What are Dental Braces?
Also known as braces, orthodontic brackets or clip, Dental Braces are the appliances that are used to align and straighten the teeth and help the teeth to be it in a correct position. Braces are used to correct the malocclusions, overbite, underbite, open bites, crossbites, deep bites, crooked teeth and other drawbacks of the teeth and jaw. They are made up of bands, wires, and brackets. Your dentist will decide which is best suited for you.
Why do we need Orthodontic appliances or dental braces?
- To improve the facial appearance as not everyone is gifted with a perfect smile.
- For some people, the size of the jaw is larger than the size of teeth, which results in a gap between teeth.
- On the other hand, for some people, the jaw size is smaller than the size of the teeth resulting in overlapping of the teeth.
- People who have teeth which are outwardly placed because of various habits such as thumb sucking, or tongue thrusting.
- People who have mouth-breathing habits because of chronic allergies or deviated nasal septum. This makes a face long.
Braces and appliances can correct all these problems.
When is the best time to get braces?
Getting braces entirely depends on the individual. The treatment can begin between the age of 7 to 14 years old. During this age, the child ‘s head and mouth are in a growing state. Hence, it is easier to straighten the teeth at this age. It will take anywhere between 8 months to 16 months in accordance with the condition. However, there is no specific age to get the treatment done. You can get the braces at any age. If your child has a habit of thumb sucking and mouth breathing, these can be corrected with the help of various orthodontic appliances.
What are the types of braces available?
Nowadays, orthodontic provides various types of braces as compared to the past. Your Orthodontist will prescribe an appliance which will be best for you. Let’s have a look at these options:
1. Traditional braces or metal braces
These braces are the most common form of braces. These are made up of stainless steels and are very strong. These metal braces are comfortable and smaller in size.
These braces consist of three elements brackets, wire, and component. Brackets fix the tooth; wire exerts the force and components hold them together. The wires are made up of Nickel-titanium.
With the use of tooth coloured or colourless resin paste, the braces are fixed to the teeth. Then the wire is positioned in the groove of the metal brackets. Then it is fixed by binding them together.
Pros of metal or traditional braces
- They are the most cost-effective
- Traditional braces are sustainable
- They are strong
- They come in various colours which allow children to express themselves
- They can be coupled with additional appliances
Cons of metal or traditional braces
- Incidence of a sore mouth and patient discomfort
- They are noticeable
- Rigid maintenance is needed
- Lack of maintenance can lead to demineralization of tooth
- Requires regular check-ups
- Eating habits will be adjusted as needed
- Not suitable in people with esthetic demands
2. Ceramic Braces:
The ceramic braces are similar to metal braces when compared to size and shape. The only difference is they have tooth coloured or clear brackets blend into teeth. They are easy to clean and maintain.
Pros of ceramic braces
- They are tooth coloured braces
- Less noticeable
- Unlike traditional braces, ceramic braces require less maintenance ● Treatment with ceramic braces are faster than Invisalign
Cons of ceramic braces
- In contrast to traditional braces, ceramic braces are higher-priced
- Requires regular check-up
- It cannot handle much pressure. Therefore, not suitable for patients with a deep bite
- If not maintained properly, the brackets can stain easily
3. Lingual Braces/ Invisible braces
Apart from the fact that they are similar to traditional braces, Lingual braces are placed on the inside of the teeth. There are heavy metal braces and are custom made, hence, are costlier.
Pros of lingual braces
- As they are positioned at the back of your teeth, no metals or wires are visible from outside
- They are custom-made for every patient
- Suited for every age group
- They can treat mild to complicated orthodontic complaints
- No decalcification to the front surface of the tooth
Cons of lingual braces
- They are difficult to clean
- Might be uncomfortable at first
- Requires rigorous maintenance
- There are a few food items which need to be avoided
4. Clear aligners or Invisible aligners
Clear aligners are made up of clear plastic or acrylic materials. They are like a mouthguard and do not require braces or wire. These aligners are removable and are replaced every three weeks. Once these custom made aligners are ready, they are tightly fitted over your teeth. Moreover, they can easily be removed for brushing, flossing, and eating.
Pros of clear or invisible aligners
- One of the primary reasons why adult patients opt for clear aligners is that they are transparent.
- Unlike traditional braces, you can easily remove the clear aligners before eating, brushing or flossing
- They are comfortable and easy to wear
How long we have to wear Braces?
The time period of wearing a brace difference from person to person. On average, once the braces are positioned, it can be worn for one to three years. Depending on the complexity of tooth movement once the braces are removed, most patients are asked to wear a retainer for the first six months, and then only during sleep. The time period of braces depends on various factors such as:
- The intensity of the problem
- The health of the teeth, gums and supporting bones
- The distance of the teeth
- The amount of space available
How often I have to visit the Orthodontist during the treatment?
During your visit to the Orthodontist, he will make sure that the braces are applying firm, constant pressure on the tooth. Therefore, you may have to visit your Orthodontist every month. During your visit, your Orthodontist may make adjustments in the wires, springs, or rubber bands of the braces to create more tension. In some cases, an external appliance may be needed to worn such as headgear.
Will Braces make my mouth uncomfortable?
While making some adjustments to your braces, it may cause slight discomfort in your mouth. However, this pain will reduce over time. If you feel there is a persisting pain every time, talk your Orthodontist into getting it checked.
What is the post-treatment maintenance should do for Braces?
- Make sure you brush and floss your teeth twice a day to keep your teeth healthy
- Make sure you visit your dentist on time for follow-up check-ups once every six months.
- Have patience as the treatment may take time.
What are the Do’s and Don’t with braces on?
- Wear a mouth guard if you play sports
- Avoid sticky foods such as gum chocolate and candy
- Brush after every meal
- Consume drinks which have low sugar content
- Avoid biting your fingernails
- Avoid chewing hard foods
How much do braces cost?
The cost of braces varies. It depends on what type of braces are going to be used and the length of the treatment. However, the average cost of braces from ₹5000 to ₹1 lakh and cost of aligners vary from ₹40,000 to ₹1.5 lakh.