What are braces?
Braces are wire-based appliances that are used to correct misaligned teeth or jaws to produce an even bite and pleasing smile. Patients struggling with crowded or gapped teeth may be suitable candidates for braces. Traditional braces are made of metal, but some are ceramic or plastic-based. All are designed to be a comfortable solution for patients looking to straighten their teeth for the smile of their dreams.
Did you know…
The wires used for braces were invented by NASA.
How it works: The metal braces process
At your consultation, Dr. Joe will determine if braces are right for you. First, he will examine your jaw, gums, and teeth to check for gaps, crowding, and misalignment. They will also discuss your smile goals and develop a treatment plan made just for you.
Impressions and Digital Imaging
Dr. Joe will then take a series of X-rays of your mouth as well as a mold of your teeth, known as an impression. Dr. Joe may make adjustments to ensure your teeth are properly aligning on the mold. Once this is complete, Dr. Joe will use the data gathered from the images and impressions to create your braces.
To secure your braces, Dr. Joe will dry and prepare your teeth to make the tooth surface ideal for bonding. Next, the braces will be attached to your teeth using a special adhesive and curing light to set the bond. Dr. Joe will then thread the metal wire through the brackets and hold it in place with ligature bands.
Fitting and Next Steps
Once your braces are securely placed, Dr. Joe will check for proper fitting to ensure maximum comfort. You’ll schedule a follow-up appointment at 320 Dental Studio every 4-8 weeks to monitor progress, replace bands, and swap out the metal archwire for a new set. During these checkups, you can select new colors to let your smile shine in style.
On your last day of treatment, Dr. Joe will remove the brackets, clean each tooth, and give you a retainer to help your teeth preserve their new positions. He will also equip you with detailed instructions on how to care for your smile so it can stay strong and straight for life.
Types of braces
Traditional braces are made of medical-grade stainless steel brackets and archwires that straighten your teeth over time. These popular aligners are oftentimes more affordable than other braces and are best suited for patients experiencing severe tooth and jaw misalignment.
Ceramic braces are very similar to the traditional metal braces, but are composed of a translucent ceramic material that matches the natural color of your teeth. Patients looking for a less noticeable alignment option may enjoy the discreet features of ceramic braces.
Did you know…
Over 4 million people in the U.S. wear braces to align their smiles.
Have questions about braces? Find answers here.
How do braces work?
Braces work by applying gradual pressure on the teeth, slowly moving them into the desired alignment. The jaw bone adapts as the braces apply pressure over time, which allows the teeth and their roots to adjust. While all cases are unique, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to correct your smile with braces.
What are the benefits of traditional metal braces?
As one of the most popular and affordable methods to straighten teeth, traditional braces are an effective solution for individuals struggling with a variety of orthodontic issues. Braces are extremely durable and are able to withstand daily wear, chewing, and brushing throughout the duration of your treatment. Unlike removable clear aligners, traditional braces are firmly planted to your teeth, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining the effectiveness of your orthodontic care.
How do you care for your braces?
Caring for your braces is similar to regular oral healthcare. Make sure to use a soft-bristled brush to keep your teeth, brackets, and wires clean and free from debris. Your dentist may provide you with a V-shaped toothbrush to ensure efficient brushing in between brackets. Don’t forget to floss! Stiff-tipped floss picks are perfect for removing food lodged in spots that may be tough to reach. Schedule regular follow-ups to ensure your teeth are adjusting properly and you’ll be braces-free in no time.
Am I a good candidate for braces?
Braces are an excellent solution to a number of orthodontic issues. If your teeth are crowded, overlapped, gapped, or crooked, metal braces can restore your smile and shift your teeth back where they belong. Patients struggling with an overbite, crossbite, overjet, or open bite may also be great candidates for braces.
How much do braces cost?
The cost of braces is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your braces include the severity of your teeth misalignment, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for braces is to schedule a consultation at 320 Dental Studio in Alexandria.
Did you know…
Braces aren’t just for teens. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans wearing braces are adults.