Worn today by many adults, as well as kids and teens, braces provide an opportunity to correct malocclusion and straighten crooked teeth by applying the correct pressures to your teeth and jaws. They are generally divided into two categories: fixed and removable. Both types work by placing pressure on the teeth and jaws and moving them into positions defined by your dental practitioner. Just how do braces work and how can they improve your self-confidence when you smile? Let’s take a closer look.
How Do Fixed Braces Work?
Permanent appliances are usually recommended for patients who have very crooked teeth or misaligned jaws.
As the name suggests, fixed braces are permanent braces that are attached to the front of the teeth. Metal bands are stuck onto your molars, and metal brackets are placed on the enamel of your front teeth. The bands and brackets are connected to one another by arch wires. The arch wires do the heavy work of moving and straightening your teeth, but each component of the apparatus plays an essential role in the treatment process.
In some cases, rubber bands are used to align the jaws. If you need to wear rubber bands you’ll probably have to wear them for around 14 hours a day, and you’ll need to change them twice daily too.
You will visit your dentist regularly for adjustments and he or she will ensure the pressure is correct to guide your teeth and jaws into position.
Wearing them will take some getting used to as your teeth start to move into the correct position. You may have a few scrapes and bumps at first, as the wires can scratch your gums and soft tissue initially.
How do braces work?
Well, you may experience some pressure in your teeth as your jawbone changes shape and you’ll realise how amazing it is that such small components can make such a big difference to your smile.
You may want some pain relief after your fitting, and your dentist will recommend that you only eat soft foods to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
Dental hygiene is of extreme importance once you have had them fitted. It is likely that they will attract and collect food so you will need to brush and floss after every meal to keep your mouth clean.
The most cost-effective permanent appliances are generally made out of metal but are much smaller and more discreet than ever. Ceramic, lingual and invisible brands are also growing in popularity because they are hardly noticeable and easier for the patient to manage and wear. They do require special care because they are more expensive and can stain easily.
How Do Removables Work?
Removables are comprised of a plastic or acrylic plate with wires. The wires in the braces are tightened so they can guide your teeth into the correct position by applying gentle pressure.
Your dentist will see you regularly, and make the necessary adjustments to your wires to manage the pressure and ensure your teeth shift correctly.
Removable braces are used for correcting minor tooth alignment issues. Some types of removable braces are specifically useful at managing problems associated with the front teeth, and they can achieve impressive results in a relatively short period of time.
Removable braces are more popular than fixed appliances among patients because they can be removed for dental hygiene and eating. They are also more discreet and less noticeable to other people, but they can only be used for minor corrections. If you need more extensive straightening your dentist will recommend permanent appliances.
If you have recently had your permanent braces removed, your dentist may recommend a retainer or removable plate to be worn every day, or overnight while you sleep. This is to ensure that your teeth do not slip back into their old position.
Call one of our friendly dentists today to find out just how do braces work and which type is best for you: Sydney: (02) 8294 5812 or Gosford: (02) 8294 8656.