Vital Information About Dental Braces

Find out more about dental braces here..
WellnessKeen Staff Nov 20, 2018
Dental braces, also referred to as orthodontic braces, are an appliance that are used to correct dental irregularities such as straightening crooked teeth, aligning both the jaws, relieving pressure on the temporomandibular joints, and also improving the aesthetics of the face and smile.

When are Dental Braces Fitted?

Braces for the teeth can be fitted at any age, although ideally the procedure is carried out in children, and is less common in adults. The reason being that the jawbones as well as the bone surrounding the teeth are much more malleable in children, and therefore respond better to the molding process of the braces.
Whereas as far as adults are concerned, surgery is usually required to alter the jawbones. Hence it is advisable that the orthodontic procedures be done as early as possible, soon after teeth alignment problems are detected in a child.
Although there is no particular age when braces for the teeth can be fitted, but it is advisable to wait until there are enough adult teeth.
As far as children are concerned, apart from creating well-aligned and straight teeth, the aim of fitting braces and orthodontic treatment is also used for improving the facial structure, the effects of which will be retained for the rest of their lives. However, in adults, orthodontic treatments are far more complicated.
Those adults who do choose to opt for the treatment need to be aware that it entails wearing a retainer at night if they want to maintain the effects of the treatment for the rest of their lives. A retainer is a dental appliance that holds the teeth in position subsequent to an orthodontic treatment.

What is the Procedure for Fitting Braces?

Dental braces are fitted by an orthodontist or a dentist. First a complete dental examination is carried out, then X-rays taken, after which plaster molds of the teeth are made. Sometimes teeth may have to be extracted, if there is crowding of teeth, before the braces can be fitted.
Although, these days it is the trend not to extract permanent teeth as far as possible. When the crowding is minor, removable or fixed appliances are used to expand the jaws. 
The braces are made according to the plaster molds, with each bracket being fitted on each tooth. These brackets are kept aligned with the help of small wires, which are hooked between each of the brackets.

Various Types of Braces

There are a number of dental braces that are used according to various age groups. For example, there are braces that are meant just for infants, which are used for treating congenital abnormalities like cleft palates.
There are other types that are used on milk teeth, or when there are both milk as well as permanent teeth. Then there are the braces that are meant to be used for fully permanent teeth. A few orthopedic devices are used to realign the growth of the jawbone.
Some of the various types of braces available are:

Stainless steel or silver braces, which are the most common, then there are braces with stainless steel brackets as well as archwires that have various colored ties around the brackets.
There are also braces that have brackets and archwires made of real gold, which are worn by people who are allergic to stainless steel, although they are also worn to make a statement about using braces as a type of jewelry on teeth.
Then there are braces that have white or transparent brackets, sometimes with even the archwires being transparent, making the braces almost undetectable. Some people opt for lingual braces which are fixed behind the teeth, and thus are not visible.