What to Know About Metal Braces
Traditional braces are one orthodontic treatment option that we offer at Eastside Orthodontics. They can correct crowded teeth, eliminate unwanted gaps, and align the jaw. Crooked teeth do more than just impact the quality of your smile. They significantly impact your oral health, leaving you more vulnerable to cavities, gum disease, and tooth damage. Crooked teeth can also place uneven pressure on your teeth, leading to grinding and clenching. You may be faced with uneven tooth wear, pain in your jaw and temporomandibular joints, and even in your shoulders and back.
How Do Metal Braces Work?
Metal braces consist of 3 basic components:
- Brackets: Metal brackets are affixed to the front surfaces of your teeth using special dental cement. These brackets are placed during your first appointment and remain in place throughout the duration of your entire treatment.
- Metal bands: These bands are placed around your very back teeth. They function to anchor your wires in place.
- Wires: A metal wire spans across your arch of teeth. It is affixed to each bracket with an elastic O-ring or ligature. The wires perform the work to move your teeth.
There are a few other types of components that may be used during your treatment to help achieve proper alignment. These components may include things such as rubber bands, springs, or power chains. During your initial consultation, we can help to determine exactly what components will be needed to optimize your orthodontic treatment.
With metal braces, the wires, also called archwires, are responsible for the realignment of your teeth and jaws. The wires put pressure on your teeth. This puts pressure on your periodontal ligaments, widening them and causing your teeth to become loose. The wires are then able to guide your teeth into proper alignment. Once aligned, the wires help to hold your teeth in place while your periodontal ligaments and jawbone heal around them, stabilizing them in their new positions. It takes about three months for new tissue to begin growing, and about a year for your teeth to be stabilized.
Benefits of Metal Braces
Metal braces offer several benefits, including:
- Improving your smile.
- Improving your oral health, reducing your risk for cavities, gum disease, and tooth damage.
- Improving your ability to chew properly improves your digestion and overall nutrition.
- Alleviating pain associated with bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorder.
With metal braces, we can help improve your smile, your oral health, and your quality of life.
Taking Care of Metal Braces
Brushing and flossing twice a day is important, as is rinsing after meals. This prevents food from getting under your brackets and wires, which can lead to cavities or decay. You may need to use special flossers to make flossing with braces easier.
If you feel discomfort on the side of your mouth, you can place some wax on your brackets to avoid scraping as you adjust to metal braces. Your orthodontist will have wax for you.
If a wire comes loose, you should call your office. The team at Eastside Orthodontics will let you know if you can clip the wire and wait for your next visit, or if an emergency appointment is necessary. In the rare case that a bracket comes loose, you should contact your orthodontist.