Orthodontic braces date back thousands of years – even the Egyptians applied braces to mummies to preserve their teeth in the afterlife.
Thankfully, the practices of applying orthodontic braces have come in leaps and bounds since ancient times, with modern orthodontics delivering us with a safe, effective way to improve a range of dental issues.
Most people would be familiar with modern orthodontic braces, where small brackets are applied to the front of each tooth and connects them with archwire and elastic bands. Over time, your dentist slowly adjusts the wires to move the teeth into an aligned position.
Common Dental Issues that Can Be Fixed with Braces
With regular visits to the dentist as a child or youth, your dentist can identify if there are any areas of concern that may be corrected by applying orthodontic braces. Early detection of orthodontic problems is key, as these problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early.
Some common issues that dentists may fix with orthodontic braces include:
• Crowded teeth;
• Crooked teeth;
• Restricted breathing;
• Widely or unevenly spaced teeth; and
• Underbites, overbites or crossbites.
In addition to these common issues, orthodontic braces may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to assist in widening the palate, treating misaligned and underdeveloped jaws and shaping the teeth
Orthodontic Braces vs. Invisalign
Invisalign is a fairly new orthodontic treatment on the market, which uses clear plastic aligners to move your teeth into position.
Appearance & Comfort
Orthodontic Braces: One downfall of orthodontic braces is the look, particularly for teens and adults who are self-conscious about their appearance. If this is the case, ceramic orthodontic braces may be a better option, as they have clear or tooth-coloured brackets instead of the more visible metal ones.
While the initial application of the braces is not painful, you may experience discomfort and mild soreness particularly after wires are adjusted at your orthodontic check-ups.
Invisalign: The drawcard of Invisalign is the ‘invisible’ appearance of the aligners. These aligners, when applied to the teeth, are essentially invisible to others. Invisalign is not an ideal option for every patient, so it is important to discuss your options with your dentist.
If you opt for Invisalign, you may experience a little discomfort when you first start wearing the trays, as well as each time you need to change trays, as the trays fit a little more snug against your teeth with each set. However, any discomfort is temporary and will improve as your teeth adjust to the aligner.
Many patients enjoy the removable aspect of Invisalign, which allows them to remove the aligner to eat and drink as normal. However, after each meal, patients must wash the tray and brush their teeth before re-applying the tray to their teeth.
The cost of Invisalign treatment is similar to the cost of braces, as the cost of each treatment is determined by factors such as the complexity of your orthodontic issues, length of treatment and the provider you choose to carry out the treatment.
During your consultation with one of our Balmain Dentists, we can discuss any potential costs of the treatment with you.
Orthodontic Braces: If you opt for orthodontic braces, you are guaranteed to see results. With braces, our dentists keep a close eye on your progress at each check-up, allowing us to observe how your teeth are responding to the treatment and adjust your braces as required.
Invisalign: Seeing the ideal results from Invisalign treatment relies on the wearer remembering to wear their aligners for a minimum of 22 hours a day and to change them as required. This is where using orthodontic braces on younger children and teens may be a more effective solution than removable aligners, as they do not need to remember to wear them.
Both orthodontic braces and Invisalign can produce fantastic results for patients, so it is worthwhile speaking to one of our team about your options.
Process for Orthodontic Braces
Orthodontic braces are made up of three sections – the brackets, the archwires and the elastic bands.
To fit your orthodontic braces, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth before applying the brackets and attaching the wires. The initial application is straightforward and takes around 60 minutes.
After your first visit, we will need to see you every four to six weeks, where Dr Flora Galoustian will make all of the needed adjustments to your fixed braces. After each adjustment, you may experience mild discomfort for a few days, but this is normal and can be treated with anti-inflammatory tablets and pain relief.
One factor that is incredibly important while you have braces is the cleanliness of your teeth; you need to clean your teeth effectively and often, while also staying away from sugary drinks and food.
Aligning your teeth takes time, so patience plays a big role in the process.
How long do you need Orthodontic Braces?
The full orthodontic process depends on the complexity of your case; however, patients normally wear their braces for 18 to 24 months in total.
Fixed orthodontic braces are ideal for applying adequate pressure to the teeth, which leads to a speedier treatment time compared to other methods.
How Balmain Dentist Can Help with Orthodontic Braces
Orthodontic braces can be life-changing to someone who struggles with dental issues. We love seeing the joy on people’s faces when they finally take their braces off and they can see the huge difference.
There is no age limit for orthodontic braces and at Balmain Dentist, we are passionate about helping people of any age to achieve a positive outcome with orthodontic braces.
Contact Balmain Dentist today to book a consultation for orthodontic braces with one of our dentists.