How do Braces Work?
Your braces are at work every moment of your treatment by using gentle, constant pressure to move teeth into their proper positions. The two main components of your braces are: the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them. The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to reflect your “ideal” bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want you to look after treatment.
What Braces Treat
Do I Need Braces?
After examining you, our amazing team at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics will be able to decide what the best course of action is for your particular case. These are some of the most common issues braces can help to treat.
The most common reason to need braces is the crowding of the teeth. When your teeth are all smushed together it is hard to clean in between your teeth and it affects the aesthetic of your smile. Too much space between teeth is also an issue.
Bite Issues | Open Bite
For other people, the need for braces stems from a bite problem. An open bite is when the teeth don’t properly align when you close your mouth.
Bite Issues | Under Bite
An underbite is when your lower front teeth are in front of your upper teeth when you close your jaws.
Types of Braces
There is no one choice for everybody so make sure you get evaluated and talk to your orthodontist about which type of treatment is best for your particular situation.
Metal braces are made of high-quality, durable stainless steel. They are the most common type of braces. The brackets, which are bonded to the front of each tooth, are connected by the archwire, which helps guide the teeth into the correct positions.
There are many good reasons why time-tested metal braces remain popular — they offer a reliable, effective and economical treatment option. In contrast to the appliances of the past, today’s braces are actually smaller, lighter, and more comfortable to wear. If you want a less traditional look, you may choose colorful elastics for the brackets!
Ceramic braces move teeth just as efficiently as metal braces, except the brackets are clear, so they are less noticeable. They’re most popular with adult patients due to their cosmetic appeal. Patient must practice good oral hygiene to prevent discoloration.
The technology is constantly improving and their appeal is undeniable… but there are a few tradeoffs. The ceramic brackets can be less durable than their metal counterparts; plus, while the brackets themselves don’t stain, the elastic bands that attach them to the archwire do (however, these are generally changed each month.)
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How can I tell if my child needs orthodontic treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children first be seen by an orthodontist at age 7. This is when the first adult teeth typically begin erupting.
Many times tooth or bite issues can be more comfortably corrected at a younger age and that allows for healthier growth and development. For example, in cases of severe crowding an early treatment can help to eliminate the need for future extraction of permanent teeth.
Our doctors review every individual and if possible will wait until all of the adult teeth have erupted to recommend comprehensive orthodontic treatment.
Will I be able to play sports/play my instrument?
In a word: Yes. Of course, whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouthguard when playing most sports. Musicians are generally able to play their instruments just as they did before, but they may need a short adjustment period after getting braces.
How long will treatment take?
It’s different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or other appliances) may take from 6-30 months. After that, a retainer is worn for at least several months more.
Does getting braces hurt? What about wearing them?
Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so, as they adjust to wearing their appliances; periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but are usually unnecessary.
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