A beautiful smile is real: what you need to know about bracket systems
10 recommendations from an orthodontist dentist, candidate of medical sciences, psychologist Elena Logatskaya
1. Braces are the so-called brackets, which are fixed on one side of their base with a special orthodontic “glue” to the surfaces of the teeth, and on the other side of the base have two or four small protrusions – wings, between which there is a groove – a niche into which the arc is placed, connecting braces to each other in the system. Without an arc – on their own – braces will not work. It is the arc that pulls the teeth, clinging to the braces.
Ligatures – elastic or metal elements that are installed on the wings of the braces and hold the arc tightly in the system – help to stay in the arc in the grooves of the braces. This is how ligature braces work. There are also ligature-free braces, in which between the wings above the groove there is a lid that holds the arc. In such a system, ligatures are not needed, and the doctor easily opens and closes the covers over the groove with a special tool. Such a difference in the structure of the braces does not make some braces better or worse than others – there are certain indications for using various systems and personal recommendations of the attending doctor.
2. There are two options for the braces treatment technique – the direct arc technique and the loop (edgewise) technique. In the first case, braces with different characteristics of the groove for each group of teeth are used, that is, the bracket for the incisor will be different from the bracket for the canine, for example. With this technique, a straight arc is used that moves the teeth at angles embedded in the grooves of the braces. When using the loop technique, the individualization of the position of each tooth does not occur due to the characteristics of the grooves of the braces, but due to the bends and loops applied to the arc, while the braces for each tooth can be the same. Orthodontists often combine both techniques.
3. Braces are made from various materials– there are metal, including precious metals, plastic, sapphire, ceramic and combined braces. Basically, such a variety is dictated, on the one hand, by the cost reduction of orthodontic treatment due to the lower cost of the metal bracket system, on the other hand, by the possibility to minimize the visibility of the treatment when choosing aesthetic braces (transparent or white), but their cost will be higher. Also, the process of orthodontic treatment can be made vivid in the literal sense of the word by choosing, for example, gold braces, and you can also decorate any bracket system with multi-colored ligatures that change at each scheduled appointment – they will perform the necessary function and delight with variety. Also, color ligatures, unlike transparent ones, are less prone to changing their color,
4. Braces are external (vestibular) and internal (lingual) . External braces, even the most inconspicuous – sapphire or ceramic – with a closer look of others will not remain a secret. The lingual braces (internal) will be invisible to others, unless you open your mouth specifically wide and declassify them.
5. An alternative to the treatment on braces is transparent caps, eliners or flexes that are invisible to others , which, in essence, are one and the same. The mouthguards actually play the role of an arc from the bracket system, and the role of braces is performed by invisible attachments – small tubercles of invisible orthodontic material that adhere to some teeth and set the direction of their movement. To date, mouthguards have become a very popular choice of patients, and in most cases they are very effective. They are used in both adult and pediatric orthodontics.
6. Many patients worry whether orthodontic structures will affect their speech . Language is responsible for our speech, and if nothing interferes with it, then speech does not change in any way. Thus, external bracket systems cannot affect speech, but lingual systems – for a while – yes. In exceptional cases, speech may be affected by a change in the position of the tongue during a significant change in the bite, or, for example, the appearance of a gap between the teeth, which was not there before. All this is temporary and completely eliminated when the occlusion and position of the teeth normalize. Mouthguards in most cases do not change speech – the tongue adapts very quickly to their presence in the mouth.
7. Braces are effectiveto correct the bite and position of the teeth, both in children and in adults. You can start orthodontic treatment of children with the help of bracket systems after a complete change of milk teeth to permanent ones. Usually this happens by 11-13 years. Braces are not placed on milk teeth. Sometimes, orthodontists also resort to the bracket system in the milk bite, when it is necessary to change, for example, the extremely traumatic position of the front teeth in the child. But in these cases, braces are placed only on the permanent teeth – usually on the permanent incisors of the upper jaw and the first permanent chewing teeth. Such correction occurs in a very short time (several months) and does not exclude the resumption of treatment after a complete change of teeth. Orthodontic treatment of adult patients is possible at any age in the presence of teeth and the absence of inflammatory processes in the oral cavity.
8. Frequent experiences of patients planning orthodontic treatment are possible negative consequences for tooth enamel . The orthodontic structures themselves, subject to the doctor’s protocol for their fixation and removal, do not spoil the enamel. On the part of the patient, the most important condition for preserving the enamel of their teeth is quality hygiene. When brushing your teeth, it’s very important not to pinpoint the number of minutes that the toothbrush is in the mouth, but to look in the mirror to see if you have cleaned all the surfaces. Thorough hygiene in the morning and evening is enough to keep the enamel healthy and not to suffer during the wearing of the bracket system, and after eating it will not be superfluous to rinse your mouth.
With regard to hygiene during treatment on the eliners, it is important here, in addition to standard hygiene procedures, to remove mouth guards for meals, as well as for drinking sweet drinks. After eating and sugary drinks, you need to rinse your mouth and only then put on the mouthpiece.
9. After the end of orthodontic treatment, in most cases it is necessary to wear retainers – thin wires that are fixed from the inner surface of the teeth are invisible to others, and their main task is to save the result. Teeth are movable structures, as they have ligaments that attach to their holes in the jaw bones. Any ligaments in the human body can stretch and contract, causing a change in the position of the organ. Bone, despite its density, is a fairly plastic tissue, which, with constant force pressure or, on the contrary, its absence, changes its shape and content.
The process is not fast, but always present. Thanks to these effects, orthodontic treatment becomes possible, but these same effects can make the result unstable. Retainers allow you not to worry about a change in the position of the teeth, while maintaining the physiological mobility of the teeth, necessary for their health. Retainers are fixed from the inner surface of the teeth of the upper and lower jaws from canine to canine. These are the teeth most susceptible to a change in their position, since they are single-rooted – it is easier for them to turn around than two- and three-root chewing teeth, and they are less loaded with functional tasks than chewing teeth.
Modern man often avoids hard food, and even more so, biting off his front teeth. In this connection, this area of smile interests us more aesthetically, and functionally – it weakens and becomes more vulnerable and less stable. Retainers need to be changed periodically, as they wear out over time.
10. An excellent bonus after wearing an external braces is a beautiful smile line due to the training of the circular muscle of the mouth, which involuntarily occurs due to an increase in the amplitude of articulation caused by the presence of braces. Braces are removed, and the habit of articulating widely remains, since 40 days are enough to form a persistent habit, and orthodontic treatment lasts 1.5 years on average.