Correcting an inappropriate way of biting or dental malocclusion using orthodontic techniques has acquired a special social interest in Spain, with brackets being one of the best known resources. Its benefits are clear, but there is also an unavoidable fashion component, which in some cases leads to misuse and even some dangers.

What are dental braces?

Brackets are the devices used in the “fixed orthodontic” technique that adhere to each of the teeth. All of them are connected by means of a metal arch, which is in charge of exerting controlled force on the brackets and gradually carrying out the movements planned by the orthodontist.

What is your function?

The brackets are used to correct the “improper bite” The orthodontic arch exerts a force on the tooth through the bracket. This force will have a vector of movement or moment of force, depending on its thickness, shape (rectangular or cylindrical) and form of attachment to the bracket, releasing its energy in the form of elastic deflection.

What types are there?

Metal braces have been the orthodontic treatment par excellence for years. Today they are almost exclusively associated with children or adolescents and they even have fun using colored erasers.

Brackets are usually cemented to the front of the tooth and can be metallic or transparent materials (such as sapphire). They can also be attached to the inside of the teeth (“lingual orthodontics”).

What is the best age to put braces?

The age at which this type of braces treatment is usually started is around 11 years old, depending on the growth of the permanent teeth in your child. Normally, braces treatments are started once the baby teeth have fallen out, and the permanent teeth have erupted.

When can you NOT put braces?

Braces cannot be placed when there is uncontrolled gum disease. Braces tend to retain more food debris. Poor hygiene with braces can exacerbate gum disease. It is essential to have good oral hygiene to be a candidate for braces.

How long does it take to accommodate the teeth with the braces?

An orthodontic treatment can last between 12 months for simple cases or more than 30 months if they are very complex cases. If there is only slight dental crowding, a few months of treatment will suffice. If extractions are necessary or teeth are included, it can last more than two years.

What reviews need to be done?

Periodically, you should go to the dental office (usually once a month), so that the specialist reviews and modifies the forces exerted, the archwires and the position of the brackets.

Are there alternative treatments?

Spain is the country in the world where orthodontics with transparent aligners is growing the most, which reflects the interest of the population in enjoying a healthy and aesthetic smile.

Some practical tips

Before you get braces, you should…

Go to the dentist to rule out other oral problems
treat cavities
have healthy gums
Be instructed and sufficiently motivated to carry out adequate plaque control with brushing and interdental hygiene

And during the treatment, you have to…

Follow a proper oral hygiene habit
Reduce the consumption of sugars
Go to the dental consultation to check possible cavities and the health of the gums (minimum every 6 months)

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