What Are Braces And How Do They Work?
Braces are something just about every teenager will have to face at some point. Braces help to keep your teeth straight and help to ensure that there is room for the other teeth to come in as well. This method is done by continuously applying pressure to the teeth over a period of time to slowly move them in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone inside of your mouth gives way on one side and allows a more comfortable fit in the gums for all of your teeth. Braces are guaranteed to improve your dental health and bring about a whole new healthy and beautiful smile!
Any and all orthodontic problems must be diagnosed before a treatment can begin. A proper diagnosis will involve careful studies of x-rays, photographs and even dental impressions to determine the issue and where to begin.
Braces are made of many different components, but the brackets and arch wires are the most important pieces of all. Brackets are the pieces that are bonded directly to the teeth and the arch wires are what connect to the brackets. The arch wires are what actually help to move the teeth around your mouth. Contrary to what many of us think, the brackets only serve as handles, so to speak, for the arch wires. The arch wire applies a gentle, steady pressure to the teeth and this is what actually makes your teeth move into their proper position. Elastic bands are also used to ensure that the upper and lower teeth still bite down together properly.
Different Types of Braces
Traditional Metal Braces
When people hear the word “braces”, these are typically the type that pops into their head right off the bat. Traditional metal braces have come a long way since what most adults usually remember. Modern-day braces are a lot smaller than they used to be, meaning they are a lot less noticeable as well; always the first thing a teenager worries about! Plus, the new heat-activated arch wires help to move your teeth more quickly and even less painful than before, all by using your body heat! Metal braces are standard metal brackets that are applied to your teeth with adhesive and are connected together by wire. Traditional braces require periodic tightening so that there is constant pressure applied to the teeth and that your teeth and jaw are aligned as needed.
Even though these are the most noticeable types of braces to have, many teens enjoy the fact that you can add your own personal flare to the braces. Coloured bands can be added to the braces in a variety of ways, creating a unique and fun, colourful smile! Each time that you go in to have your braces tightened, you can also choose to change the colour of your bands. Braces are typically worn for one to three years, depending on the individual’s situation. Once the braces come off, a retainer will take their place to ensure that your teeth stay in the positions in which they were moved to..
Ceramic braces are made up of clear, composite materials and are therefore a lot less visible on your teeth than the metal braces. Ceramic braces come in many altering levels of transparency so that you can have the option of wearing braces that mimic the natural colour of your teeth. For this reason, ceramic braces are typically used on older teenagers and adults that have concerns about their cosmetic appearance. Because of their transparency, ceramic braces require a lot more oral attention to ensure that no stains form. Smoking and drinking a lot of coffee is one sure way to stain your ceramics! It’s not the ceramic brackets that stain, but the elastic wires and ties that are holding the brackets firmly to your teeth. If you do happen to stain your ceramics, the ties are changed each time an adjustment is made; typically every month.
Ceramic braces are also less resilient to any shock, abuse or force that is put on them; meaning they can chip, fracture or break very easily. Because of this fact, these braces are typically only used on the top set of teeth and teeth that are not vital for chewing to help to avoid damaging the braces.
All in all, Ceramic braces are a lot less noticeable, help to move your teeth much faster than the Invisalign and they even cost less than the traditional metal braces! We cannot stress enough how important it is that you give a lot care to your ceramic braces if you choose to have them as they can stain very easily!
Invisalign has taken a modern approach to straightening your teeth with these custom-made series of aligners that have been created specifically for you and only you. The aligner trays are made from a smooth and comfortable invisible plastic that you simply wear over your teeth. Properly wearing the aligners will help to gently and gradually shift your teeth into their new place. There are no metal brackets and no wires, just plastic trays that will get replaced approximately every two weeks, up until your treatment is complete. Wearing Invisalign instead of traditional braces also means that you will have less frequent orthodontist visits. You can achieve a brilliant smile with little to no interference in your daily life.
These aligners are much easier to clean than traditional braces because of the fact that they are removable and with these easy-fitting aligners, you won’t have to worry about irritation to your gums or cheeks like metal braces.
Referred to as “adult braces”, Invisalign is perfect for teens or adults who want to straighten out their teeth but at the same time don’t want everyone knowing about it. The strong plastic trays are indeed invisible, making it nearly impossible to notice that you are wearing braces. Oral hygiene is a lot easier to maintain as well with these braces, again, because of the fact that they are removable. This makes it easier for you to eat, as well as brush and floss your teeth without your braces getting in the way.
During your treatment process, you will be able to keep track of the progress that your teeth have made in moving towards their correct location by viewing a computer simulation of the process, and you will also be able to see a projected final outcome of your new smile.
Overall, Invisalign is less painful and a lot easier to maintain than traditional braces but our Martindale Dental team can help you achieve the perfect smile you’ve always wanted with the ideal treatment for you. Call us today to schedule a consultation!
Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof. For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.