braces for teens

Braces 101

Could you benefit from orthodontic treatment? The orthodontic specialists at Great Smiles offer consultations that give you the opportunity to meet our team, learn more about orthodontics, and receive a complimentary initial exam. If treatment is recommended we will discuss which options will work best for your needs.

Straight teeth are healthy teeth. Braces not only create beautiful smiles but help maintain the health of your teeth. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.  A beautiful, straight smile is a wonderful asset that builds confidence that will last a lifetime!

Common Reasons for Braces

When a person’s teeth or jaw structure do not fit together properly, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to straighten teeth and promote ideal function. These problems, often referred to as malocclusions (or bad bites), can cause speech difficulty, premature wear of teeth and protective enamel and even increase the chance of injury to teeth and jaw joints if left untreated.

Types of Braces

Thanks to today’s technology, patients now have more options when it comes to wearing braces. While regular metal braces are still widely used, clear braces are increasingly popular along with removable appliances used for mild cases of misaligned teeth.

 Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today’s metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.

 

 

 Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal.

Eating with Braces

For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.

It’s important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our office immediately to arrange an appointment for repair.

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

Ice
Nuts
Hard taco shells
French bread crust/rolls
Corn on the cob
Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
Bagels
Chips
Jolly Ranchers
Pizza crust
Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

Gum (sugar-free or regular)
Licorice
Sugar Daddies
Toffee
Tootsie Rolls
Caramels
Starburst

Minimize Sugary Foods Like:

Cake
Ice Cream
Cookies
Pie
Candy

Only Once a Day:

Soda
Sweetened tea
Gatorade
Kool-Aid
Drinks with sugar

Parts of Braces

Bands

Bands are a ring of metal, which fit around the molars and sometimes premolars. The bands are selected from a range of sizes in order to find the lightest fitting band. The bands are sealed in position using dental cement that contains fluoride to prevent any decalcification during treatment.

Brackets

The brackets hold the archwire against each tooth. The archwire fits into a slot in the bracket. Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.

Archwires

The main wires, or archwires, are shaped specifically to fit around the arch into the bracket slots. Teeth move from the pressure that is applied by the braces. That pressure comes from the archwire, which guides the direction of the movement.

Elastics

An elastic is the tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket.

Hooks

Hooks are small attachments on the brackets used to attach elastics (rubber bands).

Coil Spring

The coil spring fits between brackets and over the archwire.

Be Great!

If you have any questions about your braces, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Contact Us