The most reliable method of teeth straightening is the use of metal braces. Used for decades, they are reliable to correct a number of orthodontic issues in patients of all ages. With modern technologic advancements, they are smaller, sleeker and more effective.
The orthodontist should begin with teeth alignment as well as the bite and facial proportions. This will assure a straight smile appropriate to the patient’s overall appearance.
What are traditional Braces?
Metal braces are used to straighten teeth with a system of brackets and wires. A bracket is applied to each tooth and then the brackets are connected to a wire that spans each row of teeth. This will slowly move the teeth into proper positions.
The wire is held in place with small elastic bands on each bracket. This wire is adjusted periodically, usually every 6-8 weeks. To treat overbites, underbites and crossbites, larger elastic bands are attached to the brackets and stretched between upper and lower teeth to fit the bite.
Length of time the braces are used will vary with each patient’s problems. The average treatment time is 1.5-2 years. The entire process will straighten crooked teeth, close gaps and allow the bite to fit the right way.
Does my child need braces?
There are a number of indicators that a child would benefit from braces.
- Discomfort while chewing or speaking
- Jaws do not meet evenly
- Early, late or irregular loss of baby teeth
- Teeth show crowding, gapping
- Jaw or teeth are out of proportion to the face