Do you need to use braces

If you feel insecure because you're worried that your rows of teeth look bad when laughing, maybe you might consider using braces. Besides improving appearance, braces are beneficial for health. Braces are a common tool used to correct uneven teeth or overcrowded jaws. Although the installation of braces is more commonly known as an attempt for aesthetic purposes or to improve appearance, but actually braces also aim to improve mouth function. In general, from a medical point of view, braces work to improve: distance between teeth that are too tenuous, other jaw problems that cause bites to become uneven, teeth that are crammed or grow crooked, and the front teeth of the upper jaw that grow out of alignment (more forward or backward) compared to the lower front teeth. In addition to improving appearance, flat teeth can make you speak clearer and can chew or bite food better. To achieve maximum results, each person needs a different type of braces according to their needs.

Types of Braces as Required

Dental braces are generally performed by orthodontists, dentists who have undergone special training in tightening and aligning the rows of teeth. The doctor will determine the right type of braces according to each patient's condition. The following are the most common types of braces:
  • Permanent braces. Permanent braces consist of boxes that are attached to each tooth and connected to each other by wire. This type is the most commonly used orthodontic tool. This wire is used to correct the location of several teeth at once or to prevent problems later on. Permanent braces are generally easy to see because they are made of metal. But now many offered wire made of ceramic or transparent plastic that looks more vague, but at a more expensive price.
  • Removable braces. This type of wire in the form of a plastic cross section attached to several teeth and closed the roof of the mouth. This type of wire is usually used to correct minor problems, such as crooked teeth. Loose wire is usually removed when going to do certain sports, when going to clean the mouth, or when brushing teeth.
  • Functional braces. This type is a pair of removable plastic wires that are integrated and placed on the upper and lower teeth. This type can be used to treat the problem of the position of the upper jaw or lower jaw which is not parallel to the upper or lower teeth. This tool must be used at all times to bring maximum benefit and is only released when eating and when cleaned.
  • Headgear is a hook that is connected from braces placed on the head to pull the position of the front teeth. Users cannot eat or drink when wearing headgear. Usually, this tool is used while sleeping or within a few hours at night.
  • This type of retainer is usually used towards the end of the orthodontic treatment period. The retainer serves to stabilize new positions in the teeth, gums, and bones, including preventing their repositioning. This tool can be permanent or removable. The position of the teeth that will continue to change over time as a natural process makes the retainer may need to be used at some time of the day.
  • Invisible wire is lingual wire that is not visible from the outside and is placed on the back of the teeth. This wire costs more than other types.
In addition to the options above, there are other options now widely used by adults as a substitute for braces. This product, commonly referred to as Clear Aligner braces, is indeed specialized in patients with tooth growth and gum that has stopped. Clear Aligners are shaped and used like protective gear and can be removed when you eat or clean teeth. Although it requires a greater cost, this product was chosen because it is considered more practical and does not interfere with appearance.

Steps for Braces Installation

Consultation with an orthodontist is your first step to determine whether braces are needed. In children, braces are usually done when permanent teeth have appeared because it is at this time that abnormalities in the composition of the teeth begin to appear. This usually happens when children are around 6-12 years old. After it has been decided that braces are indeed necessary, it is recommended that braces be installed as soon as possible to get more optimal results. However, this does not mean that the installation of braces cannot be done on adults because although there are some differences in the procedure for installing braces on adults and children, this treatment can be done at all ages. After getting certainty, you will undergo further tests with the following general stages:
    Orthodontists will ask questions about your health.
  • You will undergo dental, jaw and mouth examinations.
  • X-ray examination to determine the position of the teeth in the upper and lower jaw. X-ray head examination is also needed to see the position of the jaw and teeth.
  • The orthodontist will ask you to bite into a material which then becomes a plaster modeling material. This is a mold of the jaw shape and position of your teeth to determine what treatments are recommended to be given.
  • In certain cases, tooth extraction may be needed as part of a series of treatments. This process is needed to correct the position of the teeth and make room so that the surrounding teeth can grow properly.
  • After the wire is attached, you need to see your dentist at least once a month to make sure the wire is installed properly. In addition, you also need to immediately check yourself if you feel pain or a very disturbing condition due to the use of braces. In each subsequent examination, the orthodontist will tighten the wire to add pressure to the teeth so they change to a new position.
The time needed to use braces varies from person to person based on the severity, condition of the teeth, and patient compliance. The average braces will be used for 1-3 years and then continued with the use of a retainer every day for 6 months. If after that the dental problem has been resolved, you will be advised to keep using the retainer only when sleeping.

Safe, but Still Risky

The initial period of adjustment using braces does indeed cause pain and 'aching' which can be very annoying. This pain is caused by shifting the position of the teeth. The pain usually appears after braces are tightened at every routine visit. But increasingly modern technology and materials make the installation of these braces no longer hurt like they used to. In addition, over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce pain, if needed. You are also advised to consume soft foods for a while. The use of braces is a very safe procedure if performed by an orthodontist. However, there are still short and long term risks that you must know. Short-term risks:
  • Thrush or irritation due to friction between the lips with braces. Antiseptic mouthwash can prevent wounds from getting worse.
  • The use of braces can make it harder for toothbrushes to reach leftovers tucked between teeth. The buildup can cause holes in the teeth and gum pain, and loss of minerals in the outer layer of the teeth.
Long-term risk:
  • Shortening of the tooth root that occurs when the teeth move in a certain direction due to wire pressure. Shortened tooth roots can make teeth become unstable.
  • Disobeying orthodontic instructions so that after the braces have been removed, the tooth structure returns to its original position.
To reduce the risk of wearing braces, make sure you ask and get the information above from your doctor before installing braces. After braces are installed, you need to pay extra attention to caring for teeth such as using a special toothbrush and regularly checking your teeth. In addition, reduce the consumption of sugar and hard foods that can damage braces.


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