Braces are devices that are placed directly on teeth in order to move them. Braces are the most common method for achieving optimally aligned teeth. They can straighten misaligned teeth and improve the relationship of how our teeth come together between the upper and lower jaws.
Using braces to move teeth is called orthodontics. Braces use the body’s natural ability to regenerate its own tissue by using consistent, light force to slowly and gently move teeth into better positions and reshape bone. It is never too late to get braces. Orthodontics can help increase your self-confidence, which can benefit your social and professional life. Braces don’t just help with looks, but can also help you bite, chew, and speak better. Properly aligned teeth are also easier to clean which will result in a healthier mouth.
Many general dentists are doing basic alignment and orthodontics, but orthodontists specialize in correcting irregularities of the teeth. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist or orthodontist near you.
What Do Braces Treat?
Orthodontic treatment can resolve a number of bite problems, including:
The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for braces is by making an appointment with your orthodontist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan.
Common Types of Braces
Braces may consist of bands, wires, and other corrective appliances; in order to correct your bite problems, the teeth need to be moved. Here are a few ways we can gently move teeth:
- Traditional braces. small metal brackets that are bonded to the front of the teeth with a thin wire running through them
- Clear braces. ceramic or plastic brackets held together by a slim archwire.
- Removable clear aligners, like Invisalign are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth.
Your dentist or orthodontist will talk to you about which option is right for you. After your braces are removed, it is very important to wear a retainer as directed. Teeth naturally tend to drift back to their original locations and wearing a retainer holds your teeth in their new position long enough for new bone and ligament to form around them. A retainer helps keep your gorgeous new smile looking good for a lifetime.
How Do I Get Braces?
The first step to getting braces is to go to the dentist, so they can professionally clean your teeth and treat other oral care conditions that need to be addressed before braces. Your orthodontist will evaluate your teeth and then make a treatment recommendation. Treating a misaligned bite sooner rather than later is always the best option. Talk to a dentist or orthodontist about when it’s best to begin treatment for you or your children. To begin orthodontic treatment, find an orthodontist near you.