Preparing For Braces
Before placing braces on your teeth, you will need a check-up for decay or gum problems. Do visit your dentist regularly, even when you are on braces.
Braces: Fixed and Removable
Fixed braces consist of brackets and bands bonded or cemented to your teeth (to get a hold of them), and very thin metal wires that gently push your teeth into their right positions. The wire is tied into the brackets with a steel ligature or a coloured plastic ring. Some brackets such as Damon or other ‘self-ligating’ braces have clips to hold the wires and no ties are needed. Brackets can be made of metal or tooth-coloured ceramic or plastic. Ordinary fixed braces are bonded to the front of your teeth. There are also braces that can be bonded on the back of your teeth (lingual braces).
Removable braces refer to any appliance that can move teeth but are not glued onto the teeth. There are many types of removable braces, some of the common ones are clear aligner treatment, upper removable appliance (URA) or functional appliance.
Clear aligners such as Invisalign are clear removable plastic braces that are moulded according to the one’s teeth. A detailed impression or scans of the teeth are performed and the planned movements are designed into the plastic braces. Sequential clear aligners will gradually straighten teeth when worn about 20-22 hours a day. Clear aligner treatment has some advantages over fixed braces, they allow easier brushing of teeth as well as minimal changes to one’s diet. However the require discipline to comply with wearing the aligners. Clear aligners are less noticeable than fixed braces, though they require small attachments which are small plastic bumps glued onto the teeth to allow the plastic braces to grip the tooth better for more predictable movements.
Upper removable appliance or functional appliances are sometimes used when you are still growing or if you still have baby teeth left. Functional removable braces are used to change jaw growth to normalise your bite
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