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How Do Braces Work on Teeth?

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The Mechanics Of How Braces Work

In this section, we are, unapologetically, not going to go into too much detail (but don’t worry, there will be some detail). The reason for this is that there are many types of braces, each suited to different end goals.

For example, braces could be made to remedy impacted canines, or it might be that removing small amounts of space between teeth is the aim – interproximal reduction to use the technical term. The patient might have an overbite or an underbite, or crooked teeth or any combination of irregularities.

The exact nature of the braces will be the result of a consultation with an orthodontist, including a clinical oral examination and additional material such as impressions of the patient’s teeth, and photos and x-rays of their mouth.

The braces will then be fitted or made to match the patient’s exact requirements, though it is worth noting that in some cases a removable retainer may be all that is required. Traditional braces with components fitted to the teeth are made up of…

Who Are Braces For?

As glib as it sounds, braces can be right for most ages, although children need to have most of their adult teeth through and so between the ages of 9 and 14 is common for treatment.

Braces for adults are also increasingly common, in part due to more discreet options such as Invisalign, pictured above, which is a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners, each one specially designed for the patient and worn for a couple of weeks. The patient will wear a number of these aligners to gradually work towards the desired outcome.

How Braces Work To Improve Patient Health

That braces lead to improved dental health is clear, both from correcting any issues such as a misaligned bite and also realigning crooked teeth and so making them easier to clean.

There are other established benefits too.

A majority of 12-year-olds in the UK are often embarrassed to smile or laugh because of their teeth, or they have experienced difficulty eating or cleaning teeth – that statistic coming in the latest UK Child Dental Health Survey.

It is safe to assume that if a child adopts behaviour to compensate for these problems, such as smiling with a closed mouth, eating only on one side of their teeth, covering their teeth when they speak, they can carry these through to adulthood and mar their confidence or create dental issues that may be costly to address in the future.

The following snippet from a parent talking to the British Orthodontic Society perhaps sums it up best.

The day the braces came of was a day that Joel and his mother won’t forget. The boy looking back in the mirror was unrecognisable. Joel asked his mother what the lines were around his eyes and when she said they were smile lines. He replied: “That’s probably why I’ve not noticed them before because I never used to smile.”

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