Braces apply pressure to the teeth and gradually move them into new positions over time.
Braces have become an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment over the years, and it’s easy to see why when so many patients enjoy effective results. Braces have changed and improved over time and are no longer as bulky as they once were. If you are considering braces for yourself or your child, you might be wondering how they work exactly. Read on to find out more about what the process involves and what options are available to you…
How do they work, exactly?
Braces are made up of several components, including wires and elastics. The wires and elastics work together to apply controlled pressure to the teeth, which causes the bone in front of the tooth to dissolve and new bone to build up behind it. The teeth then move forward into the softened area. Each orthodontic treatment with the use of braces is customised to suit the patient’s unique needs and the unique shape of the wire, as well as the way in which the elastics are worn, will determine the direction in which the teeth are shifted.
What does the treatment involve?
The first step in the process is to come in for a consultation so that your orthodontist can perform a thorough assessment and determine the best course of treatment based on your particular needs. There are a number of types of braces available, and your orthodontist will work with you to find an option that suits you best. While braces used to be quite bulky, they are now much more comfortable to wear. Our younger patients often enjoy choosing fun colours, while adults may prefer clear braces for a more discreet look.
Once your braces have been fitted, you will need to wear them anywhere between 18 to 24 months. Each case is different, so the length of your treatment will depend on a number of factors, including how far your teeth need to be moved, how old you are, and the overall condition of your teeth and gums.
How do you maintain healthy teeth during orthodontic treatment?
It’s very important that you keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment. To do so, be sure to brush your teeth and braces at least twice a day. We recommend choosing a toothpaste that includes fluoride and that you brush for at least three minutes each time. You will need to focus on cleaning your braces thoroughly — try and press down hard enough with your toothbrush so that the bristles actually slide under the wires and between the teeth. Don’t forget to brush the area between your gums and braces because food can easily collect in this area and if it is not removed, bacteria can cause plaque and tooth decay to develop.
Besides maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home, we also recommend that you avoid any foods that can cause damage to your braces or teeth. Stay away from any foods that are hard or sticky as these can break your braces. Sugary foods or those that are particularly acidic should also be avoided as these can cause damage to your teeth and overall oral health.
If you are interested in having braces fitted, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We have practices at two locations in Brisbane’s northern suburbs — Strathpine and Ferny Grove. Our team will guide you through the process and address any questions or concerns you might have.