Braces are designed to straighten crooked teeth, correct crowded teeth and the bite. Traditional braces, also known as metal or conventional braces, are the most common type of orthodontic treatment option available. Traditional braces consist of metal brackets, archwire for attaching to the front of teeth and rubber bands for securing in place.
With the advancement in technology, traditional braces now feature a smaller and sleeker design that makes them a comfortable option for both kids and adults. They are also a cost-effective option, and the colored rubber bands make them an attractive option for kids and teenagers. Read on to find out more about traditional braces.
Traditional braces are undoubtedly the most common type of braces in the market today. Here are some benefits that can be accrued from conventional braces.
Orthodontic treatment for adults can take slightly longer since more effort is required to move the teeth into position. For adults dealing with underlying issues like spacing and crooked teeth, the treatment can take just a few months. However, if the cases are involved, it can take up to 36 months to get the teeth to the desired position. Also, the treatment time for adults will depend on the type of braces being used, with lingual braces taking the longest time.
Similarly, the period that your child will need to wear braces will depend on the orthodontic treatment. However, the average time is about two years, after which they can wear specially molded retainers that prevent the teeth from going back to their original positions. Also, they may need to make visits to the orthodontist every 6 to 8 weeks.
The process of fitting most types of braces can take about 1 to 2 hours. Your dentist can refer you to an orthodontist who is specialized to fit braces. The orthodontist will begin by thoroughly cleaning and drying your teeth. He/she will then apply a gel adhesive to the surface of your teeth before attaching the brackets.
The last step involves the orthodontist placing the archwire in the brackets before securing it with elastic bands. Before working with an orthodontist, be sure to check their credentials at the General Dental Council.
Also referred to as early intervention, Phase I is an orthodontic treatment that takes places between ages 7 and 10, before the development of permanent teeth. The goal of the first phase is to help in the development of a child’s jaw. This is to provide room for eruption of permanent teeth. While it is not a replacement for braces, it helps to make initial structural corrections to prepare for the second phase of treatment. Phase I treatment can help to deal with specific problems at an early age, correct habits like tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking, and reduce teasing that is as a result of abnormally crooked teeth. Early intervention can also lower a child’s need for corrective surgery or extraction later on.
After the completion of phase one, the patient will go through an observation phase before going to phase II of treatment. Unlike contrary belief, Phase I may not correct all orthodontic problems like the bite. What it mainly does is improve the teeth’s cosmetic appearance. So during the observation phase, we monitor the eruption of the permanent teeth. It is, therefore, essential for the kid to visit their orthodontist to check their jaw and tooth development. Between the first and the second phase, the kid may wear a space maintainer or retainer.
Phase II treatment is recommended when permanent teeth have erupted and are usually done between 11 and 13 years. The goal of this treatment is to position the permanent teeth to enhance their function and appearance. The treatment involves fitting full braces on the permanent teeth to help straighten the teeth and correct the bite. For optimal results, the procedure can last for a period of 12 to 24 months.
Since you will be wearing your braces for some time, it is essential to ensure proper care and maintenance for them. Here are some tips for maintaining your braces.
If you want to keep your braces in perfect shape, stay away from foods that are not termed braces-friendly. This means avoiding crunchy, hard, and sugary foods as well as chewy foods like soft candies. Sugary foods can cause plaque build-up around the brackets, which can stain or damage your teeth. Also, particular vegetables and fruits are likely to get stuck in your braces. This is likely to result in damaging the braces. For such foods, you can opt to cut them into smaller pieces.
Another way to care for your braces is by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, especially after meals. Not only will this oral health routine help to maintain a good appearance for your braces, but it will also help to prevent permanent staining your teeth. Learning how to brush and flow with your pair may not be easy at first, but it will get easier over time with a little practice. Plus, your dentist may recommend using a special brush that gets into crevices and other hard-to-reach areas of the braces.
We highly recommend keeping up with the follow-up appointments so your braces can be adjusted. Otherwise, delaying or missing appointments could prolong your treatment period. Appointments are also a great place to have your questions and concerns attended to.
When it comes to braces treatment, there are several options to consider that will help reduce the cost. One way to minimize braces treatment is by getting dental insurance for braces. Dental insurance covers braces if the procedure is meant to help the child or adult chew better. However, dental insurance may not cover every situation, especially if the treatment is purely for cosmetic purposes.
Alternatively, you can pay for your braces treatment using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HAS).
If you are ready to get braces for cosmetic reasons or to correct structural problems, do not hesitate to request a consultation with us today! Our initial orthodontist consultation is free, and our friendly team will take you through the best orthodontic treatment tailored to your needs. We will also do a dental check-up to examine the condition of your teeth before making any recommendations.
Yes, there are other alternatives to braces for those who don’t like traditional braces. They include: