Orthodontics is the dental field that straightens teeth using dental braces and wires, appliances and headgear. Aside from the cosmetic benefit of properly aligned teeth and a better smile, orthodontics also ensures proper chewing and healthier teeth, gums and mouth.
The two major components of this are brackets and wires. Brackets can be made of metal or tooth-colored ceramic. They are usually attached to the front of your teeth, but some can be “hidden” behind your teeth. Wires, which do the work of moving your teeth, are threaded through slots in the brackets. You will need to see your dentist/orthodontist periodically to adjust your wires.
Aligners are generally made of a clear plastic or acrylic material, and are custom-shaped to your teeth. They progressively move teeth toward their desired positions. Aligners must be removed to eat, and to brush and floss. Because they are removable, patients must be sure to follow their orthodontist’s instructions on daily wear.
Retainers preserve and stabilize your results from orthodontic treatment. They are the best way to control or limit changes in tooth position. Wear your retainers as prescribed to maintain your healthy new smile.