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How Do Braces Work? Top Facts to Know About Orthodontics

Orthodontics is about more than just straightening crooked teeth with braces. It’s about improving your oral health, which improves your overall health. It’s about improving your self-esteem. It’s about creating a smile you can show off proudly.

Braces treatment is the tried-and-true method for restoring your oral health. How do braces move teeth? What are orthodontic braces made of? How long do braces stay on? We’re happy to answer these questions and more about braces.

How Do Braces Work?

Before we can explain how braces work, we need to explain the parts of braces. Braces are made up of brackets, bands, and an archwire. The brackets can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. 

How do we put braces on? Brackets are bonded to your teeth with a special cement bonding agent. Bands are bonded to your back molars. These bands include small tubes through which the ends of the archwire slip. 

The archwire connects all the brackets and bands and applies gentle pressure to your teeth. The archwire and brackets provide a steady force throughout your orthodontic treatment, unlike clear aligners such as Invisalign, which can be removed. 

Columbia Illinois Dr. Hentscher Johnson Orthodontist 159 - How Do Braces Work? Top Facts to Know About Orthodontics

What Are the Different Types of Braces?

At Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics, we want you to get the orthodontic care that is best for you and that you want. That’s why we offer several options to repair your bite, including several types of braces and two brands of clear aligners. What are the types of braces? 

  • Metal braces: We use self-ligating metal braces, which are smaller than traditional metal braces and more efficient. That means they look better and work faster than your parents’ braces! 
  • Clear braces: Clear ceramic braces are just like metal braces, except they use brackets made of ceramic, which can be matched closer to your natural tooth color to make them less visible on your teeth.
  • Lingual braces: Lingual braces are made of metal but are placed on the back side and inside of your teeth next to your tongue. This hides them from view while allowing them to move your teeth into their proper places.
  • Clear aligners: Our Invisalign and 3M Clarity clear aligners are made of a special acrylic material that is nearly invisible on your teeth. They apply gentle pressure like braces, but they may not be ideal for the most severe cases.

How Long Do Braces Stay On?

One of the first things our patients want to know is, “How long does it take for braces to work?” That answer varies from patient to patient because each case is different. Those with a mild overbite may only wear their braces for nine months, while those with several dental issues may need to wear them for up to 2 years. 

You will find out an approximate treatment time during your first visit to Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics. We gather your records and perform a complete dental exam, which includes dental x-rays and imaging. We’ll come up with the treatment plan that fits you best, and we’ll be able to tell you how long that treatment should take. 

We say “should” take because your treatment time depends on one major factor: You! We need your cooperation as much as our skills and the braces or clear aligners. What does that mean? 

That means if we ask you to wear rubber bands with your braces, you need to wear them for the time prescribed. That means staying away from foods that could damage your braces. That means wearing clear aligners for at least 22 hours a day. That means keeping all of your appointments.

Together, we can create a smile you’ll be proud to show off to anyone! 

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Why Do I Need Braces?

Why do you need to get braces or clear aligners? There are many reasons to take care of your teeth. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, reducing your chances of tooth decay or gum disease. 

Straight teeth fit together properly. Someone with a bad bite or crooked teeth risks excessive tooth wear as the teeth connect in the wrong places. This can also lead to cracks, chips, and breaks in your teeth because the protective outer shell — the enamel — is weakened by excessive wear. 

People with bite problems can’t chew their food correctly. This can cause headaches and jaw pain, but it can also cause digestive issues. Your teeth and saliva start the digestive process by breaking down your food. Bad bites can’t grind and break apart food as easily, which means the rest of your system has to work harder to break down your food and pull nutrients from it. 

Finally, many people feel self-conscious about their smile because their teeth aren’t straight. Treating your teeth with orthodontics creates a beautiful, straight smile you won’t be afraid to show off. We’ve seen it time and again — our patients gain a whole new level of self-confidence with their new smile. 

Where Do You Go to Get Braces in Columbia, IL?

Braces treatment can improve your oral health, emotional health, and overall health. You can get braces whether you are a child or an adult. You’re never too old for braces! 

If you’re ready for braces treatment in Columbia, IL, or Waterloo, IL, Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics is ready to help! Start with a virtual consultation with us to find out which treatment is best for you. Then we’ll bring you in for a detailed examination and a tour of our office. We’ll also show you what braces treatment can do for you. 

Imagine having a whole new smile. It can happen with braces!

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