Why do you really need braces, and how do they work?
The first concern most people have when it comes to getting braces is the look. But braces have come a long way from the large, traditional metal brackets you may have in mind. Today's braces are smaller and sleeker – and some of them are practically invisible. Get ceramic braces for a more natural look, or low-profile metal braces or mini braces for enhanced comfort and aesthetics. You can even get braces that sit behind your teeth for a nearly invisible way to straighten your smile.
You may be asking yourself how badly you need braces, and if they're really worth it. While only your orthodontist can evaluate your needs, it is important to know that there are more benefits to straightening your teeth than just having a great smile. Misaligned teeth can hinder your ability to talk or eat comfortably and can cause jaw problems down the line. Getting braces, at any age, can reduce or eliminate these issues while giving you a smile you can be proud of.
How do braces straighten my teeth?
No matter which kind of braces you choose, they all work essentially the same way – with gentle, steady pressure. It's a bit like a glacier. You won't see much change from one day to the next, but the results of the movement are visible over time. On average, patients wear braces for a range of time between 6 months to 2 years. As time goes by, you will start to see your perfect smile emerge!
When you know the science behind it, aligning your teeth with braces is actually pretty cool. An arch wire is strung through the brackets and bands that are attached to your teeth. Your orthodontist will change the archwire periodically throughout your treatment. The resulting slight tension pushes and pulls your teeth into alignment, actually reshaping the sockets that hold them in place.
During your treatment, you may feel your teeth loosen a little, but don't worry! This is on purpose. The tissue and bone structure will grow to support your teeth in their new positions, so they will stay straight once your braces are taken off. And so you can enjoy your new smile for years to come.
The benefits of braces seem obvious. An attractive smile can boost your confidence at any age. But did you know that it can also help your health? By bringing your teeth in line, braces contribute to healthy teeth and gums, and can even relieve or prevent jaw problems.
Need more reasons to smile? Getting braces isn’t what it used to be. Today there are more options than ever to fit your look, your lifestyle, and your budget. Choose low-profile brackets for comfort or self-ligating braces for shorter appointments. Be bold with bright colors or blend in for a virtually invisible look. Your orthodontist will make a recommendation based on your needs.