Orthodontic teeth braces treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. It can also help to look after the long-term health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth.
Many people have crowded or crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatment will straighten the teeth or move them into a better position. This can not only improve their appearance but also the way the teeth bite together, while also making them easier to clean.
Orthodontic treatment is generally best carried out in children, but adults can have orthodontic treatment too – and more and more are doing. Age is less important than having the proper number of teeth. In children it may be necessary to wait for enough teeth to come through before starting treatment. Formerly, adults who chose to have orthodontic treatment faced some amount of ridicule, but now with celebrities like Tom Cruise fixing their smile with braces, the stigma has all, but disappeared. In fact, it's not uncommon to find parents getting fitted with dental braces at the same time that their children are. Although dental braces for adults are becoming more popular, the treatment procedure varies significantly than the one for children.
In children, the treatment is easier and less time consuming, because the permanent teeth have just emerged, and the jaw is still in the process of development. However, in an adult, who has a fully developed mouth and a full set of teeth, orthodontic treatment may present significant challenges. Plus, adults are more likely to suffer from years of plaque accumulation, gum disease and other oral health problems that have to be addressed before any braces can be fitted
The most important thing is to have a full examination. This will usually involve looking at your teeth, taking x-rays and making plaster models of your teeth.
You may not have enough room for all your permanent teeth and so it may be necessary to take out some permanent teeth to make space. Your dentist will tell you whether this is the case. Sometimes space can be created using other forms of treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can be done by many sorts of appliances, which most people know as 'braces'.
These days, there are many choices available to adults, and it gets confusing!
The type of braces you get depends on a number of factors: The extent of your treatment, such as:
The severity of your bite or tooth crookedness problems
Ceramic brackets are made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally do not stain. Three popular brands are Clarity and Transcend, made by 3M Unitek; and Mystique, made by GAC. Adults like to choose ceramic because they "blend in" with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal. These are the type of braces actor Tom Cruise had.
Brand Braces Inspire! Brand Braces manufactured by Ormco, are made of pure monocrystalline sapphire and are very translucent. They are very strong and do not stain. If your teeth are already very white, then Inspire braces will look best on you and seem to "disappear" on your teeth. If your teeth are less than white, they may tend to stand out (in this case, the Ceramic brackets would be a better choice).
Invisalign braces are great for people who do not have severe problems. The "braces" consist of strong plastic trays that are fabricated especially for you. They are indeed invisible. If your bite is not severely off and your teeth are not severely crooked, then Invisalign would be a good choice. You would be able to get your teeth straightened without anyone seeing that you are wearing "braces"! This appeals to many adults, especially people who wore traditional braces as children and then need more treatment later in life. However, if your bite is very bad, if you need extractions or require headgear or other appliances, then Invisalign will not work for you; you will need to wear traditional braces.
Lingual braces are placed behind your teeth, and are therefore virtually invisible to other people. Usually, lingual brackets are made of metal.
Metal brackets can be silver or golden. The golden brackets look a bit more "jewellery-like" and are often a popular choice with young women. Metal brackets are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. At first they may irritate your gums, but after a few weeks, when your cheeks get "toughened up" they are not a problem anymore. Most traditional metal braces require an elastic o-shaped rubber band, called a ligature to hold the arch wire onto the bracket. Sometimes orthodontists use metal tie wires (little wires which are twisted around the bracket) in place of elastic ligatures.
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