To correct misalignment or crowding of teeth, orthodontists use dental braces. These wire-based oral appliances also offer remedy for crooked teeth, overbite and underbite and other jaw misalignment conditions. Most people start wearing dental braces during their early adolescence when their baby teeth have just fallen out and adult teeth started to grow. However, some people don’t wear them until adulthood.
Dental brace treatment consists of three phases. First, the orthodontist will make the initial placement of the dental braces. This procedure typically lasts for 45 minutes. The orthodontist will attach the brackets to the premolar and front teeth. Brackets may come in stainless steel, ceramic, titanium or polycarbonate material.
Ring-like bands will also be attached to the molar teeth by encircling them. These bands are usually made of stainless steel or titanium. Flexible archwires hold the brackets and bands in their places and control the teeth’s movements. They are made of elastic material.
The second phase of dental brace treatment is periodic adjustments. Every four to six weeks, the orthodontist will adjust and tighten the brace wires. This change in pressure will help shift the teeth to their new positions gradually.
It is normal to feel slight discomfort for a couple of days after an adjustment. This condition can be eased with over-the-counter pain relievers.
The third and last phase of dental brace treatment is removal. During this phase, the orthodontist will replace the dental braces with retainers to stabilize the positions of the newly straightened teeth.