Even in a world where clear aligner treatment is easily available, traditional metal braces are still a highly popular orthodontic solution recommended for children, teens, and adults alike. Why? The answer is simple—they just work! Traditional metal braces in Forest, VA from Crossroads Family Dentistry can help patients of all ages make cosmetic improvements as well as achieve a more balanced and healthier smile using a tried-and-true method that has already done the same for tens of millions of people around the world.
You probably remember seeing metal braces a lot when you were a child, and you might be noticing them again if you’re a parent. They still work the same basic way—metal brackets are attached to each of the teeth, and these are connected by a thin wire that applies slight pressure designed to move them into the proper positions. This wire is held in place using small rubber bands called elastics, and over the course of several months or years, these elements work together to straighten the teeth to create a smile that is more attractive and less prone to common issues like cavities, chips, and cracks.
Braces are able to do much more than improve someone’s appearance. In fact, that is just one of the many things this treatment can accomplish. Primarily, the focus is on correcting issues that can affect someone’s oral function now and could lead to even bigger problems down the road.
In addition to adjusting individual teeth, braces can also fix overbites, underbites, cross-bites, and open-bites. This can make everyday activities like chewing and speaking easier, increase someone’s confidence, and prevent someone from experiencing or developing jaw pain.
Teeth can become crooked and crowded for a wide variety of reasons, but despite the cause, braces can get them back in line. On top of being more pleasing to look at, straight teeth are also easier to clean when brushing and flossing, which helps someone avoid cavities over time. Properly aligned teeth are also less likely to become chipped or worn down as the years go by.
Gaps cannot only be an eyesore, but they can also become a place where leftover food and oral bacteria can accumulate, increasing the chances of someone developing gum disease. It’s easy for braces to close gaps anywhere they might appear, making both hygiene and smiling better for the patient.
There are three big tenets when it comes to taking care of braces throughout the course of treatment. Firstly, a person must brush and floss every day, preferably after every meal and snack, because the brackets and wires can trap leftover food against the teeth and make decay more likely if it isn’t removed promptly.
Secondly, a patient should ideally avoid extremely sticky, chewy, or hard foods, as one errant bite can accidentally damage a bracket or wire. In this same vein, if a patient regularly participates in sports where impacts can happen (whether they’re on purpose or accidental), investing in a protective mouthguard is paramount.
And lastly, a patient should expect to attend progress checks with their dentist at Crossroads Family Dentistry every six to eight weeks. This will give us a chance to make sure someone’s teeth are moving according to plan, and if any adjustments are needed, we can make them proactively. Of course, if a broken bracket or wire occurs between these visits, the patient can always reach out to schedule an emergency appointment. Acting fast is the best way to resolve an issue that could potentially delay someone’s treatment plan!