Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work every moment of your orthodontic treatment. 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.
The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind.
Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day.
Different Types of Braces
Metal braces are the most popular with kids and teenagers. They love using different colors of ligature ties. These braces are much smaller than ever before.
Gold braces are the newest addition to our line of brackets. They are stainless steel braces coated with 24 karat gold. They have the strength of metal, but blend in with the color of the teeth much better. That is because most teeth have a natural yellow tint. Quite often, we will put ceramic braces on the top teeth and gold braces on the bottom.
Translucent clear ceramic braces are the most popular with adults. You have to be very close to someone to be able to see them. Yet, because they are a ceramic material, they are more fragile.
Orthodontic headgear is a very important part of the treatment for some patients. Headgear creates forces that guide the growth of the face and jaws. It also is used to move teeth into better positions or to prevent teeth from moving.
Maintaining constant use of your headgear will achieve the best results. If instructions on usage are not followed, treatment will take longer and our treatment plan may have to change.
- Always be careful when removing your headgear. If the headgear is removed carelessly, the part that fits in your mouth and attaches to your teeth could injure your lips, cheeks, face and possibly your eyes.
- Never remove the headgear until the straps have been disconnected.
- Never lift the headgear over your face.
- Never wear the headgear when running or playing sports.
Take your headgear with you to every appointment. If it becomes soiled, your orthodontist will tell you how it should be cleaned.
Your teeth may be tender for the first few days of wearing your headgear. This tenderness will disappear as you adjust to the new pressures.
Let us know if you continue to be uncomfortable for more than a few days. Wearing headgear is necessary for your treatment. Follow the instructions exactly, and you will complete your treatment without any changes in your treatment plan.