Braces are an incredible orthodontic appliance that works to straighten your teeth into the perfect position over a long period. Your teeth move every day with or without the help of an appliance, so braces are used to guide that movement, but how exactly is it accomplished? The About Faces and Braces team is here to share how braces straighten teeth, why pursuing treatment can be beneficial, and other common questions from braces wearers.
How Do Braces Move Teeth?
Wires, brackets, elastics, orthodontic bands, and other brace components work together to shift your teeth into the correct position over two to three years until your smile goals are reached. The positioning of these components exerts different amounts of constant pressure across your teeth. The soft tissue surrounding your teeth is stretched in different directions and forms new bones as necessary to ensure they are adequately protected.
Adjusting Your Appliance
For each follow-up, Dr. Shawn and Dr. Candice will tighten and adjust your appliance as necessary to keep the pressure on the right areas of your teeth. As your teeth move over time, our orthodontists will better understand how they respond to treatment and make minute changes to meet your smile goals. After each tightening, your teeth will slowly adjust to the pressure and feel less discomfort or soreness.
Stages of Shifting
1. Level and Align
The first stage in moving your teeth is lining them up side by side in a straight line. Depending on the oral issues at hand, your teeth may move in all directions to get to this point.
2. Bite Issues
The next step is dealing with bite issues or malocclusions, such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. This is typically the longest step, where we will close any gaps that may be present. Again, your teeth may move in different directions to fix signs of a bad bite.
3. Fine Tuning
During this last step, Dr. Shawn and Dr. Candice perform fine-tuning measures, where they ensure your teeth are in their ideal position. They use your elastics and adjust wires to focus on shifting specific teeth.
Why Straighten Your Teeth?
A brand-new smile helps patients feel a renewed sense of confidence! Your dental health and self-esteem are more connected than you may realize. Those with imperfect teeth may be less likely to show off their smile in public and restrain their happiness around others. Braces treatment can encourage you to live the fulfilling life that you deserve. Our team strives to ensure you are happy with your dental appearance not only after achieving your smile goals, but throughout treatment as well.
Besides aesthetics, many general health benefits come with straightening your teeth, one being you can enjoy smoother digestion due to improved bite function. Being able to chew your food down to bite-sized pieces allows your stomach and intestine to avoid working so hard. This can help you prevent stomach aches and heartburn.
Similarly, straightened teeth are less likely to encounter jaw issues. Before orthodontic treatment, you may experience tension in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), potentially causing neck pain or frequent headaches. Aligned teeth, in turn, allow for an aligned jaw, relieving excessive stress or strain that may be put on it.
How Long Till You See Results?
Everyone’s treatment plan and the work they want to be done are unique, so there is no precise timeframe to rely on. However, we see patients’ teeth starting to make minor shifts after about a month in their appliance. In the following two to three months, you can expect to see more significant changes visible to others.
You may not be able to see a pronounced difference from day to day, but your teeth continue to move frequently due to the calculated, constant pressure Dr. Shawn and Dr. Candice are putting on your teeth to shift. On average, braces treatment lasts between one and three years, depending on your case’s severity, current oral health, age, and chosen appliance. Our team can give you a better idea of how long you will wear braces when you come for your free consultation.
Types of Braces Available
A tried-and-true option, metal braces are a popular appliance choice among our patients due to their efficient, long-term results. They are able to fix any oral issue you encounter and are a cost-effective choice for those looking to undergo orthodontic treatment without breaking the bank. Metal braces are more comfortable than ever thanks to their sleek brackets and light wires, leading to fewer signs of irritation in your mouth.
An aesthetic alternative to metal braces, clear braces are an excellent option for adults and older teens looking to straighten their teeth under the radar. They utilize tooth-colored ceramic brackets that blend in with your smile and efficiently shift your teeth with the same technology as their metal counterpart. Our practice also provides colored ligature ties for those looking to show off their personality with their appliance.
Enjoy a Brand-New Smile!
At About Faces and Braces, we believe in keeping patients an active part of treatment and educating them on the intricacies of orthodontic work so they can confidently understand each step of their care plan. We provide expert orthodontic services to Clarksville, Nashville-Bellevue, Springfield, and the surrounding communities. Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Shawn and Dr. Candice today so you can get started on life-changing treatment. We can’t wait to meet you!