How Braces Work
If you have decided to get your teeth straightened, it’s important that you fully understand the mechanics of how braces work and the problems they aim to correct.
Importance of Orthodontic Treatment
Some people want braces because they wish to improve their smiles, while others simply seek better oral health. According to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), when teeth are crooked or crowded, it becomes difficult to maintain good oral hygiene, which puts you at risk for cavities or gum disease. Also, your tooth enamel may wear away prematurely if you bite improperly. This makes chewing and speaking difficult. Dental problems may occur due to abnormal stress on the tissues and bones around your teeth.
This is the main reason why the AAO recommends that parents schedule their child’s first orthodontic appointment at the age 7. This is the age when all baby teeth have already fallen out and the child has enough permanent teeth for the orthodontist to determine whether they need braces or not.
How Braces Help the Teeth
Braces aim to move misaligned teeth into their correct position. This is done through a combination of brackets, wires and tiny rubber bands called ligatures. Braces apply steady pressure that will eventually straighten the teeth. This list below is from The Scientific World Journal to show you how braces work to improve your teeth:
- The compression and tension exerted by the braces don’t only move the teeth, but also reposition the tissues and blood vessels surrounding the teeth.
- The braces remodel the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.
- The braces reform and reabsorb bone.
Your Responsibilities for a Successful Treatment
The realignment of the teeth is not an overnight process. In order to receive positive results, your cooperation is highly needed from the beginning until the end. These are your responsibilities if you want to make sure you have a successful orthodontic treatment:
- Complete orthodontic appointments. Even if you feel like you’re constantly visiting your orthodontist, avoid missing any of your appointments because if you do, your treatment might be even longer.
- Visit your family dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Orthodontic treatments may interfere if you have untreated dental complications, so visit your dentist regularly!
- Provide excellent dental care at home. Braces can trap food and bacteria so it’s best that you brush your teeth regularly to avoid any enamel demineralization. Always use fluoride toothpaste and don’t forget to floss properly. Flossing might be a bit tricky when you have braces, but try your best to clean those spots that are difficult to reach. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash to prevent gingivitis from damaging your teeth, and also to reduce plaque and freshen your breath.
This information could help you get started if you have decided to wear braces. For kids, it’s best to assist them on this journey to avoid any dental complications.