To call braces important, is an understatement- considering what they are capable of doing in someone’s life, they are lifesaving. Braces can help change someone’s destiny for good. Not only do you get a straight beautiful smile but a healthier life all round. It is however fun how most people confuse these lifesavers for the worst thing that could ever happen in your life.
Today, want to debunk a few myths surrounding these braces and make people understand why they are not as bad after all. There is no better way of demystifying braces than making people understand how they work in the first place. In this article, we will give a detailed insight into the whole process of getting braces, how they help straighten your teeth to the period you can comfortably afford a smile before the camera and people. It is a common question we get daily in emails and from visiting clients. With the help of one of our experience dentists here at Vita Dental, we have come up with this step by step guide on how dental braces work. The steps include the actual orthodontic process itself and a detailed look at how the braces help your teeth to straighten;
- Consultation Visit
This is the first step of the treatment. One of our dentists will do an in-depth evaluation of the patient and determine the following:
- The need of orthodontic treatment which is braces in this case
- The type of treatment applicable
- an approximation of how long the treatment is going to last
At Vita Dental, this is the stage where we get to take pictures and X-rays to determine the extent of the problem.
- Thorough Cleaning
Once the dentist is certain about the type of dental braces applicable for a patient, he embarks on the installation of the braces itself. It all begins with thorough cleaning of the teeth using high pressure clean water.
- Installation of Spacers
Spacers are installed to let the dentist have a good view of the mouth after cleaning. They will later make room for bands once the brackets are installed.
- Extractions if necessary
If there are any overcrowded teeth that are supposed to be extracted, then they are pulled out. Sometimes teeth grow in unwanted areas and have to be pulled out if the other teeth are to get the desired alignment and dental shape.
- Gel application
After any necessary extractions, the dentist will then apply a gel on the surface of teeth. The gel makes the surface of the teeth rough. The gel is normally applied to the future location of dental braces. The surface onto which the braces will be glued need to be rough to increase the traction of the braces.
This where the braces are finally installed onto the teeth that need to be realigned. A special resin/ glue is used to hold the braces onto the surface of the teeth. The glue is applied in between the tooth and the brace. Each brace is then gently placed and pressed onto the surface of the teeth. Each tooth has its own brace type and size. Once the brace is placed onto the surface of the tooth, a blue light of high intensity is used to harden the resin and make the glue harden and stick even more.
- Placing the wire
The wires are placed to connect and fasten the braces. They are connected to the brace through special bands called ligatures. The outer wires will eventually determine the colour we see when we look at the patient with braces. The wires are placed at the center of each ring and attached by the ligatures.
This is the ‘healing’ period. The period the patient has to live with the braces for them to take effect. As the teeth grow, they are will be shaped into the desired position by the braces which will more or less be dictating the shape of the teeth as they grow. Depending on the severity of misalignment, the healing process can take anything between 6 months and 3 years.
- Adjustment Visits
Once every four weeks, a patient will have to visit the dentist for check-ups and adjust the wires if need be. As the teeth grow, the wires and braces need to be adjusted otherwise it will be very uncomfortable to the patient. The dentist also takes time to check on the progress of the patient to make sure that everything is okay.
- De-band Visit
Here, the braces are removed from the surface of teeth. This is done after the teeth are back into the desired position. They are replaced by retainers which are meant to hold the teeth into their new position. At this stage, the teeth are in their desired shape.