Dental braces are devices used in orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth, bad “bite”, or misaligned jaw. Malocclusion occurs when teeth of the occluding jaws are poorly aligned and frequently overlap. This is not just a cosmetic problem but also a pathological one.
Misaligned teeth can, in fact, cause pain, poor oral health, and various dental issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and even jaw disorders. Think of braces as training wheels on a bicycle; they train your teeth to maintain their desired positions up until they can do that on their own!
When Are Braces Needed?
Generally speaking, people get braces to improve their jaw function or facial appearance. However, they are also effective at correcting common dental issues such as:
- Visibly crooked or crowded teeth
- Difficulty flossing between and brushing around crooked teeth
- Frequently biting your tongue or cutting your tongue on your teeth
- Teeth that don’t close over each other properly when your mouth is at rest
- Difficulty pronouncing certain sounds due to your tongue’s position under your teeth
- Clicking or popping jaws
- Stress or fatigue on your jawline after chewing food
What Are the Different Types of Braces?
Traditionally, braces were uncomfortable contraptions with bulky metal frameworks that often caused nicks and cuts inside of the mouth. The fact that they were also very conspicuous also did not make them a fan favorite. Nowadays, braces are less noticeable and more discreet.
You can find several different types of braces today, such as:
Standard metal braces consist of brackets and wire bands that are affixed to your teeth using special dental cement. They are held taut together to move your teeth into alignment.
They are similar to metal braces is function and design. But they differ in that they are often tinted to be color-matched to your natural tooth enamel, thus getting rid of the unsightly metallic appearance of traditional metal braces.
These are metal braces that are installed on the inner surfaces of your lower front teeth, making them hard to detect.
Possibly the newest edition to this family of orthodontic appliances, clear aligners like Invisalign are transparent plastic trays that are custom-made for each individual. They are alternatives to braces and bring your teeth into alignment as you switch out the trays every two weeks.
Not all of these options are favorable to each patient. An orthodontist will need to examine you and your oral behavior and assign the appropriate orthodontic treatment unique to your needs.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
The price of braces varies due to a variety of factors including the needs of the patient, the type of orthodontic treatment necessary, geographic location, and the clinic. However, below is a general price list for various procedures by country.
|Braces Cost Table|
|United States of America||$6,139|
Prices in US dollars based on the ADA 2020 Survey of Dental Fees national average for comprehensive orthodontic treatment of the adult dentition by an orthodontist and internal data at Apollo Medical Travel.
What is the Procedure to Get Braces?
Before commencing your braces treatment, our orthodontists will begin by performing a thorough examination of your mouth, extensively discussing your dental history, and reviewing X-rays of your teeth and mouth.
After all the formalities have been exhausted, we move on to the main procedure.
- A cheek retractor is used to gain access and visibility to the teeth involved and also to keep the teeth dry during the procedure.
- An etchant is applied to the teeth’ surfaces for 30 seconds to make them ideal for bonding. This is cleaned off and the teeth are then air-dried.
- An adhesive primer is placed on the teeth to enhance the bonding process.
- Cement is placed on the back of the brackets, which is then applied to pre-determined positions on the teeth.
- Once the brackets are in place, excess cement is removed.
- The brackets are hardened into place using a high-intensity curing light.
- The cheek retractor is removed and the dental arch wires are run through the braces and held in place with ligature bands.
Some like to express themselves through color while others like simple, clear bands. You can get creative with your bands!
And that’s it! The entire process of bonding the brackets and then placing the arch wires can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. You may experience slight discomfort after the placement of your braces but this should typically subside with time.
You may find relief through cold and soft foods like ice cream or yogurt. Over-the-counter medication can also help alleviate discomfort.
Maintenance and Adjustments
You’ll be asked to visit our dental office once every month for a customary follow-up checkup. This is also when your braces will be adjusted and your bands replaced. These appointments do not take more than 30 minutes and are perfect opportunities for you to clear your doubts and concerns.
Our dentists will also send you home with strict oral hygiene instructions so make sure to follow them diligently.
This is the most anticipated part of getting braces. After approximately one to three years (depending on the complexity of your case), you’ll have your braces removed. This will be done by breaking the bonding and cleaning the adhesive to aid in the removal of the brackets. You can now look into the mirror and admire your new and beautiful smile.
This is the most important step of getting braces – maintaining the progress that has been made. You will be fitted with a retainer which you’ll be required to wear regularly. This ensures that your teeth do not relapse back into their old alignments and the hard work you put in to achieve your dream smile does not all go in vain.
The effectiveness of braces depends on the person and their ability to carefully follow the orthodontist’s instructions. Be patient and let braces work their magic!
Mahendra L. Aligners: the Invisible Corrector-A Boon or Bane. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2018;19(3):247. Published 2018 Mar 1.
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Survey of Dental Fees 2020 – ebusiness.ada.org. https://ebusiness.ada.org/Assets/docs/85994.pdf. Accessed December 3, 2021.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be used as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you have surrounding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it as a result of anything you read on this Site.
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