Braces are made out of several components that are in one form or another similar to other orthodontic systems. Acting together will bring forces to straighten your teeth and push them in the right direction.
Brackets are individual metal or ceramic parts that are bonded to the each tooth and it serves in means of fastening the arch wire.
Bands are metal rings that are placed on the teeth to hold on parts of your braces. They are usually placed on the posterior (back) teeth.
Archwire is a metal wire which is attached to the brackets and in this way it will transfer the forces and move the teeth.
Elastic tie or a ligating module is a small plastic piece which is used to hold the arch wires in the brackets on your teeth.
Ligature wire is a somewhat stronger type of the tie used to provide more strength in holding the archwires.
Power chain or orthodontic chain is used to link teeth together and close space.
Hooks can also be present on your orthodontic appliances. These are used to attach a plastic
Elastic band is used to help adjust the bite. They are placed by the patient and it is very important for them to be worn as your doctor directs.
Some harmful habits that can damage your orthodontic appliances are:
These habits can remove the brackets from their position and break the elastic bands that hold the archwire. Also, you can break or distort the archwire which can have a hazardous consequences, shifting your teeth in the wrong direction and complicating the orthodontic treatment more. It will be more costly and more time consuming. Follow the instructions provided by your orthodontist so the treatment can be as mush as successful and short. Maintain the good oral hygiene during the orthodontic treatment to prevent gum disease or cavities.
Headgear is a type of orthodontic appliance which is attached to your braces. It helps in correcting severe bite problems and malocclusions. Its purpose is to prevent or correct an overjet. It basically slows down the growth of the upper jaw so the lower jaw could catch up. It needs to be worn as instructed by your orthodontist for it to be effective and to serve its therapeutical purpose.
While wearing the headgear you can experience some soreness of the teeth, but this is the normal reaction and it will stop after some time. It is important not to engage in any sport activity while you have a headgear. Wear it as instructed by your orthodontist and it is important to come on your regular checkups to see the effect the headgear has.
It is very common to experience some discomfort at the begining of your orthodontic therapy. This includes:
-soreness and pain especially after the adjustment appointments (this will last from 1-4 days). For this purpose, you can use over the counter pain killers to help ease the pain and discomfort during the days after the adjustment. Warm salt water rinses are also very helpful in alleviating pain and discomfort, as well as to remove the swelling of your gums. You can also use topical anesthetics to remove the discomfort for some period of time. It is important to use them according to the label. Bite wafer can be used as a good way of removing the discomfort after the orthodontic adjustment. Do your clenching exercises right after the appointment in order to intercept the discomfort before it takes place. For lots of patients, these methods have proven to be very helpful.