Dental Braces or Orthodontic Braces, usually just referred to as “braces”, are devices used to help straighten teeth and correct a person’s bite. Underbites, overbites, cross bites, open bites and malocclusions are some typical cases in which braces are used.
How Are Braces Done?
Your orthodontist bonds the brackets to your teeth with composite resin and cures it with light until it hardens. A metal wire applies pressure to the teeth to shift them into the desired position. Adjustments are made approximately every 4-6 weeks and are commonly worn for 12 months to two and a half years. After your braces come off you are fitted with a retainer to ensure sure your teeth don’t shift.
Am I a Candidate for Braces?
A good candidate for braces is an individual who has good oral hygiene and healthy gums and teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should be seen for their first orthodontic consultation no later than age 7, however adults seeking treatment can consult their dentist at any time.
Maintaining Your Braces
To best protect your braces, avoid tough meats, hard breads, raw vegetables and any hard, sticky or chewy foods. Most importantly never bite into foods like apples, corn on the cob and carrots. Be sure to adequately brush and floss your teeth while wearing braces.