Since ancient times, people have been fascinated with straightening their teeth. Though braces were first introduced in the 1900s, standardized procedures and technology began making braces a more pleasant experience as of the 1970s. I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories or seen the headgear kids used to have to wear that gave braces a bad rap. Well, those days are gone and braces are way more comfortable now!
How Do Braces Work?
Orthodontic braces use pressure and time to straighten your teeth. Fun fact: ancient Egyptians used the pressure method to straighten the teeth of their dead, so this is not a new concept (although I’m not sure why they felt it was more important to look fantastic dead than alive).
Ancient times are long gone, so today we have ways of straightening the teeth that work for just about everyone. Braces can help to correct under bites, overbites, and cross bites, as well as many other tooth alignment issues. They can even help correct speech issues and sometimes jaw problems. Very cool!
But how do they actually work?
Metal brackets are attached to very specific spots on each tooth so that when they’re connected with the archwire, the wire appears to go straight across once the teeth are fully straightened. You can get brackets and archwire in traditional silver or in gold. When the archwire is attached the brackets, a tiny, colorful rubber band is put around the bracket to hold the archwire in place. Best of all? You can customize those colorful rubber bands!
Downsides to Getting Metal Braces
Obviously if you’re getting metal braces put in your mouth, there will be a period of adjustment as well as some things that could happen as side-effects. Fortunately, these side-effects aren’t severe and if you don’t have a sensitive mouth or gums, you should be just fine. Regardless, it’s good to know what you’re dealing with if something does happen.
Tooth decalcification can occur if someone with braces doesn’t brush and/or floss properly. Decalcification is basically the very beginning of a cavity and appears white.
Sometimes when a bracket rubs against the inside of the mouth, the skin gets irritated and forms a sore. If your sore was caused by a bracket while you slept, for example, you can use orthodontic wax to cover it when you need to and avoid getting more sores.
- Certain Foods
While you have braces, you can’t eat certain foods including taffy, gum, corn on the cob, and other foods that get stuck in the brackets easily.
- Adjustments or Tightening
Braces need to be tightened periodically, and this can be uncomfortable and leave your mouth sore for 2-4 days. Soft foods are recommended during this time.
No matter what, it’s a good idea to listen to your orthodontist. They check your teeth at every appointment and could catch a problem early.
The challenges of wearing braces are well worth the results: a straight-toothed, gorgeous smile! Braces have a tendency to help people develop healthier oral hygiene habits. This ensures that their smile is at its absolute best after their braces are removed.
Are you ready to get your free smile analysis at our Vestal, NY office? We offer same-day appointments and minimal wait times. Give us a call for your future smile today: 607-785-3005 or click here.