If you have crooked teeth or an over- or under-bite, braces are the best solution. Braces work for children, adolescents, and adults. The recommended age for a particular person depends on the development of his or her teeth and jaw.
Braces are made of brackets that are bonded to the teeth and use wires to move the teeth into a better position. Brackets can be made of metal or ceramic. Ceramic brackets are clear or tooth-colored, so they are less noticeable than metal brackets from far away. However, ceramic brackets break more easily, so they are more common among adults than among children or adolescents. Most braces are placed on the front of the teeth, but sometimes lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth so that they are hidden from view.
The length of time that you will have to wear braces depends on how much your teeth have to be adjusted. The more your teeth need to be moved to reach the correct alignment, the longer the period of treatment. Most people wear braces for one to two years.
How braces work
Braces are made up of four basic components: brackets, bonding material, arch wire, and ligature elastic. A bracket is attached to each tooth with a bonding material. An arch wire runs between each bracket, and this is what puts pressure on the teeth to move them into the desired position. Finally, a ligature elastic holds the arch wire to each bracket. These ligatures are changed every time your braces are adjusted, and you can choose from a variety of colors.
The pressure of the arch wire moves the teeth and this pressure causes the bone underneath to change. Based on where the pressure is applied, bone mass is removed in one place and added to a different place, in effect remodeling itself around the tooth. Sometimes the arch wire by itself is not enough to move the teeth in the right direction. In this case, extra springs or rubber bands can be used to exert more force. By exerting constant pressure, braces can move the teeth gradually over time to their desired positions.
After the teeth have reached their desired position and the braces are removed, it is important to wear a retainer for a long period of time so that the teeth don’t move back. The bone that has begun to form around the new positions of the teeth has to be allowed to finish remodeling itself so that it doesn’t push the teeth back to match the bone.
The benefits of braces
When done properly and when retainers are worn for the necessary amount of time, braces result in straight, properly-aligned teeth and can also fix an over- or under-bite.
If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in the Valley, Dr. Kass is an expert in braces and orthodontics. He is considered the best doctor in the area.