What are Dental Braces-These are the corrective appliances used to bring the teeth, jaw bone, jaw joints and lips and musculature into proper alignment mainly to improve the aesthetics of a person. Basically the word braces is a layman’s term used for orthodontic braces which are made of medical grade stainless steel metal totally harmless to our oral cavity.
Orthodontics– It is a branch of dentistry dealing with prevention and correcting of irregular arranged teeth with malocclusion, Retrognathism, Prognathism of the jaw and teeth, by means of braces.
There comes the need for orthodontic treatment when one has crooked and overlapping teeth or in case of wide gaps or in people with malocclusion as they cause destructive dental plaque, cavities and gingivitis etc. Many people simply go for braces to look good when they are not satisfied with their teeth and want to look better.
Used when– crowding, overlapping, malocclusion, gaps, thumb n finger sucking, mouth breathing, Prognathism, Retrognathism etc.
Other Information-They are usually suggested at the age of 10-12 after all the deciduous teeth are shed off
but teeth can be pulled together at any age hence people of all age group can undergo the treatment, but most preferably the lower the age the better.
Types of braces: There are many types of braces according to the patients requirements. Metal braces, ceramic(aesthetically tooth colored), lingual braces.
Components of Dental Braces – It deals with brackets which are fixed on tooth labial surface and wires connecting the brackets and molar brackets molar bands providing support to the wires as the treatment proceeds the weight of wire goes on increasing starting from a light weight wire, the brackets are pulled together with the help of elastic rubber bands which are used based on the amount of pressure required.
Now a days ceramic braces are being used which are tooth colored and made of translucent material due to their cosmetic appeal.
How Braces Work: When the braces are put on the teeth they apply some amount of pressure which enables the bone present in our mandibular and maxillary arches to adjust to the change in the position, as there are osteoclasts which resorb the the bone on the side the teeth are moving and the osteoblasts which lay down new bone on the side where the pressure is being applied, so the teeth move approximately 1mm per month but it depends on the patient oral condition and the efficiency of the orthodontist, So we can see a noticeable change in the positioning of the teeth overtime.
Treatment and Post treatment: During treatment the most important problem is oral hygiene which leads to the formation of plaques in teeth as food is accumulated in the metal braces, so proper brushing and flossing should be done daily and most preferably after each meal brushing is required.
Sometimes the metal in the braces or the latex material act as an irritant to the patient if he or she is allergic to it, During treatment some types of food are avoided which cause inconvenience to maintain hygiene and can cause damage to the braces, Sticky substances like chewing gum, toffee, hard substances, carrots are avoided.
Post treatment that is when the braces are removed from the mouth of the patient, Retainers are used to prevent the teeth from moving back to their original position(Relapse), So it is better to follow the instructions of the doctor or else the treatment will be prolonged and will be inconvenient to the patient.
The duration of the treatment varies according to the severity of the deformities and the efficiency of the doctor. The usual duration of Orthodontic treatment ranges anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Apart from the treatment phase, the retaining phase takes up another 6 months where you are either given removable retainers or fixed retainers.
What are the Alternatives to Dental Braces:
A new mode of treatment called Aligners is being used in recent times where transparent night guard type appliances are given to the patient to attain movement of teeth.