An Overview of Braces

Orthodontic braces are an essential tool for maintaining healthy teeth and preventing disease. At Palm Valley Pediatric, our specialists offer a complete treatment procedure involving selecting the type of braces that best fits your child’s dental needs and lifestyle, planning the straitening process over several months to years, and ultimately removing the braces once complete. 

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How Do They Work?

Braces are made up of wires and brackets, rectangular slots affixed to your teeth. Braces operate under the premise that when stress is given to bone, it remodels, causing some areas to show bone growth and others to show bone resorption.

They function by exerting steady, continuous pressure on your teeth, which is then passed to the bone. Resorption will be seen where pressure is applied, whereas bone growth will be visible where tension is formed.

Due to this gradual, controlled push, your teeth will move within the bone, moving them into the correct alignment.

5 Types of Braces

1- Metal

These orthodontic treatments straighten teeth using a combination of brackets and wires.

They are the most common braces and involve metal brackets on the front surface of each tooth held in place by an archwire. 

2- Ceramic

This offers an aesthetic alternative to metal brace, using ceramic brackets that blend in with natural tooth color.

They work similarly to metal braces but do not require as much tension, which can be kinder on the gums

3- Self-ligating

They work like traditional metal braces using brackets and wire but only need so many trips for adjustments due to their themself-ligation’ aspect.

It involves having a door mechanism affixed to each bracket which helps hold the wire in place without requiring elastic ties or steel ligatures.

4- Lingual

Lingual braces are fitted behind rather than onto the front of your teeth, making them invisible from the outside.

This relatively new technology comes with challenges; For example, gaining access between your tongue and back molars can be difficult and may cause discomfort during transition phases when new wires must be inserted at short intervals.

5- Clear Aligners

Clear aligners like Invisalign allow you to straighten your teeth discreetly by wearing custom-made plastic trays over your teeth.

Clear aligners should be worn daily for 20-22 to make any visible difference. They also require regular checkups at dental appointments every 4-6 weeks to monitor progress.

How Long Do You Have to Live Braces?

On average, dental braces must be worn for 12-24 months to achieve the desired results.

The exact time depends on each individual’s situation, such as type and severity of misalignment, age, and growth rate.

While your orthodontist can provide a more accurate timeline after evaluating your mouth and discussing goals, living with braces typically lasts 1-3 years, depending on the patient’s cooperation and movement required.

Do Braces Hurt?

Generally, the brace does not cause any pain. Initially, patients may experience some discomfort or soreness for the first few days after getting them adjusted, but this is completely normal and should dissipate fairly quickly with the help of over-the-counter medications. 

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