Teeth that are crooked or overcrowded can develop crevices that harbor food particles and bacteria. These can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Braces help correct these issues by allowing teeth to grow and improving oral hygiene.
Misaligned teeth and jaws may also cause speech issues such as a lisp. Correcting these issues with braces allows the mouth to chew foods for easier digestion. Contact Boca Dental and Braces now!
Brackets are small metal pieces bonded to the front of each tooth center with resin-based dental glue. They aim to hold the archwire in place, allowing it to apply consistent pressure throughout your treatment. Today’s brackets are smaller and sleeker than those used a generation ago or even just ten years ago. They offer more aesthetic options, including clear (tooth-colored) or ceramic.
The archwire is the main component of your braces that moves your teeth into their correct positions. This is done by applying constant yet gentle pressure to the teeth. The archwire runs along the upper and lower teeth and is connected to each bracket using tiny rubber bands called ligatures or elastics, which can be changed.
Available in various colors, these elastics help apply pressure to specific mouthparts. They can also be tucked under the archwire to create more force. Other types of elastics include coil springs, which fit over the archwire and between brackets to widen spaces, and palatal expanders, which fix discrepancies in the width of the upper and lower jaws.
The archwire is held to the brackets by a ligature, which can be either a tiny elastic or a piece of twisted wire. Ligatures are changed periodically throughout treatment as the archwire needs to be reshaped for different stages of tooth movement. If a bracket breaks during your treatment, it is important to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist immediately, as this can disrupt the balance of forces designed into your orthodontic appliance and lead to an extended treatment time.
A wire is used to apply gradual pressure on the teeth to straighten them. Traditional stainless steel wires can lose tension over time and must be repositioned or replaced. Nitinol (a nickel-titanium alloy) wires are more effective at applying pressure over a longer period. Your orthodontist will mold a nitinol arch wire to the current shape of your teeth and then, using gentle heat and pressure, reform it into a straight shape. This is called the memory wire technique and is a very important part of orthodontia.
Orthodontic brackets have built-in slots where the orthodontist places the archwire and secures it with elastomeric or stainless steel ligatures. Some orthodontic brackets, known as self-ligating brackets, do not require ligatures and are designed to move teeth with less friction.
Many different metal nickel and titanium alloys have been developed over recent years. Manufacturers claim that some new materials result in quicker tooth alignment, less pain, or fewer side effects during treatment. Clinical trials in people undergoing orthodontic treatment are needed to verify these claims.
The results of the studies available in this review needed to be more consistent and consistent. Selective outcome reporting was a significant source of bias in the studies reviewed. The results of the three trials that measured pain outcomes (O’Brien, 1990; Evans, 1998; and Jones, 1992) indicated no difference between the archwires in pain levels. The results of the West 1995 trial reported a higher index of tooth alignment in the NiTi group compared to the StSt group. However, this comparison was based on something other than a clear and consistent definition of alignment. The ITA data presented by this study were also unreliable for interpretation.
Elastics (rubber bands) hook to brackets and archwires to apply more force to a specific mouth area. They help to align your bite and shorten the overall treatment time of your orthodontic care. It is important to wear them as directed to ensure the best results and speed up your treatment time.
While elastics can initially feel sore, this is normal and will pass quickly. Please do not remove them to relieve this discomfort, as it can delay your treatment progress.
Our elastics are made of medical-grade latex, meaning they are safe to come into contact with your mouth. They are also clear, making them less noticeable.
We will show you how to attach and remove the elastics from your braces. It takes a little practice but will become second nature to you after a few days.
It is a good idea to carry a couple of extra elastics with you if one breaks or loses. Then, you can replace it when you are out and about rather than waiting until you get home. It is also a good idea to get into the habit of carrying elastics with you when you go out, as it can help avoid putting too much pressure on a tooth or teeth when eating if opening your mouth wide enough to eat is difficult.
Do not double up on your elastics or put more than one elastic on a tooth or teeth, as this can cause too much pressure and damage the roots of your teeth. You may find that the elastics will lose their elasticity over time, so we recommend you change them frequently (3-4 times a day). Also, do not reuse the same ones, as this can slow down tooth movement and prolong your treatment.
A thin ring of metal fitted around your back molars to hold the archwire in place while it guides teeth into their correct positions. The molar bands are attached to the teeth using a special fluoride adhesive.
The back one or two brackets have a tube through which the archwire runs and built-in hooks to hold ligature elastics (also called ties). The ligatures are available in various colors, so patients can personalize their braces while straightening their teeth. The ligatures are changed at each appointment, and if they are not worn correctly, they can significantly prolong your treatment time.
Your orthodontist will recommend specific elastics for various tasks, such as closing spaces between your front teeth, reducing excess overbite or underbite, etc. They will also recommend the best elastics for your particular case and treatment plan. The elastics come in different sizes, force categories, and materials, including latex and synthetic rubber. It is important to wear them as often as your orthodontist recommends because they help apply extra force to certain areas of the mouth.
When you first get your braces, it is normal for your mouth to feel sore for a day or two after each adjustment or tightening. The discomfort should not last long and can be relieved by eating softer foods and taking over-the-counter pain relievers like paracetamol or neurofen (if you are not asthmatic). You should brush and floss your teeth as frequently as recommended to prevent plaque buildup, which can lead to gum disease. Having a water irrigation system such as the syringe-style Waterpik at home is also a good idea to clean the hard-to-reach spots in your mouth.
Investing in orthodontic treatment can be a significant financial commitment. Retainers help preserve that investment and ensure your new, straight smile lasts a lifetime. There are two general types of retainers: removable and fixed. We recommend a combination of both for the best results.
Removable retainers are typically made of clear plastic and fit comfortably in the mouth. They can be removed for eating and brushing. They are also easy to keep clean. It is important to clean your retainer often and thoroughly, as plaque and bacteria can build up and cause gum irritation. We suggest rinsing your retainer with cool water or an effervescent cleaner such as those used for cleaning dentures. Please do not put your retainer in hot water or in the microwave, as this can cause it to warp. It is also a good idea to bring your retainer with you when traveling and store it in its case when not in use.
After a while, most patients transition from wearing their retainers full-time to only nighttime wear. This will vary from patient to patient, but we will discuss this with you and provide a timeline for your situation.
Retainers are critical to your smile maintenance but are not a substitute for regular dental visits. It is important to come in for regular exams and cleanings so that we can catch any problems and address them promptly. In addition, it is a good idea to make an appointment for an adjustment or replacement of your retainer as soon as you notice it is damaged or not fitting properly so we can prevent your teeth from shifting again.