Ever see someone on TV or in a magazine with beautifully straight teeth and thought to yourself how amazing it would feel if yours looked the same? You’re not alone. Every person wants straight teeth because of their visual appeal and health benefits. Misaligned and crooked teeth affect a person’s ability to chew food, talk and smile. The good news is you can correct misaligned bites or crooked teeth through Orthodontic treatment which uses retainers and braces to straighten teeth.
Braces work by exerting continuous and gentle pressure on teeth over a period of time until the teeth move in the desired direction. While the teeth move, the jaw bone adjusts its shape and straightens the teeth. Braces are made up of the following parts:
- Brackets– These tiny squares bond directly to the front part of every tooth. Brackets support and hold the arch wires in place. They come in different types such as ceramic, plastic, tooth-colored ceramic and stainless steel.
- Orthodontic Bands– Bands wrap around every tooth to support the brackets by anchoring them to the teeth. However, not all patients use bonds. Some use brackets only.
- Spacers– These are tiny separators that create spaces between teeth so that bonds can be fitted in these spaces.
- Arch Wires– These thin wires attach each bracket to the other and they play the role of guiding the movement of teeth. Arch wires have fine wires or ties that securely hold them on brackets. The arch wire is held securely by a buccal tube on the last tooth.
Benefits of Braces
1. Health Benefits
Braces play a significant role in improving a patient’s dental hygiene. When dental hygiene improves, the chances of getting oral diseases are lowered. Crooked teeth and misaligned bites allow food particles to accumulate between teeth. The accumulated food particles increase plague (soft layer of bacteria on tooth surfaces) which is a major cause of gum and periodontal disease. With braces, you can easily brush and clean your teeth thus protecting yourself from periodontal disease and cavities. This is very important considering that periodontal disease can destroy the bone that holds your teeth in place. In general, braces create an ideal atmosphere for good dental hygiene thereby improving an individual’s overall dental health.
2. Teeth Protection
Braces alleviate uneven stress and unnecessary wear on certain teeth. Irregular bite patterns caused by crooked or misaligned teeth can cause unnecessary grinding and erosion on certain teeth. Sooner or later, these teeth will experience premature dental problems which will require you to replace or repair the affected teeth. Protruding front teeth are more prone to injury, especially during sports. Braces reposition and align teeth thus decreasing the likelihood of damage and fracturing.
3. Improved Eating
Braces straighten teeth and enable a patient to bite or chew more effectively. Misaligned bites and crooked teeth cause difficulties in chewing and biting food. Eventually, a bad bite or malocclusion will lead to discomfort, digestion issues and nutrition problems. In extreme cases, a patient can experience headaches, neck and back pains. Braces eliminate these problems by straightening your teeth.
4. Aesthetic Benefits
Apart from improved dental hygiene and health, one of the main benefits of braces is the positive effect they have on the self-esteem of a patient. A large number of orthodontic patients wear braces to improve the appearance of their teeth. Some patients feel embarrassed and suffer from low confidence when they are in social places because they believe that their teeth have less visual appeal. This makes them very uncomfortable in social situations. Luckily, braces can alleviate this problem. Straight teeth enhance a person’s smile. Research shows that an attractive smile boosts self-confidence and self-esteem which are very important at every age. For kids, a positive self-esteem contributes to their future life and success. In adults, self-confidence is very vital in a lot of social situations and professional settings. With braces, an individual’s morale and confidence is boosted and this in turn leads to a more satisfying professional, social and personal life.