Braces are a common type of orthodontic device used to straighten or align teeth for patients suffering from crowding, spacing, or other bite abnormalities. These devices apply continuous pressure to the teeth over the entire length of treatment. As the teeth gradually move to the desired, correctly aligned position, the patients' smiles become; increasingly more attractive, easier to clean, and less likely to get gum disease and cavities.
While braces were once considered a treatment specifically for older children and teenagers, today's braces can be effectively used to help patients of all ages achieve the appearance they desire. All children should have an orthodontic examination by the time they reach the age of seven. We constantly monitor children at dental check-ups to look for bite abnormalities that could be an issue if not corrected.
Types of Braces
Patients who need or elect to have braces have a choice among several different types of appliances. Each system has its own specific benefits. Please feel free to browse their web pages to help understand the benefits of each system.
Length of Treatment with Braces
The length of treatment needed varies for each individual patient, but can range from a few months to a few years. Patient will likely be asked to visit every four to eight weeks so that the movement of the teeth can be monitored.
After Removal of Braces
Most patients will need to wear a retainer after braces are removed in order to maintain the new position of the teeth and to prevent further movement. If enough room is present usually a fixed wire retainer will be bonded to the teeth. In some cases, an upper removable retainer is needed. This retainer should be worn at all times for the first few months and thereafter only during sleep. Unfortunately, teeth will always want to move back to their starting position unless "retained."