Conditions Corrected By Braces
- Malocclusion: If you have crooked teeth, you are more likely to develop gum disease or tooth decay because it is more difficult to keep them clean.
- Bite Issues: Braces can treat all dental bite issues, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. Plastic aligners cannot correct severe bite issues.
How Metal Braces Work
Metal braces move the teeth gradually along an archwire connected to a band on the back molars. The orthodontist attaches metal brackets to the teeth where the wire will sit.
Elastic bands anchor the bracket to the wire but allow the teeth to move in a controlled fashion. Depending on the type of adjustment performed, the orthodontist can correct many alignment and bite issues.
The Treatment Process
Braces may seem intimidating at first, especially for a child or teen, but the process is straightforward.
Before treatment begins, the orthodontist takes impressions of your teeth. These impressions provide a guide for the orthodontist to plan future tooth movements.
Putting the braces on is a simple process that typically takes a few hours. The orthodontist cleans the teeth and then applies a special bonding compound to ensure the brackets do not fall off during treatment. They thread the archwire through the brackets and attach them to bands around the back teeth.
Every four to six weeks, you will visit the orthodontist to have your braces adjusted. To adjust the braces, the orthodontist tightens the archwire. Adjustments can cause minor discomfort and pressure, but you can easily manage it using over-the-counter medications.
The day your braces come off is exciting. Finally, you will be able to enjoy your straightened, even smile.
Tips for Successful Treatment
After you complete treatment with braces, it is vital to wear your retainer as prescribed. The retainer allows the teeth to settle in their final positions and prevents your teeth from becoming misaligned in the future.
Keep Your Teeth Clean
Cleaning around braces can be a chore. Use interproximal brushes to remove food and plaque around your brackets and wires. Keep all cleaning appointments with your family dentist.
Do not neglect your teeth while you have braces; you may experience more tooth decay in later life if you do not maintain excellent oral hygiene.
Follow Diet Restrictions
While diet restrictions can be irritating, they are necessary to prevent you from experiencing problems with your braces. Stay away from popcorn, nuts, and sticky candy while you have braces, and if you eat anything starchy or sweet, brush your teeth as soon as possible.
Call Desert Orthodontics
Braces can improve your smile and change your life. If you believe you or your child needs braces, we can help. Please call our Las Cruces, NM, office at 575-521-0900 for an appointment.