Before you get braces, your dentist or orthodontist will determine if braces are suitable for you and will help solve the problems you face.
First they will conduct a visual inspection of your teeth.
If they determine that you need braces, they will set up what is known as a “records appointment”. At this appointment, X-rays, molds, and impressions are made of your mouth and teeth.
These records will be used to help determine the best action to take.
The full course of treatment may be between six months to two and a half years depending on the issues.
The fist step of fitting the braces is to apply adhesive to help the cement bond to the surface of the tooth.
Normally, the teeth will then be banded and brackets added. Dental cement is used to apply the bracket and light will be used to help this harden quickly. This usually takes a few seconds per tooth.
Spacers may be used to create room for molar bands to be added later to ensure brackets will stick. These can be used when previous dental work such as fillings makes it difficult to secure a bracket to the teeth.
An archwire is then threaded between the brackets and affixed with elastic or metal ligatures. The archwires will need to be adjusted frequently to help achieve the desired outcome.
When the archwire is cold, it is normally flexible so that it can be easily threaded between the brackets. After it heats up to body temperature, the archwire attempts to retain its shape. This is what applies the light force needed to move the teeth.
Often there is a problem because there is not enough space in the mouth for all the teeth to fit properly. If this is the case, then some teeth may be removed. Alternatively, an expander may be used to enlarge the palate or arch.
Braces need to be adjusted every couple of months and this may cause a little discomfort. But most of the time with braces you will forget they are there.