Things You Need to Know about Orthodontic Braces and Appliances

Everyone who have struggled to get an attractive smile and improved self-image know what it takes to have beautifully aligned teeth, jaws and a bouncing confidence thereafter. If you are in the process of shying away from everyone lest those crooked teeth show, it is not a hopeless case. These days getting all those teeth fixed can be easy with orthodontic braces and appliances.

Do you know that aside from loss of confidence, orthodontic problems can breed many other dental and mouth problems? Some of these are gum disease, tooth decay, bone deformation, tooth loss, chewing and digestive complications, speech impairments, and other dental injuries. These appliances have more uses that you can imagine; these can provide huge physical, emotional and psychological benefits.

Here are some purposes and benefits of orthodontic braces and appliances:

• Dental appliances can straighten crooked teeth and align upper and lower mandibles. These can ease pressure on Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) by moving teeth and/or the underlying bone. Problems of TMJ are intensified when the lower jaw is positioned too far back compressing the blood vessels and nerves. The problem can be managed by using splint therapy, but if the patient does not want to wear a splint for the rest of his or her life, then dental braces is the best solution.

• Infantile orthodontic appliances are a good solution to overcome the habits of sucking a thumb, finger, or pacifier. Sucking habits extended after age six or seven can cause dental problems because the permanent incisors and molars start to erupt around this is time.

Fixed appliances are those that are used when dental problems need serious solutions. Here are some of the commonly used fixed appliances.

• Braces are the most typical fixed appliances known to the population. It consists of bands, wires, and brackets and are fixed around the teeth or tooth to keep the appliance in place. Arch wires are made to pass through the brackets; tightening the arch wire puts tension on the teeth to slowly move them to their correct spot.

• Special fixed appliances are useful when thumb sucking or tongue thrusting is already a hard-to-break habit. This is a last resort orthodontic solution because they are very uncomfortable when eating.

• Fixed space maintainers works best if a baby tooth is lost too early. The gap is maintained to keep the space open until the permanent tooth emerges.

Removable appliances similar to the fixed appliances in purpose, except that they can be taken off. These solutions are also used when the appliance imposes too much difficulty and reprieve is necessary.

• Aligners are a removable alternative to braces for adults that have metal wires and brackets. These are almost invisible and are removed for eating, brushing, and flossing.

• Removable space maintainers work the same way as its fixed counterpart. Its acrylic base fits over the jaw with plastic or wire branches between target teeth to prevent them from moving.

• Jaw repositioning appliances are referred to as therapy splints intended to train the jaw to close in a more proper position. This is often used as an initial therapy to treat TMJ.

• Lip and cheek bumpers are intended to keep the lips or cheeks apart from the teeth because these can apply pressure on the teeth.

• Palatal expander is an appliance designed to expand the arch of the upper jaw. The outward pressure applied to the bones of the palate opens up the palatal area.

• Removable retainers just make wearing retainers more comfortable. This can be modified for kids who still have thumb sucking habit.

• Headgear is so inconvenient and the only way it can be made more bearable is to make it removable for a few hours a day or when bathing and such. This can effectively slow down the growth of the upper jaw, hold back the teeth and pull the front teeth.

Orthodontic braces and appliances are inconvenient, painful, and not to mention, expensive. Who likes wearing such? Nevertheless, it gets the teeth and jaws fixed and that is worth all the hardship.

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