BRACES – METAL AND CLEAR
When you have crooked (misaligned) teeth, your quality of life is greatly affected. Not only is your oral health affected (crooked teeth can cause uneven tooth wear and serious jaw pain), they also greatly affect your smile. At National Dental East Meadow, we can help to straighten your misaligned teeth with braces. Moreover, we offer you both traditional metal braces, as well as clear aligners.
Metal braces are the traditional treatment for correcting misaligned teeth. They have several parts that work together to straighten your teeth and improve your smile:
- Brackets. The brackets are small metal pieces that are affixed to the surfaces of your teeth. They are attached during your first visit and are not removed until treatment is over.
- Archwires. These wires attach to all of the brackets and are held in place by elastic O-rings. It is the job of the archwires to move your teeth into proper alignment. They are available in different sizes, all designed to help you achieve the best results possible.
- Metal bands. The bands attach to your back teeth, acting as an anchor to hold the archwires in place.
There are also other components that may be used to help move your teeth, as well as your jaw, including rubber bands, springs, and headgear. However, not everyone needs these extra pieces. We will be able to help determine what is needed to help you achieve your desired results.
HOW METAL BRACES WORK
The archwires do a bulk of the work when it comes to traditional metal braces. The wires put pressure on your teeth, which then puts pressure on the periodontal ligaments (the ligaments that hold your teeth in place). The pressure widens your ligaments, loosening your teeth. The wires then guide your loosened teeth into their proper position. Once there, the wires hold your teeth in place while the bone, and the ligaments, heal. In general, it takes about three months for your tissues to begin to regrow. It can then take about a year for your teeth to stabilize in their new positions.
WHAT ARE CLEAR ALIGNERS?
Traditional braces aren’t for everyone. Older teens and adults tend to shy away from braces because they would be embarrassed by “metal mouth.” At National Dental, we offer clear braces as an alternative to traditional braces. Clear braces are aligners that are made out of a clear, rigid plastic. The aligners are created using 3-dimensional molds of your mouth.
HOW CLEAR ALIGNERS WORK
Clear braces involve the use of several aligners, each of which is meant to be worn for two weeks at a time. The aligners are all slightly different, helping to guide your teeth into proper alignment. The plastic of the aligners puts pressure on your teeth, helping them to move to where they need to go. The aligners are removable but should be worn for 20 to 22 hours each day, only removed when you eat or brush your teeth. Most patients see results in less than a year. Throughout the course of your treatment, you may go through 18 to 30 sets of aligners.
While clear aligners have some definite advantages, they are not for everyone. If you have severe alignment issues, or alignment issues with your jaw, traditional braces may be the best option for you. In some cases, however, traditional braces may be worn to start treatment, and then you may be able to switch to clear aligners later.>> Learn more about Invisalign® clear aligners
With braces, your smile, and the health of your mouth is greatly improved. For more information, and to find which braces are best for you, contact National Dental East Meadow today at (516) 962-2292.