HOW ARE BRACES PUT ON?
When the first teeth are lost, it will not be possible to tell if braces are required. However, within a couple of years of the second set of teeth coming through, the dentist and orthodontist should know if there is going to be a problem with adult teeth. Decisions will never be made by looking at the baby teeth, although problems with the jaws could be a different matter altogether. The good news side of planning to have braces is the anticipation of how much better your smile is going to be in the near future. The downside could be your concerns about what is going to happen, especially, if you have no knowledge of braces and do not know how are braces put on?
As with any medical procedure or intervention, there will be concerns about what will happen and what are the odds of anything going wrong. Fortunately, a well-qualified and conscientious orthodontist will be able to make sure that nothing goes wrong and the procedure is as pain free and as easy to go through as possible. While no one can tell you exactly what will happen and what the exact timescale will be, it is likely that all orthodontists have roughly the same way of doing things. The following details are what you can expect and once you have read them, you should no longer feel concerned about what is going to happen.
ATTENDING A CONSULTATION
As well as discussing what is going to happen, the orthodontist will want to check your mouth and give themselves an idea of what they are going to do. This will allow you both to get to know each other and ask any questions that need to be asked. Now you can ask “how are braces put on?” There are three main conditions that they will be looking for. These are:
- Gapped teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Impacted teeth
- Crooked Jaws
- Other issues – This will cover everything that is not detailed above.
This is one of the most important stages as you will be able to give a full medical history and make sure that the orthodontist is aware of exactly what is going on. They will need to know what the issue is as they don’t want to make it any worse and as well as what they can see, they need to understand how you feel, especially, if there is any pain.
HAVING X -RAYS TAKEN
It is not only the teeth that need to be x-rayed, but all of the mouth. If there is not a clear picture of the whole area, the orthodontist will be at a disadvantage as they will not know where everything is placed. If they do not know where it is placed, there is no way that they will be able to move it and get it to the position it should be in. They will have to include internal and external x-rays and ensure that every single tooth is included. If anything is missed, it could mean that a lot of time is lost trying to fix it, and sometimes the final outcome will be substandard if the person involved cannot say how are braces put on?
Another thing that can be found is the position of any impacted teeth – if any of them actually exist. If any are found, they will have to be treated and this will give the orthodontist another issue to deal with and another plan that must be set in place. Just because a tooth is set one way above the jaw line, it can be very different underneath, a little like a duck swimming – they glide gently and effortlessly across the water, seemingly the height of calm, but underneath the water, the legs are frantically working as fast as they can. A tooth may be straight and seemingly no problem from what can be seen, yet underneath the roots are in an awful position. It can also work the other way – a tooth that the orthodontist believes there will be problems dealing with, may have roots that are not an issue at all.
TEETH TO BE TAKEN OUT
Very often, the result of the x-rays will be that there has to be extractions. As space is going to be in short supply, extra will have to be provided and taking out a tooth is the ideal way to do it. Although it could be any tooth, most of the time it will be one of the premolars, and once identified, the appointment would be made to carry out the work. Another thing that can be found is that the problem is not so much that the mouth is too small, but that there is an extra tooth in place. This is the one that is going to be removed and if there are more extra teeth, they are the ones to go. An extra one will be taken out before the ones that should be there, unless there are special circumstances regarding the location.
PUTTING IN SPACERS IF NEEDED
There can be the risk of teeth being too close to each other and this is not going to help with the work that is about to be carried out. They can start to damage the enamel and as a result, bacteria can set in. Holes can appear – known as cavities – and this is another issue that must be dealt with before the real work can begin. It is the fact that the molars are too close to each other that cause the problem in the first place. The bite will be affected, and this will have to be settled first. Once in position the spacers will move the teeth gently and ensure that there is always a space left between the molars. Once they have been put in place, they may have to be there for a couple of days, but on occasions it could be that they are left in there for weeks instead.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE NEW POSITIONS
Once the orthodontist is sure that the spacers have worked, and all of the molars are in the correct place, they will take impressions to get the new picture of what is happening. This means that it is getting close to the time that the braces are going to be fitted. The downside is that this can be one of the worst parts of the entire event. Although it is unlikely to take more than half an hour to complete, it will not be pleasant, and some people have found it to be very uncomfortable.
A thick substance will be made up and placed into two containers. One will be put over the top set of teeth and the other placed over the lower set of teeth. The mouth will be closed over them, and as there are often issues with the jaws, they may have to be covered as well. Once the orthodontist is sure that the substance has set, and the teeth will be easy to view, the containers will be taken out. You will have to clean your mouth out well, as little bits of the substance will be left behind, and it will not be nice having them there.
It is unfortunate that it is a difficult thing to go through as impressions are very important when it comes to designing and fitting braces. It will let the orthodontist make the important decisions such as how long with wires should be as well as the number of brackets and their eventual location.
PUTTING THE BANDS IN PLACE IF NEEDED
Now you are heading into the home run. Although there is other work to do, this is an easy part of the job and should not take long. Metallic bands are taken and placed around the molars that are now in the correct position thanks to the spacers. They have to be put in correctly as they are the anchor for the rest of the brace. Only putting them on some teeth is a fairly recent innovation as at one time there was the need to place bands around every one of the teeth. There are advantages to the bands only going over the back teeth and the main one will be that it will be harder to see them. There have been considerable improvements made to the way the bands are attached.
The bonding procedure is going to be a little uncomfortable as the orthodontist will need to be able to see every single part of the mouth. To enable them to do that, they will have to place a cheek retractor in, but they will try to do this as quickly as possible. Once they have seen all that they need to see, they will give the teeth a thorough cleaning with a special blue gel that stay on teeth for around 30 seconds. Unlike with normal brushing, they will then be rinsed and air dried, even though it will have been flavorless toothpaste that has been used. The next step is to add conditioner and leave this in place on the teeth for around 15 seconds. The teeth will be dried with blue light.
Now it is getting serious and the orthodontist puts the bonding substance to the rear side of the brackets. Once they are sure they have used enough, they will put them on the back of the teeth. As there will have been too much bonding material used, the rest of it will be wiped off the teeth. There will then be blue light used to fully bond the teeth and brackets. This is the quickest and most effective way to do it and it will make sure that everything stays in the position that it was placed in.
ATTACHING THE WIRES
The end is close now as this is one of the last things that have to be done. Rubber bands are used to join the brackets and wires. Clear ones can be used if there is the wish that no one is aware that braces are being worn. There can also be the extreme opposite, and colored ones used if ones desire to have fun colors. It won’t stop them having to go through each stage, but by the end, they can have the look that they want. Making that decision will also make them feel that they have some control over what is happening.
WHEN YOU NEED READJUSTMENTS
As you will know from the elastic bands that you use day to day, they are not going to last forever. Over time, the ones on the braces will start to become slack and not have the same amount of elasticity that they used to have. As a result, they will have to be altered to make sure that there is still enough power in them to make the tooth become straighter. This is not something that can be done at home, so will require a visit being made to the orthodontist’s office. Normal readjustment appointments are every 4 to 8 weeks based on your orthodontist recommendation.
REMOVING THE BRACES
Although it may seem a long time away before you know it, the orthodontist will decide that your teeth are in the right place and it is time to take the braces off. Again, it will require a trip to their practice, and should not take more than an hour. They will be as thorough and careful taking them off as they were putting them on. You don’t want to go through all of this only to have them damaged at the final hurdle.
As it is likely that this could have taken around 8 months to 2 years from start to finish, you may not have been able to keep the teeth as clean as you would have like to. For this reason, there will be a full cleaning carried out and once that has been done, you will be sent on your way. There should not be any issues, but if you feel that something is not right, go back to the orthodontist right away. Now you can leave the orthodontic practice for hopefully the last time, proud of your new look and knowing the answer to the question “How are braces put on and removed?”