Braces seem to be most famous for being portrayed by media as worn by the “geeky” ones. For some reason, dental braces were regarded negatively, at least for a time, and are now just regaining their footing. Dental braces are in fact, a great tool to correct or improve your teeth alignment. Many people suffer from dental problems just because their teeth aren't aligned very well.
Incorrect teeth alignment such as having overbites and underbites could mean more than just looking “unattractive”. Malocclusions can make your life uncomfortable by:
- Interfering with how you chew your food
- Changing the way you talk
- Affecting your confidence when smiling
- Straining your teeth and jawline muscles and
- Breaking your teeth eventually.
It’s a good thing that braces were created to address these problems, and modern dentistry has saved us from the uncomfortable, first generational dental braces.
How does a dental brace work?
A dental brace is an appliance that holds your teeth to reposition them correctly. The brace has to exert the right amount of pressure on the teeth to help position it correctly. The brackets are designed to act like handlers, and they are arched around the part that needs to be corrected.
The brackets are attached to the teeth by orthodontic bands which serve as "glue" to make sure that the appliance won't move around. Depending on the preference of the patient, an orthodontic band can come in colors or be simply transparent. The metal brackets and wires are connected by ligatures, an elastic component that holds the two together.
Prior to placing the bands, the teeth are filled with space separators in between so that placing the braces wouldn't be so hard for the dentist.
The last tooth that is directly attached by the braces are securely fitted with buccal tubes, so the wearer doesn't have to be too conscious about it while eating, speaking, or chewing.
How many types of braces are available for me?
The kind of aligners that you need for your teeth really depends on the type of malocclusion that you have. You should be happy about getting braces these days because there are more appropriate choices for you.
- Metal Braces
Metal braces are the more inexpensive type and probably the most common ones that you see, simply because they're the most visible to people. Metal braces are those which are tightly wrapped around your teeth. They can feel uncomfortable during the first few weeks, but you'll get used to it and the brackets would soon adjust to your teeth's natural formation.
- Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are like metal braces made invisible. While it's designed in stealth mode, it could still become visible since it's very susceptible to discoloration especially if you're fond of consuming dark-colored food and drinks such as coffee or black tea. Since they're made up of ceramic, they're more sensitive and fragile than their metallic counterparts.
- Lingual Braces
When you want your braces to be completely invisible to other people's eyes, this is the one for you. More or less, they are installed similarly as ceramic and metal braces but are placed at the back of your teeth. This has both negative and positive effects. While it’s a great thing that people don't actually see it, it’s location also makes it harder for you perform your regular oral hygiene routines. Plus, it takes a really good and experienced orthodontist to perform and install it correctly.
- Invisible Braces
If your malocclusions aren't that severe but you still want to correct them anyway, invisible braces might be your best bet. Many regard it as the most popular dental braces of choice, which implies that people from all walks of life, whatever their routines are, can use it. Traditional braces require frequent re-adjustments and more dental visits than you normally do. Invisible brace technology gives you the freedom to do your regular stuff while still getting your teeth realigned.
What are the changes that I will experience after the process?
If you've chosen the right type of braces and they were properly installed, your teeth should be realigned as perfectly as it should. You could notice a small difference in your facial shape especially in the mouth area if you had a severe case of malocclusion. Because you're confident that your teeth looks better now, you develop a better self-esteem and your self-consciousness could disappear.
While dental braces are great when it comes to aligning your teeth, this doesn't discount the fact that you still need to see your dentist on a regular basis. Remember that plaque build-up is the leading cause of tooth decay which may still damage your perfectly aligned teeth.
No two people have the same teeth structure, so the effect of one type of braces may differ on another. To achieve best results, always consult your dentist and talk to them about what your teeth needs may be.