How Do Braces Work?
Braces are effective at moving teeth because they exert a degree of force onto each of your teeth. As your teeth shift, the pressure system of your braces changes, and they need to be adjusted to continue to shift your teeth into alignment. Your dental practitioner will make these adjustments on a regular basis to help you meet your orthodontic treatment goals.
The mechanism by which braces work is called bone remodelling. During your orthodontic treatment process, the bones that hold your teeth in place will move and settle. This enables them to hold your teeth in place.
How Often Do Braces Need To Be Adjusted?
Each patient is different but you can expect to visit your dentist for an adjustment every four to eight weeks.
What Issues Can Orthodontic Braces Address?
Braces can be used to address a number of dental issues including
- Straightening crooked teeth
- Straightening crowded teeth
- Bring gapped teeth closer together
- Addressing bite issues: under-, over- and cross-bites
- Assisting with aligning a misaligned jaw.
What Types Of Braces Are Available?
The most commonly used orthodontics include metal braces, lingual braces, ceramic braces and clear aligners.
Lingual braces work on crooked teeth in much the same way as metal braces, except they are fitted to the back of your teeth.
This means that adjustments can take longer and the sensation of the braces against your tongue may take some time to get used to.
How Do Ceramic Braces Work?
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, but they have clear or tooth coloured brackets, which makes them less noticeable. They are prone to staining so they need to be well looked after. They work by creating the same pressure system that metal braces do. They offer the advantage of rapid straightening, with discretion.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
Clear aligners are fitted over your teeth, similar to a mouthguard. They also apply force to shift teeth into a straighter alignment but, unlike traditional braces, they do not need to be adjusted. Rather, you will be given 18 to 30 sets of aligners, where each set marks a new position for your teeth to move into. Every two weeks you will swap your aligners for a new set, to ensure your teeth continue to shift into straighter positions.
Once you have completed your orthodontic treatment plan you can expect to wear a retainer for a period of time. This is usually done at night when you are asleep and is a crucial final step in your treatment. If you do not wear your retainer you run the risk of your teeth shifting out of their new positions, undoing all of your dedicated progress.
What Are The Benefits Of Orthodontic Treatment?
In addition to gifting you with a smile, you can feel confident about, having orthodontic treatment offers other benefits:
- Fresher, cleaner breath
- Your teeth are easier to keep clean, resulting in less plaque build-up and managing the level of bacteria in your mouth
- Reducing abnormal wear and tear on your teeth
- Easier chewing
- Less pressure on your jaw joints
What Can You Expect When Getting Braces?
Having your braces fitted is a relatively quick procedure and maybe complete in as little as an hour. Your dental practitioner will clean your teeth and then prime them for the braces. Dental cement will be applied to the relevant surfaces, to ensure the brackets of the braces stay stuck to your teeth.
Are Braces Painful?
When your orthodontic braces have been fitted you probably won’t feel much discomfort but this may develop in the coming days. Sometimes patients report headaches as well as dental discomfort. You will get used to the discomfort over time but you can expect it to escalate every time you have an adjustment.
The discomfort may feel a bit worse five days after your braces have been fitted but if it does get unmanageable, you can use over the counter pain medication.
Does Health Insurance Cover The Cost Of Braces?
Some policies may cover orthodontics but you may have a waiting period, and there will be a limit to the amount you can claim.
For more information on “how do braces work?” please schedule an appointment with us: (02) 9158 6211.