Braces are one of the most common dental procedures. Most dental offices can install them, and if you want to straighten your teeth they’re one of the time-honored ways to do that. Are you aware of how they work?
What braces do
The traditional kind of braces that most people think of are made of ceramic, wire, and bonding material. They’re glued individually to each tooth. When you get braces, you’re moving your teeth by exerting pressure on the membrane between teeth and jaw that holds each tooth. Teeth don’t directly go into the jaw, or braces wouldn’t work.
There are other types of braces than the traditional invasive metal contraption. Among those are the kind we do at our office, clear aligner therapy. Clear aligners can take care of many alignment issues that traditional braces can, though they’re not always the best solution in every case. Many people prefer the clear aligner to traditional braces because they’re more discreet and can be popped in and out of the mouth.
Once braces come off, a retainer is used to make sure the teeth stay in their new configuration. That retainer will need to be worn for a few months all the time, and then during sleep for several years. It takes time for the mouth to adjust to the new shape and completely “set” in the new position.
When you’re getting traditional braces, the dentist sets up a brace that connects to each tooth with glue, then uses an archwire to hold them all together. This wire is used to change the tension on each tooth and pull them into alignment with each other. At intervals, the wire’s tension is changed and elastic bands are switched out.
With other types of aligners, the whole aligner needs to be periodically switched as the teeth move. Different aligners and different dental problems may require different intervals, but the overall effect is that the aligners slowly move closer to the final shape of a straight line of teeth until the teeth are fully aligned.
Whatever solution you choose, the results at the end are a completely new smile. No matter how severe the misalignment, there’s an option that can work to bring teeth into line. If you’ve been thinking of getting your teeth aligned, we can help. Call or visit us and we’ll help you get the straight, even smile you’ve always dreamed of. We’re here to help you with any of your dental needs.