How Do Braces Work?
Braces reposition your teeth by applying constant pressure to slowly encourage them to move along the jaw and soft tissue. Your teeth sit inside your gums, which also has a membrane underneath. When braces are applied, the membrane is stretched, allowing teeth to move while stabilising components in the device keep teeth in place.
Braces are composed of stabilising brackets which are attached to your teeth using special dental adhesive. These brackets are connected by archwires, which are the elements applying the force. In some cases, where teeth need added help moving, rubber bands may be used for extra pressure.
Types of Braces
Modern orthodontic systems are available in a range of options to align your teeth, complement your lifestyle, and fit your budget.
Traditional metal braces are an affordable option and use metal brackets and archwires. These braces are suitable for complex orthodontic correction, including bite correction.
Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces in the way that they work; however, the brackets are fabricated from clear or tooth-coloured plastic brackets and wires, so they are less noticeable than traditional braces.
Lingual braces are the same as metal braces, but they are placed behind the teeth, so only you and your orthodontist know you are wearing braces.
At MyHM Dentist, we also offer Quick Straight Teeth (QST) that covers the front 6 – 8 teeth. This allows us to use less force for better comfort and is ideal for treating mild misalignment in about six months. QST is available in fixed or removable options.
Clear aligner trays are an alternative to bracket-and-wire braces that use a series of custom moulded trays to gradually reposition teeth. This is an excellent option for patients who need mild correction and want a more discreet orthodontic device. The aligners can be removed for brushing, flossing and eating.
What to Expect Before
Contrary to popular belief, getting braces put on is a relatively pain-free procedure. You may feel a sense of pressure, especially once the archwire is added and your teeth adjust to the sensation. In the days following the procedure, you may also feel discomfort eating and speaking as your mouth acclimates to the pressure of the braces. Your dentist will provide you with dental wax to use in case the brackets rub against the soft tissue in your mouth.
Eating and Speaking
Eating and speaking can take some getting used to when you start wearing braces. After placement, there are specific foods you will need to avoid, such as nuts, popcorn, and sticky foods, so you don’t break your brackets. You can improve your speech simply by practicing.
Keeping your teeth, gums, and braces clean can be challenging and time consuming. There are a few special techniques you can use to remove food and bacteria from your braces, or you can use a water flosser or an interproximal brush to get between brackets and wires.
Braces need to be adjusted every 6 – 8 weeks to maintain pressure and ensure proper alignment. Your orthodontist may twist or bend the archwires or add rubber bands to achieve the desired pressure. You may experience some tooth sensitivity and discomfort after an adjustment, but this quickly subsides as your teeth become used to the new pressure.
What to Expect After
After your braces are off, you will need to wear a retainer to stop your teeth from relapsing. Your retainer is customised to your mouth, so it is comfortable to wear, and it resembles a mouthguard. You can also request to be fitted for a fixed retainer which sits behind your front four upper or lower teeth.
Proper brushing and flossing are challenging while wearing braces, and this can cause some mild discolouration to your teeth. You can have your teeth whitened professionally at MyHM Dentist to remove any stains and give you a pearly white smile.
A Beautiful Smile
The best thing you can expect after braces is a beautifully straight smile that will boost your confidence and improve your oral health.
Braces are the best way to achieve a stunning smile, but it is essential to know what results to expect from your braces before and after the procedure. If you are interested in correcting the alignment of your teeth, contact MyHM Dentist on (02) 9158 6379 for a consultation to discuss your orthodontic options.