Have you ever wondered why so many people wear braces? How do they work, and what do you need to know before getting them?
Orthodontic braces are one of the most common treatments used to help people achieve a beautiful and aligned smile. They can be used to correct a wide range of orthodontic problems, from crooked teeth to overbites, underbites, and even malocclusions.
While the idea of braces may seem daunting, understanding the basics of how they work and what to expect can help make the process smoother and less intimidating. Unlocking the mystery of braces and how they work will help you make an informed decision about your own treatment and ensure you get the best outcome possible.
What are Braces?
Braces are a specialized form of dental appliance that help to correct misaligned teeth and jaws. They consist of brackets, which are attached to the teeth with a special dental adhesive, and archwires, which connect the brackets and provide the force necessary to move teeth into the desired position. Braces are made of metal, ceramic, plastic, or a combination of materials.
In addition to their primary purpose of correcting misalignment, braces can also improve the aesthetics of a person's smile. By straightening teeth and correcting jaw misalignment, braces help create a more symmetrical and balanced smile. This can have a positive impact on a person's self-esteem and confidence, as well as their overall oral health.
What Orthodontic Problems are Braces Used for?
Braces are used to correct a wide range of orthodontic problems, from crooked teeth to overbites, underbites, and even malocclusions. In addition, braces can also be used to treat temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and sleep apnea.
Crooked teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, certain medical conditions, or even a misaligned bite. Braces help correct crooked teeth by gently and gradually moving them into the correct position. Overbites, underbites, and malocclusions can also be corrected with braces. Overbites are when the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth, while underbites are when the lower teeth protrude over the upper teeth. Malocclusions are more general misalignments of the teeth, such as crossbites, open bites, and deep bites.
How Do Braces Work?
Braces work by applying a gentle, yet consistent, force to the teeth in order to move them into the desired position. This force is provided by the archwires, which are connected to the brackets on the teeth. As the archwire is tightened, it applies pressure to the teeth, which causes them to move. This process is repeated over time until the teeth are in their desired position.
In addition to the archwires, braces also utilize elastics, rubber bands, or springs to help move the teeth. Elastics, or rubber bands, are used to move the upper and lower teeth together in order to correct overbites and underbites. Springs can be used to move the teeth apart in order to correct crowded teeth or to open up space for missing teeth.
Different Types of Braces
There are several different types of braces available today. Traditional metal braces are the most common type and are made of stainless steel brackets and wires.
Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces, but they are made of clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires.
Plastic braces are the least noticeable type of braces and are made of clear plastic aligners.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces, but they are placed on the back of the teeth instead of the front.
Finally, Invisalign braces are a popular option for those looking for a more discreet option. Invisalign braces are made of a series of clear plastic aligners that are virtually invisible.
Orthodontic Treatment Options in Eastern Missouri
Braces provide numerous benefits, both aesthetically and functionally. By correcting misalignment, braces can improve the overall appearance of your smile. In addition, braces also improve the function of your teeth and jaw, resulting in better overall oral health. Finally, braces can also help to reduce the risk of developing more serious dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
To learn more about our orthodontic treatment options and to schedule an appointment, contact us at one of our locations.