Dental braces, sometimes known as appliances, are ingenious devices used chiefly in orthodontics that aim to straighten and align teeth and aid in the alignment of teeth concerning a patient’s bite. The brace fits around the entire head, holding it in the desired position. It usually has a metal frame that acts as a hinge to release it from the head. It also has a tongue piece, which is used to apply and remove the braces.
The mouth forms a natural curve when the jaw is open but becomes a divergent curve when the mouth is closed. That is why most people wear Braces. To align the teeth, a series of brackets are fitted on each tooth. These brackets are included on top of the overlapping gum tissue and fixed securely on the teeth. A thin wire, called the ‘brick,’ lies alongside the brackets to provide electrical current.
There are two types of dental braces available – one type makes use of traditional metal dental braces and another uses plastic dental braces. Both work by fixing thin metal brackets to the front surface of each tooth, holding them in place with the help of hooks. To align the teeth, the patient has to open the mouth widely and breathe gently through both hands. The dentist then fits into brackets on top of the brackets and applies electrical current to the wires. This action pulls the teeth into their appropriate places.
There are many advantages associated with getting braces. Straight teeth help reduce the chances of getting chipped or damaged. That is one of the reasons why they are worn for a long period of time – even after the patient becomes a grown-up. Moreover, braces make it possible for the patient to maintain good oral hygiene. Once a person gets braces, it is quite difficult to get them removed. For those who have crooked teeth, this helps them maintain an attractive smile.
Even after you have gotten dental braces, you need not necessarily wear them permanently. In fact, if you want to go back to wearing conventional dentures, you can do so. To do this, however, you must consult your orthodontist about the best way to go about it. If your braces need to be removed periodically, your orthodontist will suggest the wear retainers. There are several types of wear retainers available – some are better than others.
Wear retainers that are made from silicon-based materials are relatively inexpensive. These adhere to the front surface of your teeth and maintain them firmly in place. Unfortunately, they can be uncomfortable and may cause irritation to your gums. If you want something that feels more natural, you can also go for the traditional plastic elastics. Although they do not break easily, they do not feel as natural as the elastics made from silicon.
If you want to wear dental braces but do not want to spend a lot of money, you can opt for the Invisalign system. This is ideal for those who are not comfortable wearing braces or those who wish to reduce their expenses. Basically, you wear these for three years. However, if your orthodontist thinks that your condition may need to change because of worsening conditions of your teeth, he or she may recommend removable orthodontic aligners instead. Removable aligners are made from synthetic materials and can cost a little more than the traditional ones.
If your orthodontist thinks that you need corrective dental braces to correct the alignment of your teeth, you can also choose between Invisalign, removable or traditional braces. The difference lies in the way that the braces are placed on your teeth. While traditional braces are placed inside the mouth on the front teeth, Invisalign is worn on the back teeth only. Therefore, if you have crooked, crowded or improperly aligned teeth, you will be able to correct them with Invisalign.