Orthodontic treatment can resolve many issues and help you regain confidence in your smile. One of those treatment options is braces, an appliance that has been around for many years and continues to advance. But how do they move teeth? The Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics team is here to share more about how this appliance works, expected discomfort levels, how to maintain your braces, and more!
How Do Braces Move Teeth?
Braces are a fantastic orthodontic appliance that can shift your teeth into a perfect alignment, no matter their current position. Each component, such as brackets, wires, elastics, glue, and more, works together to reach your smile goals. The placement of your brackets decides how effective your treatment will be as it communicates to your teeth in which direction they should be moved once pressure is placed.
The archwire, which stretches across your upper and lower teeth, is bent in different areas in order to place constant, measured pressure on them. This positioning changes throughout your treatment as Dr. Yu learns how your teeth react to your braces. During your follow-up appointments, she will adjust and tighten the archwire as necessary to ensure they continue moving in the right direction.
Your gum tissue and bones remodel as your teeth shift under pressure from your braces. This allows your teeth to move and protects them. Once treatment is finished, we will provide you with a retainer to ensure your teeth stay in the same place once your braces are removed. So long as you follow the wear instructions provided by Dr. Yu, your new smile will last a lifetime!
Does It Hurt?
You won’t have to worry about any pain during your braces treatment. Some soreness and irritation are completely normal as your mouth adjusts to the presence of your appliance or after wire adjustments during follow-ups. However, any discomfort should fade in less than a week. Our practice can provide you with tips on how to treat it. If you continue to experience discomfort, don’t hesitate to let our team know so we can help make things more comfortable.
Your Braces Options
Damon Metal Braces
Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics is proud to provide Damon metal braces, a reliable appliance that remains a popular choice among our patients. They use a self-ligating bracket system with a built-in slide mechanism to hold the archwire in place on your brackets. This reduces friction and irritation during care so that you can expect fewer appointments and faster treatment.
Damon Clear Braces
If you are looking for braces that are less noticeable, Damon clear braces may be perfect for you. This appliance uses the same technology as its metal counterpart but has tooth-colored ceramic brackets and other similarly colored components to help it blend in with your smile. Discreet, clear braces are a great way to work on your teeth without anyone noticing. You also won’t need to worry about staining, as the latest advances prevent dark foods or liquids from changing the appliance’s color.
How to Maintain Your Appliance
When wearing braces, the best way to ensure it lasts throughout your care plan is to adjust your routine to maintain its condition. The better care you take, the more effective your treatment plan will be.
Be Conscious of Your Food Selections
Unfortunately, braces are not meant to withstand the pressure of all food items. Anything too crunchy, chewy, or requires a bite must be left in your pantry. This may include popcorn, nuts, fresh veggies, chips, and hard cookies. Instead, Dr. Yu recommends a softer diet of well-cooked chicken, pasta, soft veggies, soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and much more. If you cannot eat your favorite food during treatment, we promise the wait for your perfect smile is worth it!
Everyday Oral Care
Setting time aside in your day to thoroughly clean your braces is essential. So long as your smile is unaligned, you are more likely to get small pieces of food stuck between your teeth and braces. Neglecting to clean them out can quickly lead to tooth decay and bacteria buildup. Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics recommends brushing at least twice daily and flossing once daily. Keeping a toothbrush handy for a quick clean after a meal can further improve your oral health.
Attend Your Follow-Up Appointments
Dr. Yu and our team rely on follow-up appointments to keep track of your progress and ensure your treatment plan is on schedule. This dedicated time is used to make any necessary adjustments, bring any changes to your plan to your attention, and replace old elastics. We want your time in braces to be as comfortable and efficient as possible so you can enjoy your brand-new smile as soon as possible!
The Benefit of a Perfect Smile
There are plenty of benefits to wearing braces and achieving a perfect smile, including the incredible confidence boost that follows! Our goal is to help each patient accomplish the work to feel good about showing their smile off in public and not being afraid to display their happiness instead of hiding their smile. This is also the opportunity to improve your general health, including experiencing smooth digestion from improved bite function, enjoying easier oral maintenance by ridding hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, and improving speech patterns by adjusting the natural position of your tongue.
Realign Your Smile Today!
Dr. Yu and the Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics team are proud to help patients feel confident about their treatment and achieve their smile goals. Our practices are located in Portland and Windham and provide expert services to each surrounding community. Take the first step in getting a brand-new smile, and schedule your free consultation today!