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Dental braces (also known as orthodontic braces) are a device used in orthodontics to correct alignment of teeth and their position with regard to bite. Braces are often used to correct malocclusions such as underbites, overbites, cross bites and open bites, or crooked teeth and various other flaws of teeth and jaws, whether cosmetic or structural.

Orthodontic braces are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to widen the palate or jaws, create spaces between teeth, or otherwise shape the teeth and jaws.

How Braces Work

Teeth move through the use of force. The force applied by the archwire pushes the tooth in a particular direction and a stress is created within the periodontal ligament. The modification of the periodontal blood supply determines a biological response which leads to bone remodelling, where bone is created on one side by osteoblast cells and resorbed on the other side by osteoclasts.

The first step is to determine if braces are suitable for the patient. The doctor consults with the patient and inspects the teeth visually. If braces are appropriate, a records appointment is setup where X-rays, molds, and impressions are made. These records are analyzed to determine the problems and proper course of action. 'Typical treatment times vary from 6 months to one and a half years depending on the complexity of the case' There is no age restriction for orthodontic correction of teeth. It is always better to have the treatment done in the early years (anywhere between 9-10 yrs)as the bone is still developing and is relatively less dense which enables it to sustain corrections better. However, we do perform orthodontic corrections on 50 year olds too.

Braces are available as metal and ceramic. A new form of ortho treatment is avilable which is known as Invisalign treatment or invisible braces. This can be done on patients who have some amount of natural spacing already in the mouth and require only minor changes.These consist of clear acrylic trays fabricated with orthodontic models and software to bring about the desired changes in the mouth. A new tray will be worn every month and since these are clear, patients can function normally wearing them throughout the day with no noticable appearance change as it does not involve metallic wires, brackets, or bands.