Several options are available these days through orthodontists to improve smiles, but the most popular one is still the tried-and-true traditional braces. This is especially the case with children and young teens, who have many friends undergoing the same type of treatment. Wearing braces might even be considered a rite of passage for adolescents! However, people of all ages are candidates for getting traditional braces to achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted.
What are traditional braces?
The most common braces you’ve probably seen through the years are the metal ones with brackets and wires. These are referred to as traditional braces. They are used to gradually move your teeth into better positions to improve the look of your smile and help prevent serious oral health issues related to crowded, gapped, or misaligned teeth or bites. The brackets and wires give Dr. Laprade at Laprade Orthodontics in Pawtucket and Lincoln the greatest control in realigning patient’s bites. Traditional braces correct issues so that you look better, chew better, and can open or close your mouth better.
What problems do they treat?
The main purpose of braces is to correct malocclusions, which basically means teeth that are misaligned. This occurs in various forms, including gaps, crowding, or crookedness. Another form of malocclusion is when the upper and lower jaws do not come together properly. If malocclusions are not treated, problems can result during your life such as:
- Tooth decay – food particles, plaque and tartar can hide among overcrowded teeth, causing things like decay, cavities, gum disease, or tooth loss
- Eating difficulties – malocclusions might make you chew abnormally, causing damaging wear on your teeth
- TMJ – temporomandibular joint disorder may result from a misaligned bite, causing your jaw to feel overtired, click, pop, or improperly open or close
Dr. Laprade will evaluate the condition of your teeth and bite, predict how your bite can improve with orthodontic treatment, and present a treatment plan as needed to demonstrate the improvements orthodontics can make for you and your smile.
How do they work?
Controlled pressure is the key to traditional braces. Once Dr. Laprade develops an orthodontic treatment plan, metal or tooth-colored brackets are securely bonded to your teeth. Bands are placed on back teeth, and an archwire is connected to the brackets to promote gradual movement of your teeth. You return to Dr. Laprade’s office regularly to have the wire tightened so that your teeth continue to adjust appropriately. This can cause temporary discomfort as you get used to the new wire and tooth movement, but it’s the ideal way to get the results you desire. Traditional braces can be the solution for patients of all ages, and experts recommend that the first orthodontic evaluation be done by age 7 for best results. Dr. Laprade can take any necessary steps of early intervention to guide incoming permanent teeth to better locations, possibly reducing the extent of treatment in the future. If you’re unhappy with your smile, consider traditional braces to change your life.