Written by medical and health professionals
Children's teeth, if properly preserved, can be used as a source of stem cells for them later in life - Teeth are important in the development of self confidence in children and in adults - Good teeth for a good smile - Keeping your teeth into old age?  Sure can!
Written by health professionals, easy to read.

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Braces for constant use to correct tooth and teeth alignment problems

Braces don't have to look unattractive.

The above 2 pictures show that the pink braces blend in very well and are quite attractive.  Braces are being designed to be fashionable, like teeth jewelry.


Braces with head gear on


The above 2 photos show the Braces and head appliance used to straighten teeth.  The braces have the standard metal look.


Adjusting braces to get the proper fit and tension

Both males and females, teenagers and adults, are opting to have braces

The 2 photos above show the braces being adjusted and you can see that these braces have a gothic feel to them.

Braces for tooth and teeth alignment.

Braces are frequently used for cosmetic dentistry. Braces are used to correct malocclusion (bad bite), which by definition is crooked teeth, protruding teeth and or crowded teeth -  Often if teeth are crowded, then some will grow in crooked and some will protrude some what.  Braces correct the bite, giving a more beautiful smile, which can do heaps to boost self confidence, particularly if the front teeth were affected.

Sometimes, particularly if the teeth are overcrowded, the orthodontist will want to remove one or two teeth to make room for the other teeth to be straightened by braces.

Causes of irregularity in tooth and teeth development is covered on our tooth and teeth disease page.

However, even though most see braces as a means to beautiful looking teeth and smile, such correcting of the teeth also means they can then be cleaned better, which reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.  Further, when teeth irregularity exists, it normally also means that the teeth may cause speech difficulties, uneven wearing down of teeth, greater risk of injury if teeth are impacted by a blow, as in an accident and, being more prone to biting into gums and cheeks.

  So braces have a genuine role to play in preventing tooth and teeth disease and improving the quality of life.

Braces can be used on older children, teenagers and adults, provided the gum and jaw bone are in good condition. With adults, surgery rarely has to be used to correct the bite, unless it is really bad - in adults the jaw has stopped growing, making it harder to reposition the teeth with braces, but braces can still normally be used successfully with most adults, even though it may take longer.

The well informed parents who can afford it, will take their 7 to 9 year olds off to get their teeth appraised by an orthodontist, asking whether braces may be needed.  More precisely, the children are taken when the front adult teeth have grown through. The orthodontist can advise of likely future tooth and teeth problems with alignment and perhaps do some early work to prevent the condition becoming worse.  Most braces are fitted by orthodontists.  Most fittings are on teenagers, after all the baby teeth have fallen out.

Orthodontist are dentists who have specialized in the straightening of teeth, normally by braces.

The fitting of braces initially involves a visit to the orthodontist, who will examine your teeth, take x-rays, take impressions of your teeth (to make a model of your teeth) and possibly take photos.  It's a fairly intense appointment, that may be spread out over two visits.


What are Braces?  How do they work?  As can be seen by the photos left, each and sometimes every tooth is fitted with a bracket and the brackets are all wired together.  The brackets are glued on using special glue, come in a variety of colors, including clear and, the wire tensions are adjusted at 4 to 8 week intervals, over a period of 18 months to 2 years.

To be more precise about the braces, some of the brackets are fitted with small springs, so as to maintain pressure on the teeth in the direction the orthodontist is trying to move the teeth or tooth in.  The main anchor brackets for the braces, referred to as molar tubes, are glued to the closest molars.

Why were you given rubber bands as well or head gear with your braces?  They provide extra pulling force to assist the braces in pulling the teeth into alignment.

When your braces are finally removed, you will then be fitted with removable retainers, which sit behind the teeth to keep them in their new position.  You must wear them for the required amount of time each day, for as many weeks or months as required. 

 The all up cost of braces is often around $2,000 to $3,000.


The down side of braces - the side effects.

While you are wearing braces you are at greater risk of developing tooth and gum disease and need to attend more closely to cleaning your teeth thoroughly and maintaining 6 monthly contact with a dentist to clean your teeth professionally.

A tooth or teeth may change position after the braces have been removed.  Sometimes brought on by mouth breathing, blowing into a musical instrument, another tooth growing through, like a wisdom tooth and even just growing more may cause a tooth or teeth to move.

A tooth may lose it's vitality if a the tooth's nerve is damaged when braces are pulling the tooth into a new position, resulting in the discoloration of the tooth and the requirement of root canal work on the tooth.

The outcome you want from the braces may take longer than estimated to achieve, with an increase in the cost thereby coming about.

The braces may cause irritation to the mouth's soft tissue, such as inside of cheeks.

Any headgear that is used in conjunction with the braces, see middle photos on left, may cause injury to eyes or face if handled improperly or used during contact activities / competitive sports.

If you are engaged in any activity where the teeth may suffer trauma, then request the orthodontist provide a special mouth guard when the braces are fitted.

Top 2 pictures of braces courtesy of Xenia, Middle and bottom pictures courtesy of Mary R. Vogt

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