If you’re like most people, you might have a sketchy idea of what an orthodontist does and—more specifically—what braces are for. Braces work by using either metal, plastic, or ceramic to affix to the teeth and put gentle pressure on them. Over time, this pressure loosens the teeth and causes them to move. This process is used to move teeth into their proper alignment. |
If you’re like most people, you might have a sketchy idea of what an orthodontist does and—more specifically—what braces are for. The idea is quite simple, really, especially when you stop and think about what a wonderful favor braces do for so many people. Seldom are people born with an absolutely perfect set of teeth, with every last tooth in line and a bite that meets perfectly in the middle. Those that do have such a set are among the lucky few. For everyone else, there are two choices: live with misaligned teeth, or get braces. With costs coming down all the time, many people choose the latter.
For the most part, seeing the orthodontist for braces has long been thought of as something teenagers do. For many people, if they didn’t get their teeth straightened out in their adolescence, they never will. This is slowly changing, however. As braces become less and less visible (there are many more options these days than the old “metal mouth” braces of old), more and more adults are choosing to get their teeth fixed.
Braces work by using either metal, plastic, or ceramic to affix to the teeth and put gentle pressure on them. Over time, this pressure loosens the teeth and causes them to move. This process is used to move teeth into their proper alignment. In the final stages of the process, rubber bands may be introduced to correct an overbite or an under-bite. Typically, the patient will go in to see the orthodontist on a regular basis to make sure everything is going smoothly and to get them tightened. While wearing braces, there are usually restrictions on what you can eat. Hard, crunchy foods are usually eschewed, as these can break the braces and cause them to fall off.
Most treatments of this kind last from one year to three years to completely finish the job. At the end of this time, many patients are fitted with a retainer. This could be built in to the teeth, used as a removable treatment, or a combination of both. Typically, the retainer phase lasts around six months to a year after the braces has been taken off and is done so to prevent the teeth from sliding back into their original alignment.
Not all braces are suitable for all types of tooth misalignment. To determine if you’re a good fit for braces you should set up an appointment with an orthodontist and discuss your options.
Sometimes an orthodonist is needed for those looking to correct not so perfect teeth. For more information, visit http://wwwdrtoothy.com.
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