Our teeth naturally grow, but how straight they are can influence the first impression of someone. So much that it could impact a person’s work or social life.

Most people use braces to treat oral issues such as overbite, jaw pain, or a speech impediment. Other times it’s simply for aesthetics to have a more confident smile. You’ve probably seen the before and after pictures and wonder how crooked teeth miraculously become straight.

Is your dentist or orthodontist recommending braces? Are you unsure how the process will work? Keep reading to learn more about the process of braces.

Types of Braces

The invention of braces dates back to the 18th century, but modern dentistry has progressed how braces work and the types we use. This includes traditional metal, ceramic, lingual, and clear aligners popularised by products like Invisalign.

1) Traditional metal braces are the most common. This involves metal brackets individually glued to each tooth threaded together by wiring.

2) Ceramic braces use transparent brackets that blend in more with the natural colour of the tooth, a popular option for adults or those wanting to draw less attention to their mouth.

3) Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal ones but are placed behind the teeth.

4) Clear aligners have increasingly become popular in recent years due to their invisible appearance. We offer two types here at Shields, Invisalign Aligners and Six Month Smiles.

Teeth Alignment

The natural alignment of our teeth is like a fingerprint. It’s unique to every person and doesn’t have to follow a specific mould or pattern. How straight or crooked the teeth grow can be due to many early life factors such as how the jaw grows and hereditary background.

Teeth alignment isn’t the only reason a person may need braces. Someone born with naturally straight teeth, but with an overbite could be in desperate need of braces. On the contrary, a person with crooked teeth, but a healthy bite wouldn’t need braces out of necessity.

Braces straighten the teeth using many parts. The brackets are pressed against each tooth, applied by pressure from the wiring. Elastic circle-shaped ties are individually placed around each bracket and come in a variety of colours.

In certain cases, rubber bands are used to apply additional pressure to align teeth by attaching to the top and bottom brackets.

Both adults and children can receive braces, but the alignment process is typically easier for adolescents. This is because the jawbone is still forming and can be shaped with less ease as the child grows.

How Long Do Braces Take to Work

While straightening teeth can improve oral health and self-confidence, it doesn’t happen overnight. As some discomfort can be expected from the applied pressure, you may wonder how long do braces take to straighten teeth.

There’s no magic number or set amount of time.

Every mouth is different and has its own needs. Someone solely trying to achieve straight teeth may require less time than someone who also has crooked teeth, but is fixing an overbite as well.

Generally, you can anticipate wearing braces anywhere from several months to a few years. Your orthodontist should frequently keep you updated on the process and provide a consistent timeline during each appointment.

Long Term Upkeep

Keep in mind, simply having braces applied to your teeth isn’t a substitute for other healthy oral practices. In fact, having braces requires more time and care towards maintaining your mouth.

Food and bacteria are more susceptible to getting caught between the teeth and can compromise the alignment process if not treated properly. Special floss and tools like a Waterpik can help combat this.

Contact Shields Dental Today

Are you ready to improve your smile and regain that self-confidence? Contact us today to book your orthodontic consultation and find out if braces are something that you need.