When your teeth are crooked, it can significantly impact the quality of your smile, and cause self-consciousness. Aesthetics are not the only issue that crooked teeth cause. Crooked teeth, or a misaligned jaw, can lead to serious oral health issues. You may be faced with uneven tooth wear, gum recession, a higher risk for gum disease and tooth decay, and severe jaw or TMJ pain. At Blue Summit Dental Group, we can provide you with braces to correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws, restoring your oral health and giving you a beautiful, confident smile.
What Are Braces?
Braces have been a treatment for crooked teeth for decades. Even before modern braces, there have been orthodontic appliances used to correct the alignment of teeth.
Braces are made of metal and consist of three basic components:
- Brackets. Metal brackets are affixed to the fronts of your teeth with a dental cement during your first appointment and remain in place throughout the duration of your treatment.
- Bands. Metal bands are placed around your very back teeth. These bands anchor the archwires in place.
- Archwires. The archwires, anchored at the back teeth, span all of your teeth, attached to each one of the brackets with an elastic O-ring. The wires are available in different sizes, which enable us to help you achieve the desired results.
Along with these components, there are other pieces that may be used depending on your situation. These pieces consist of such things as rubber bands and metal springs.
How Do Braces Work?
The archwires are responsible for the movement and stabilization of your teeth. They place pressure on the teeth, which then places pressure on your periodontal ligaments. The ligaments loosen, which in turn loosens your teeth. The wires then gradually guide your teeth into their proper locations and hold them there while the ligaments and bone heal around them. It typically takes about three months for new tissues to begin to grow, and a full year before the teeth are fully stabilized.
Who Gets Braces?
Braces are commonly associated with young teenagers, generally between the ages of 11 and 13. While this age is common for orthodontic treatment with braces, as the jaw is at its most malleable, older teens and even adults can benefit from braces. If you have crooked teeth that you want to fix, braces may be the solution for you.
Adjusting to Your Braces
It does take a little time to adjust to wearing braces. Some minor discomfort may be felt every time the archwires are adjusted, but this discomfort usually dissipates within a couple of days. You will also have to make some lifestyle adjustments. For instance, you will need to avoid eating certain foods, such as those that are hard, such as whole apples, crusty breads, and corn on the cob. You will also need to avoid foods that are sticky, such as chewing gum and caramels. All of these foods can dislodge the brackets and bend, or even break, wires.
Along with adjusting your eating habits, your oral care routine will need to be tweaked a bit as well. Brushing and flossing are especially important when you have braces. Continue to brush twice daily, although ideally you should brush after every meal, and take special care around brackets and under the archwires. Taking special care with your oral care will help to reduce your risk for issues such as cavities and gum disease.
Braces are a highly effective treatment for not only improving the appearance of your smile but also improving your oral health and overall quality of life. Moreover, once your treatment is complete, you will be provided with a retainer to help maintain your results. For more information, and to find out if braces are right for you, call Blue Summit Dental Group to schedule your consultation today at (810) 658-9177.
As parents, we want what is best for our kids. From the moment they get that first little nub on their gums when they are infants to losing their first tooth in second grade, we are constantly monitoring their mouths to make sure everything is coming in right. For developing teenagers, everything seems to be changing at an alarming rate, and the mouth is no different. Blue Summit Dental Group understands how crucial these growing years can be for your teen and would like to help you get a head start on preventing developmental issues by offering braces for teens that may need them.
Why Your Teen May Need Braces
There can be any number of reasons why your teenager may need to have a realignment. If their teeth are overlapping or crooked, this could cause problems with basic dental care. Flossing can become quite difficult and may cause cavities in the permanent teeth. Though some problems can be caused by former habits, such as sucking the thumb, usually dental issues are genetic. Knowing which relatives in the family required braces can help you know if your child is likely to need them as well.
Many children start losing their baby teeth at around the age of seven. Once they start to come in, it is a good time to schedule their first orthodontic appointment with us. The mouth and jaw are also likely to be checked because if there are any clicks or noted difficulties chewing or swallowing, it may be important to begin treatment immediately. X-rays are usually recommended to see the extent of any potential complications. As soon as their next visit, we can begin restoring their smiles.
How Braces Work
If you have seen people with braces already, then you are probably already familiar with what they look like. In general, they are small metal squares, called brackets, that are adhered to your tooth. You can get white or clear ceramic brackets for a less noticeable appearance. They are all connected by wire and some rubber bands, which can come in many different colors. Braces can also be applied to the opposite side of the tooth as well, for less visibility.
About every two weeks, during a checkup, the wires may be tightened. This guides the tooth into a better location. Afterward, a retainer can be worn to help prevent your teeth from going back to their original positions. Depending on the amount of work done, it usually takes about two years from start to finish to achieve the desired results.
Caring for braces can take a little more work than regular oral hygiene. Since food can get stuck behind the wires and around the brackets, not only can it be unsightly, but also if left there can cause plaque buildup and promote tooth decay. Some foods may have to be avoided entirely, including chewy candy and gum. If there is discomfort after a checkup, over-the-counter medicine can help quite nicely. Be sure that if a wire comes undone or a bracket is loose, you let us know immediately!
Because communication can be critical to childhood development, it is always important to ensure their mouths are in the best possible shape throughout all stages of their lives. Straight, healthy teeth now can promote the confidence necessary to achieve their dreams in the future. For more information about braces, please come see us here at Blue Summit Dental Group or call us at (810) 658-9177 to schedule an appointment.