Dental braces (also known as orthodontic braces) are devices used in orthodontics that align and straighten teeth and help to position them with regard to a person's bite, while also working to improve dental health. They are often used to correct crooked teeth, underbites, overbites, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw. Braces can be either cosmetic or structural.
Traditional braces consist of a small bracket that is glued to the front of each tooth. The molars may or may not be set up with a band that encircles the tooth. A wire is then attached to each bracket connecting the arch. An advantage is one can eat and drink while wearing the braces but one must give up certain foods and eating habits while wearing them, such as chewing gum and chewy candy that can pull on the brackets and get stuck within the braces themselves.
Every two to four weeks, the braces must be adjusted. The Dentist will do this by ‘pulling’ on the wire that connects all of the brackets. This will shift the teeth into the correct position over the period of time that the braces are worn. It is very important to maintain the adjustment appointments and keep the braces on for the period of time that your Dentist recommends, or the treatment will not be successful over time.
What to expect:
As a patient you can expect absolutely no pain when placing the braces initially. The initial visit takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Each bracket needs to be individually cemented to each tooth. After this, the wire can be placed.
Each follow up visit will take approximately 15-20 minutes. In this follow up visit, the wire will be adjusted to pull the teeth closer to the end position where they are intended to be. Patients can expect a little discomfort after each adjustment. Your teeth may feel sore as they are being physically repositioned. This is not a sharp pain, but rather a dull annoying type of pain that will subside within several days of the adjustment as your mouth gets more accustomed to the adjustment. At times, the wire may rub up or possibly even cut your cheek. If this ever happens, contact our office immediately so the Dentist can clip the wire or bend it away from the sharp area