Achieving the perfect smile isn’t just about straightening teeth, it also involves ensuring the jaw and bite align correctly to enable effective chewing, prevent teeth wear and to maintain oral health into the future.
Ensuring these factors come together during braces’ treatment involves the skill and foresight of your orthodontist, and it’s an outcome that takes time to achieve.
Here’s a little insight into the stages of braces, how they work, and what’s really going on beneath the brackets and wires…
The first few months of wearing braces is called the initial alignment, and generally during this phase your orthodontist is working to shift the teeth into the desired position. They do this by applying the brackets which adhere to teeth, and connect them via an arch wire.
Together these apply a gradual pressure that not only shifts the teeth into position, but also results in changes in the periodontal structures of your jaw that holds your teeth.
Basically, this means changes are afoot beyond what you can see, with the bone on one side of a tooth being broken down (resorption), while additional bone mass is created on the other side (deposition).
This initial straightening usually appears to take a fairly short period of time, and once complete, is followed by the lengthier period of correcting any bite issues, and maintaining the teeth position.
Correcting the bite
Once the teeth are in position, your orthodontist will turn their attention to correcting the bite, and they may call in the assistance of additional items like elastics to complete the task.
Perfecting the bite and the way the teeth fit together is a critical component of braces’ treatment.
Your orthodontist is not only looking to ensure the upper and lower arches are aligned, but is also making certain the roots are in the right position, the teeth meet each other at the right place, and the angle of teeth is correct.
Should aligning the bite call for additional pressure in one direction or another, elastics may be used. These are fitted to the brackets, and connect the upper and lower jaw to gently pull the bite into place. In certain cases, springs may also be required.
A key element of orthodontic treatment is ensuring the teeth and bite stay in position after braces, and this is where a retainer may be required. Retainers are removable hard plastic and fixed wires that keep teeth in position.
Removable retainers should be used as directed to maintain that beautiful, carefully crafted smile.
Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping you achieve a great smile, no matter your age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.
We also have a suite of treatments available that include discrete, removeable Invisalign braces, and welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.