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Facts About Dental Braces

Facts About Dental Braces

If you think you need braces, you are not alone. According to reports, over five million people all over the world are currently receiving orthodontic care. In fact, braces have become increasingly popular all over the world, especially among adults. Over one million adults wear braces. Some are for the first time, and some who have chosen to have braces again after wearing them as kids. These days of high demand for fashionable modifications in one’s appearance, braces have become a treatment of choice for most patience. It seems like there’s a lot to know before starting braces! But it’s really not that complicated. In fact, after a while you may even forget you’re wearing them.

For starters, all braces are designed to move your teeth using small amount of directed forces. As a tooth moves, new bone gradually takes place of old and secures its new position in the jaw. At the end of the treatment, the patient is left with a healthy beautiful smile. But more than that, braces are usually put on to treat a malocclusion or a bad bite. A perfect bite is those teeth that are straight and has the right spaces in between. Very few mouths meet this ideal and don’t require any dental corrections like braces. Misaligned teeth can be unattractive and affects the physical and emotions of a person. It can destruct when biting, chewing and speaking well. The appearance of the teeth may be what prompts a person to have their teeth aligned and straightened. Orthodontists treat poorly aligned teeth and jaws to improve dental health. A beautiful smile is a nice side effect of orthodontic treatment.

Also called as a type of orthodontic appliance, braces must be installed by a qualified dental practitioner. This is because the need for braces depends on the problem that needs correction, and there is no such thing as “over-the-counter” braces. The dental specialist or the orthodontist may also suggest other appliances to move teeth and align jaws. Headgear, which attaches to braces and wraps around the neck or the head, can help line up jaws. Rubber bands may be recommended to move teeth in directions that braces alone cannot.

They are made up of tiny brackets glued to teeth and thin wires, called arch wires, which sit in slots of brackets. It is the wire that actually moves the teeth. Arch wires are adjusted periodically to help guide teeth and jaws into ideal positions. The brackets act as handles to hold the wires in place. Metal brackets are used most often. Some older teens or adults may want a less noticeable option and may select ceramic brackets, if the orthodontist feels these will get the patient to the desired final results.

Most people wear braces for about two years. After having braces, many patients will use a retainer for another length of time, anywhere from a few months to a few years. A retainer is made up of plastic or metal, and it is used to insure that your teeth do not stray back into their previously crooked positions once the braces are removed. When you have braces, getting to your scheduled appointments is crucial. If you miss too many appointments, it could increase the total time in braces. If too much time passes between appointments, prolonged forces might overcorrect the teeth, making problems worse.

When you have braces you should brush your teeth after meals, so you don’t get anything stuck in your braces. Don’t eat the food that may stick in your braces. Don’t pick at wires and brackets of your braces because you might break them. If you will encounter any problems in your braces you have to consult directly with your orthodontist.


Dr. Reza Salmassian is a Board Certified Orthodontist. For any questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation, please contact Dr. Salmassian’s office at 661-222-7444 or visit us at

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