What Are Braces?
Today’s braces come in a variety of styles and price ranges; the one thing they all have in common is the ability to correct the alignment of your teeth and bite. Braces are a form of orthodontic treatment, designed to correct tooth misalignment and restore your ability to properly bite, improving your overall dental health and self-esteem. Braces can correct a wide variety of misalignment issues, including underbites, overbites, deep bites, crossbites, crooked teeth, and other jaw related issues.
Misaligned teeth can do more than just impact the aesthetics of your smile; they can also have a negative effect on your bite and overall comfort. If you need orthodontic care, our dentists will take the time to thoroughly evaluate the health of your teeth and mouth, and recommend personalized solutions designed to bring you results.
Who Needs Braces?
Tooth misalignment can be caused by several issues, including injury, tooth loss, thumb sucking, and genetics. If you or a family member are dealing with misaligned teeth, your dentist may recommend that orthodontic treatment with braces could be of benefit. Braces and orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, traditionally offered to patients in their teen years, many people are surprised to learn that braces can be effective for adults and seniors as well.
Braces At Any Age
Abnormalities in tooth growth usually become apparent between the ages of six and twelve, however most orthodontic treatment isn’t attempted until a child is approaching their teens. Treating a child’s misaligned teeth in their youth can decrease their chances of developing more severe dental issues later in life, and, improve their self-confidence at a critical time of mental and emotional development.
In the past, the primary recipients of traditional orthodontic treatment were teens. Today, dentists can offer orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages. As orthodontic technology has advanced, there are now many orthodontic options for adults who want to straighten their teeth. It is never too late to straighten and improve your smile and your health!
How Do Braces Work?
Traditionally, the application of braces meant a series of metal bands and an archwire were secured to each tooth, filling your smile with metal and requiring frequent dental visits for adjustment. Today, those shiny metal bands have been replaced with small brackets made of metal, porcelain, or plastic, and more modern archwire materials require less adjustment and work faster to align your teeth. Still applying a constant pressure over time, braces gently shift teeth into their optimal position.
Common Types of Braces:
- Metal Braces are still considered ‘traditional braces’, but are much less noticeable and more comfortable than they were in the past. Small metal brackets and thin archwires are used to gently pull teeth into their desired position. Metal Braces are generally the most economical type of braces.
- Ceramic Braces are similar in size, shape, and function to traditional metal braces; however, the use of clear or ‘tooth-coloured’ ceramic brackets are considered less noticeable than metal brackets.
- Invisalign® treatment involves the creation and application of a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners, worn like a mouth guard up to 24 hours a day. Each set of aligners is exchanged for the next in the series about every two weeks, gradually moving teeth into proper alignment. Invisalign® is one of the most popular types of orthodontic treatment among adults. The clear, flexible, and removable aligners offer a more discreet alternative to traditional braces.
How Long Does It Take to Go from Braces to Beautiful Smile?
Treatment plans are determined on an individual basis, depending on the severity of tooth and/or bite misalignment, lifestyle, and personal preference. Not all orthodontic treatment options will work for every patient, but there are options for every patient. Most people receive treatment from one to three years followed by a period of wearing an appliance called a retainer, which holds teeth in their new position. Book a consultation with one of our Edmonton dentists and visit Groove Dental to discover what your personal treatment plan looks like; get started on a straighter smile today!