Braces: Proven Smile Transformations
A person’s smile says a lot about them, but not everyone feels confident when they smile. Unfortunately, not everyone is born with a pearly white and perfectly straight set of teeth. Sometimes crooked teeth can not only make a person feel embarrassed, but they can lead to problems with eating, speaking or even jaw pain issues. One of the most trusted ways to fix a crooked smile is with braces. They’ve been widely used for over 100 years for one reason: they work. Advance Orthodontics in Houston, TX offers traditional braces for all types of patients.
What Are Braces?
“Braces” are made up of three key components: brackets, arch wires, and ligatures.
- The word braces actually refers to the brackets that are glued onto the teeth. They may be made of metal, porcelain, plastic, or a combination of these. The purpose of the brackets is to hold an arch wire in place.
- The metal arch wire is inserted into the brackets and spans from one bracket to the next. This provides the force which actually moves the teeth.
- The ligatures hold the arch wire in the bracket. They are often the colorful part of the braces, and colors can be selected and changed at each appointment. Ligatures can be made of metal or a rubbery plastic material and go by many names: o-rings, colors, donuts, etc.
In addition to the core components listed above, there are all kinds of things that can be attached to braces in order to correct the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. The most common of these is rubber bands (or elastics).
During treatment the teeth will loosen and move because of the pressure created by the braces. This pressure causes the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth to remodel, slowly shifting the teeth into their correct positions.
What Braces Can Fix
Braces can treat a wide variety of orthodontic problems including lack of alignment, crowding, gaps, crossbites, overbites, underbites, open bites, etc. For some of these issues, it is helpful to use other appliances, such as expanders, in addition to braces.
Pros and Cons of Braces
The main pro of braces is a straight and beautiful smile that should last the rest of your life. Braces often take a bad rap, however, mostly due to aesthetics. Nowadays, we have porcelain (tooth-colored) braces to alleviate the “train tracks” effect caused by metal braces in the old days. One thing that many people, especially teens, tend to dislike about braces is the food restrictions — they just don’t want to give up their favorite foods at Houston restaurants — but certain hard and sticky foods can knock the braces off of the teeth. Braces also make it more time-consuming to clean the teeth. But all of these so-called “cons” are a small price to pay for permanently fixing your teeth. Braces can not only beautify your smile but also save you from serious dental problems later on in life.
Dr. Karotkin Offers Alternatives to Braces in Houston
Think braces aren’t for you? Most people are candidates to get their teeth straightened without braces, using clear, removable “aligners.” Aesthetics, brushing, and food restrictions become a non-issue. Check out our Invisalign page!