Permanent teeth grow and have a definite shape, size and structure, however sometimes there are certain anomalies, as sometimes they grow out of perfect alignment. If your child is having problems with the alignment of the teeth and has been referred to a specialist known as an orthodontist who will help bring your child’s teeth to normal positioning In such cases, we need to put them in shape to look good. This can be done using teeth braces.
Now the question is what exactly is bracing or braces? Braces or orthodontic braces are devices to put our deformed teeth in place and in perfect alignment. Braces are not exactly counted among the new methods. These were also used in ancient times that are even about 300 B.C.
The Initial Visit For Teeth Braces
When you first take your child to the clinic, the doctor will run an assessment of the problem and will undertake certain tests to formulate a treatment plan prior to actually beginning your child’s treatment.
So, during the initial visit, you can expect the doctor to take measurements of your child’s upper and lower teeth to prepare study models to study the type of correction that is required.
Also, several types of X-rays will be taken by the doctor to study the various relationships like the upper teeth to the lower teeth, the teeth in relation to the jaw bones, the size of the teeth, the size of the roots, etc.
Follow Up Visit
Based on the observations from the tests and the radiographs taken in the initial visit, the orthodontist would have formulated a treatment plan to bring about the necessary correction.
This treatment plan might involve removal of some permanent teeth too to create space for correct alignment of the remaining teeth.
So, you need to be prepared if your doctor advises this to your child
The Procedure For Teeth Braces
Once the initial assessment and the follow up visits are completed, the orthodontist will begin with the actual treatment procedure.
This will involve providing a removable or a fixed appliance commonly known as braces to help provide the necessary force to bring your child’s teeth into alignment.
Sometimes, the doctor might even advice an interim procedure wherein an appliance is known as functional appliance might be provided to help bring about some corrections.
Once the actual appliance is placed, you will be provided with specific instructions to help maintain the appliance without causing it any damage and in the maintenance of hygiene as this is very important for the success of the treatment.
Some amount of pain might be seen during the procedure, especially during the initial phases of treatment. You can check with the doctor to provide some medications to help keep the pain under control if and when it arises.
Also, follow-up visits once in every few weeks will be advised to make periodic corrections and adjustments to the appliance as and when necessary.
These visits will also help the doctor to assess the progress of the treatment and make necessary adjustments to the process, if essential.
As orthodontic treatment involves changes in the supporting bone around the teeth, placing a removable appliance called the retainer becomes of utmost importance at the ending of the treatment.
This is to prevent the bounce back of the teeth to the old position (something like an elastic rebound) and to allow for adequate bone healing in the new position so that the teeth do not move back to its old state.
Orthodontic treatment is a corrective treatment of the teeth that will help provide a better appearance to the smile as well as to the face.
But, this procedure is definitely a slow process that takes about 18-24 months to complete. So, you should be ready for frequent visits to the dental clinic as and when your appointments are scheduled. But, the results you see are definitely worth the wait.
CHANCES OF ALLERGY IN TEETH BRACES
There is also a chance of allergy, as many people are allergic to metals or to plastics and may result in an allergic condition called anaphylaxis.
We must always consult the dentist about such complications before considering such an operation.
TYPES OF TEETH BRACES
- Clear Braces
- Lingual Braces
- Gold Plated stainless steel braces
- Titanium Braces
Teeth braces are orthodontic appliances that are used for correcting the alignment of teeth and facial asymmetries.
Metallic braces were among the first orthodontic appliances that were introduced for orthodontic treatment of misaligned or crooked teeth. Still, they are being commonly used in orthodontics, besides other types of braces such as ceramic braces and lingual braces.
What are Metal Braces Made of?
Since the braces remain in the oral cavity for an extended time duration, they are prepared from materials that possess sufficient strength and excellent resistance to corrosion. Therefore, conventional metal braces are made of high-quality stainless steel or titanium alloys. Metallic braces consist of the following components:
- Metallic Brackets – brackets are the appliances that are attached to the teeth, and are the ones that become visible whenever you open your mouth for speech or smiling. Brackets are attached to the teeth with the help of special dental cement that is polymerized with the help of visible light. Orthodontic braces contain slots through which an archwire passes.
- Metallic Archwires – an archwire is simply a metallic wire that passes through specially designed slots within the brackets. Metallic archwires are either prepared from stainless steel, nickel titanium, or β-titanium alloys. The thickness and rigidity of the archwires determine the force that is generated onto the teeth. Usually, flexible wires are used initially to gradually align the teeth followed by using rigid wires (like stainless steel) to bring about major orthodontic movements of teeth.
- Orthodontic Ligatures – also commonly known as rubber bands, these are simply elastics that are used for holding archwires into their places in the brackets. Ligatures come in a variety of colors and patients can choose the color of their ligatures at every appointment, when they are replaced with fresh ones.
How Do Metal Braces Work?
As discussed previously, teeth braces contain specialized slots through which the orthodontic wires pass. The type of orthodontic wire, as well as its thickness, determine the amount of force that is generated onto the teeth. This force is then used to move or re-align the teeth in their proper positions. At every appointment, which is usually two to three weeks apart, your dentist will replace your ligatures and adjust the orthodontic wires so that they are tight enough to move your teeth.
Management of Dislodged Braces
Braces are attached to your teeth with the help of adhesive cement. If you are not careful about your diet and continue to eat sticky and hard foods, there are chances that the metallic brackets may get dislodged from teeth. What to do in this case? First, don’t panic! Simply secure the bracket and visit your dentist or orthodontist immediately. At the dental clinic, the tooth will be cleaned and the bracket will be re-attached to it.
Ceramic braces are the latest and most aesthetic form of orthodontic braces offered by modern dentistry.
Dental braces have been in use one form or the other since the middle of the eighth century.
Conventionally, metal braces were used for the orthodontic treatment of misaligned and crooked teeth. Despite the excellent efficiency of metallic braces in bringing about optimal alignment and rotation of teeth, their unaesthetic metallic appearance was a major concern for many patients.
Thus, an alternative was sought for them, and after rigorous research, tooth-colored ceramic braces were introduced for orthodontic use.
The only downside of using ceramic braces is their high cost. Also, ceramic braces also carry some risk of getting stained from food products and drinks.
However, aesthetic considerations normally outweigh the expense of ceramic braces. Thus, they are gradually gaining widespread popularity as an aesthetic alternative for metallic braces.
What are Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces are fixed orthodontic appliances that are attached to the teeth just like the conventional braces. However, the only difference is that they are attached to the inner surface of the teeth.
The only things visible than are the thin dental bands which go around the individual teeth. Thus cosmetically, lingual braces are far superior to the conventional wire braces.
How Lingual Braces Are Applied
Just like the conventional (front) braces, the process involves the following steps:
- Removal of teeth to create space: Sometimes, one or two teeth need to be removed from one or both jaws to create room for the alignment of remaining teeth.
- Impression taking: Your orthodontist takes impressions of your teeth using a special paste which will harden. He or she will ask you to bite on it and hold the mouth closed till it solidifies. This impression is then used to prepare study models, which in addition to x-rays, are used for preparing a customized treatment plan.
- Brackets: Next, the brackets are attached to the inner surface of all the teeth. An archwire made from stainless steel or titanium alloys passes through specially created slots in the braces and ends at the bans which are attached to the molar teeth in both the jaws. The wire is attached to the teeth with the help of ties or ligature, which are available in different colors.
- Adjustment: The dentist adjusts the arch wire to apply controlled force on the teeth, and makes sure none of the structure causes any irritation to the tongue or palate. That completes the initial set up.
“Orthodontic treatment is a corrective treatment of the teeth that will help provide a better appearance to the smile as well as to the face.”