WHAT ARE BRACES?
Braces are specialized dental equipment that help align teeth in a desired position.
- Those with visibly crooked teeth
- Those with crowded teeth
- Those who need correcting of open bites (this is a situation where your front teeth do not meet when you bite your teeth together)
- Those who need correcting of overbites (this is a situation where the overlap between your front teeth _when you bite is exaggerated)
- Those who need correcting of crossbites (this is a situation where the normal overlap between your teeth when you bite is reversed)
- Those with difficult speaking because of teeth positions
- Those with problems chewing
WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF BRACES
To understand how braces work it is important to first understand the main parts of braces
- Brackets -these are rectangular ceramic or metallic links that are cemented to the surface of a tooth.
- Archwire- this is the wire that connects your brackets .They deform easily allowing it to connect to the surface of all the teeth no matter the position it is in, yet always aims to go back to its original position helping to restore teeth alignment.
- Ligature ties- these are o shaped rubber bands that connect the archwire to brackets, they do the heavy work and so they need to be really tight and so that is why they are usually replaced with every checkup to ensure they remain that way
HOW DO BRACES MOVE TEETH?
Now that we have a general understanding of the parts of a braces, we can now dive deep into how it works .
The brackets are attached to the tooth creating an area where the archwire can be placed and the connection tightened with the help of elastics .
The archwire comes in a pre-formed shape and always tries to go back to this position. This creates a constant pressure over an extended period of time and the alignment of teeth conforms to this pressure.
Also the bone around the tooth is reshaped allowing teeth to be in this new position. Once this new position is achieved the braces have to be removed .Otherwise they continue exerting pressure on the teeth .We are also met with the challenge that this new position is delicate, hence you need to wear retainers for sometime to ensure this new position sticks.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WHEN WEARING BRACES?
Throughout the treatment period especially when the elastic bands have just been replaced there is a sensation of tightness however this goes down with time as your teeth adapt.
At this time you are normally advised to stick to soft foods and smoothies.
Oral hygiene also has to be taken a notch higher because the presence of braces makes the teeth a little harder to clean.
WHAT PERIOD OF TIME DOES THE TREATMENT TAKE?
The treatment takes between 1 and 3 years to be completed. We always aim for the shortest time period possible and so you need to ensure you follow all the instructions given so that this is possible.