Treatment with braces isn’t just about straight teeth and a gorgeous smile. It’s about maximizing the alignment of your teeth and jaw to improve your ability to bite, chew and speak. That perfect smile is a bonus — a benefit that leads to improved self-esteem and self confidence.
If you’ve been thinking about getting braces, but aren’t sure how they work, read on. This overview will help you understand the orthodontic process.
Getting started with braces. To start orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will first take x-rays and evaluate if you’re a good candidate. Ideal candidates have healthy teeth and gums, but want to fix overbites, underbites, cross bites, spacing issues, overcrowding, a gummy smile or protruding upper front teeth.
Once you’re cleared for braces, you’ll make an appointment to get your braces applied. Your orthodontic team will clean and dry your teeth, apply glue and then attach each bracket. After the glue cures, your orthodontist will weave an archwire into the brackets, then secure it with elastic bands.
How your teeth move. Braces work by applying pressure to teeth, pushing or pulling them into a better position. Your teeth actually move in their sockets. The process is called “bone remodeling.” The bone on one side of your teeth breaks down in the sockets, but builds up on the other side of the sockets. All of this is done using a gentle amount of pressure. You will visit your orthodontist regularly to make sure your teeth are moving properly.
Getting braces off. When your teeth have reached the desired results, your orthodontist will remove your braces, one bracket at a time. He or she will also remove any glue residue. Your orthodontist will then set you up with a retainer to help stabilize the new position of your teeth. Without a retainer, your teeth may move back to their original positions.
Exploring options. Traditional metal brackets aren’t for everybody. Other options include ceramic braces, lingual braces and Invisalign or clear aligners. Your certified orthodontist specialist will recommend the treatment that’s best for you.
To get started on your orthodontic journey, contact our partners at Family Orthodontics.