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Dental braces – function and types

26 July 2017

Malocclusions are some of the most common ailments. Around 60% of our population is suffering from these, falling victim to many unpleasant consequences of these. The dental braces can correct such bite disorders as dental crowding, mandible moving back or big interdental gaps. Despite of being quite fashionable lately, thet’re also quite uncomfortable and expensive. What kinds of dental braces can we find and what role do they have to play within our mouths?

The function of dental braces

Amongst the basic functions of dental braces we can find:

  • correcting malocclusions,
  • healing orthognathic disorders,
  • protecting the teeth from cavity and periodontal diseases,
  • improving patient’s self-esteem,
  • healing speech impairments.

Wearing braces results in the necessity to see our orthodontist often, in order to constantly check the state of our bite. It also results in an increased risk of cavities and enamel’s demineralization.

Contraindications to wearing braces

Unfortunately, correcting the bite isn’t suitable for anyone. The most common contraindications are:

  • dental pulp diseases,
  • periodontium diseases,
  • diseases of the tissue surrounding the tooth,
  • being allergic to metal alloys,
  • cavities and leaky dental fillings which need to be treated before using the braces,
  • some diseases, such as diabetes, leukemia or ostheoporosis.

Types of dental braces

Movable braces

Adressed mostly towards children in the age group between 8 and 12. These braces are made out of acrillic plate in color chosen by the child, wire loops which are carefully adjusted to the teeth by the orthodontist, buckles and, in some situations, springs and screws. Movable braces are worn according to the doctor’s recommendation, usually for a few hours each day. The treatment alone can last few, even a dozen, years and its effectivity depends solely on how frequenty the braces are being worn.

Indications that braces should be worn include:

  • assymetrical facial features,
  • a chin being too much in the front or back,
  • wide gaps between the teeth,
  • speech impairments,
  • mouth being open all the time.

Fixed braces

Fixed braces is put on only when the patient already has all of his permanent teeth – that’s why it’s generally aimed at teenagers and adults. Even if the teeth can be straightened at any age, we should remember that, as the time goes on, the bone tissue becomes gradually harder, which makes malocclusions harder to correct, with the treatment being more painful too. The braces consist of archwire stops stuck onto our teeth (these can be metallic or cosmetic), ligatures (rubbers, the elements replaced during each orthodontist visit) and bands. The braces can be made out of metal, porcelain or acryl. Some patients might require some additional elements such as the palatal archwires, screws or springs. The treatment usually takes around 2 to 3 years.

Preparations to wearing the braces: the first step is cleaning our teeth properly and removing all cavities. Then, an x-ray is being made. Later on, the specialist will make an orthodontic impression of our teeth, gums and mandible. After analyzing the results of conducted research, an orthodontist chooses the best way to treat our teeth along with the most suitable type of braces.
As you can see, the dental braces need to be adjusted individually to each person. Wearing it might lead to us having the desired, straight teeth, but it’s also painful and, in case of the fixed braces, makes it harder for us to clean our teeth properly. That’s why, when we’re undergoing the bite correction procedure, any doubts should be reported to the specialist immediately. Maintaining good oral hygiene in the meantime is incredibly important as well.

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