their usual positions, which can lead to plaque and bacteria buildup on your teeth. Brushing and flossing help remove this buildup, but Orthodontics has a few additional instructions:
- If you are using retainers, brush once after every meal and before bedtime.
- If you are not wearing retainers, brush twice daily between meals. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is designed for use with orthodontic treatments.
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush and apply gentle circular motions to all surfaces of your teeth.
How Long Should You Wear Braces?
A child’s teeth begin to come in around eight months old; by 18 months, they’re almost all in. But that doesn’t mean your little one must go through braces immediately. Most children receive braces between 8 and 18 months, though there’s no set rule. Instead, factors like your child’s bite and how well their teeth fit together will help determine when they should start wearing them.
Braces are essential for oral health and should be worn consistently to achieve optimal results. If you have questions about braces or need assistance selecting the best option, please don’t hesitate to consult your dentist or orthodontist. Finally, remember to enjoy your new smile.