Only a few people are lucky enough to have a perfect smile by nature and it is a big part of our everyday life. Nice, healthy smile gives us an opportunity to make this good first impression, which we can never repeat. It brings us self-confidence, which is essential for being able to achieve greater things.
Nowadays it is possible to obtain this smile easily and painlessly with using braces.
How do the braces work?
Braces are widely used in dental industry to correct patient’s bite. Technically, braces are a number of small locks, usually placed on the front part of the teeth, which are connected to each other by a metallic arch. With the help of this arch, teeth position is being corrected. Arch is made of a special material, which has shape-memory. First, shape for the arch is set and after its fixation to the teeth, it slowly starts to take this shape, aligning teeth properly. The time, which is required for braces to achieve the goal, may vary and our orthodontist is always happy to discuss it with you and give an advice.
What are the different braces available?
Braces can be categorised into removable or non-removable appliances.
1. The most traditional type of brace is a metal fixed brace, which means it is permanently attached to the teeth for the duration of treatment and is therefore non-removable. Fixed braces now come in different materials such as gold or ceramic which gives you a greater variety of choice!
There are three different types of fixed braces these days:
Metallic braces. They are very widely used in orthodontics, as they are strong and able to sustain big stresses without breaking.
Ceramic braces. This type of braces is the least noticeable, because their colour is selected to match teeth colour. They are comfortable to wear and do not cause any gum irritation.
2. Lingual braces are also a form of a non-removable brace. They are placed behind the teeth so that they are not in plain view.
3. Removable appliances, on the other hand, can be removed from the mouth of the patient. They come in the form of custom moulded, invisible plastic trays. In the same category, there are ‘twin blocks’ and ‘functional appliances’ which are generally used for fine tooth movements. Finally, at the end of your treatment plan, you will be fitted with a retainer which will ensure that your teeth remain in their correct position.
Are there health advantages to adult orthodontic treatment?
Yes. When your teeth are crooked, they are harder to clean and will wear unevenly. Your gums can become inflamed and the teeth may hurt, sometimes resulting in tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment can prevent gum problems and avoid tooth loss.
What happens at your first orthodontic appointment?
The procedure of attaching braces requires a careful and thoughtful examination and a consultation with the doctor. Your first appointment with our orthodontist gives you the chance to discuss with an expert what is wrong with your teeth and how you would like them improved. Once all of your options have been explained, and a treatment plan devised, the next steps will involve X-rays and record taking. Finally, a week or so later you will have a long appointment to fit the brace.
Right before attaching the braces all caries must be cleared away and a hygienic cleaning is to be carried out. The procedure itself is absolutely painless and lasts, on average, for two-three hours. The only discomfort may be caused by attaching the archwire to the braces, as mechanical pressure is being used during this time.
Why would I need an X-RAYS?
Part of the orthodontic consultation process is making sure that all aspects of any problems can be investigated and subsequently cared for. Panoramic radiographs, skull or facial x-rays and intra-oral or mini x-rays of the teeth are all used by your orthodontist to achieve this. X-rays can help to decide whether it is necessary to have teeth removed, or where crowded teeth are impacting on your smile.
Do braces hurt?
The advent of specialised wires and smaller-sized brackets has led to greater patient comfort and shorter treatment times. However, although many design improvements have been made to minimise a patient’s discomfort, most will still experience soreness during the first few days after braces are placed, or for a few days after adjustment appointments. Wax can be placed over edges that feel sharp, or mild pain medication can also provide some relief. There is some “comfort” in knowing that everyone who has had braces has gone through it too.
Do adults really get braces?
Absolutely! Many adults won’t have received orthodontic treatment when they were children. This can result in problems developing in the teeth and gums during adulthood. Others may have received treatment when they were young but did not wear the retainers prescribed for after treatment to hold the new position of their teeth. This can result in the teeth becoming crooked and misaligned. Orthodontics is a solution for adults who desire straight teeth.
Are there any age limits?
Orthodontics is for everyone! It is a myth that having treatment is only for children and young people. It’s never too late to have braces. Adults are increasingly having orthodontic treatment later in life, often this is because they have found out about some of the modern developments in brace technology, which render braces practically invisible. More and more adults are embracing orthodontics as a way to improve themselves. This can be simply for the cosmetic reason of wanting a great smile, or because of ongoing orthodontic problems such as a poor bite or crowded teeth.
Why do adults get braces?
Adults choose orthodontic treatment for many reasons. These include reasons such as major life changes – a new job or change of image, to improve self-confidence, treat dental problems and look great for special occasions. Orthodontic treatment not only rejuvenates your smile, it helps you keep your teeth for life. You can be guaranteed a fantastic result with the latest advances in orthodontics and specialists available at CBC Dental Studio.
Will I need teeth out and how is this done?
Sometimes teeth need to be removed (extracted) to make room to move the other teeth. We only do this if absolutely essential. The teeth most commonly removed are premolar teeth, which are usually easy to take out, but if you have other teeth which are less healthy, we will take this into account. You will always be left with enough teeth to function well and we will not leave spaces at the end of treatment.
If extractions are needed, our team have a lot of experience, which makes the whole process much easier for anyone who is nervous. The tooth to be extracted will be made numb with 2 small injections and the tooth is removed only when you are completely numb.
Most patients find that having teeth out is not as bad as they expected. Probably the most difficult part of the appointment is psyching yourself up to visit the practice!
How long will I have to wear braces?
Depending on the case, it may be anywhere from 6 months to 3 years.
How often will I have to come in for an appointment?
After the initial consultation and placement of the braces, and the treatment is under way, appointments are usually every 4 to 6 weeks.
How will braces impact on my oral health?
It is extremely important when wearing a brace that good oral hygiene is observed and maintained. Teeth must be brushed after every meal to avoid decalcification and plaque build-up. Disclosing tablets help you to see where you might be missing brushing.
The recommendation is to brush and floss after every meal and before going to bed. How well you brush and the amount of time spent brushing is very important. Brushing and flossing are especially important when you have braces because food can get caught in the braces and cause cavities. It is also recommended to brush with a fluoride gel in an attempt to avoid cavities or use a fluoride rinse after brushing. Fluoride gel products are now available from your pharmacist without a prescription.
Are there other foods I should avoid?
The general recommendation is to avoid hard, sticky, sugary or crunchy foods. Caramel and taffy can stick to braces and promote cavities. Crunchy foods like carrots and apples can knock brackets off teeth or bend wires, which can start to move teeth in an unfavourable direction.
How long do I have to wear my retainer?
Teeth are set in bone (a living tissue) and not in stone. Retainers are an essential part of the overall treatment. After your braces come off, expect a period of full-time retainer wear followed by night-time wear. Retainers maintain the teeth in their newly established positions and allow the muscles and tissues to adapt and hold the teeth in this new relationship. As during active treatment, cooperation is essential for maintaining the result. However, even with retainer wear, some changes may occur as the teeth adapted to be able to function in their best position. Often, retainers may need to be worn indefinitely, at least at night. Our orthodontist can advise you best as to how long you need to keep wearing your retainers.
Can I wear a retainer instead of getting braces?
As the name implies, a retainer works great at “retaining” teeth, i.e., holding them in their place. Although some minor tooth movements can be accomplished with a retainer-type appliance, movement of teeth with braces is more efficient and predictable.
Can I get straight teeth without braces?
It is possible to achieve straight teeth without the need for metal brackets! The latest advances in technology come in the form of clear, plastic, custom-moulded aligners called Invisalign.
What else can make a difference to my smile?
Having a bright and beautiful smile is something we all aspire to – Luckily there are a few tricks of the trade to help us achieve this, and one of these is tooth whitening! However, it is important not to forget your lips and tongue in this equation, as a healthy mouth requires all of the above!