For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. Other benefits include improved confidence and self-esteem, a more functional and comfortable bite, and teeth that are easier to clean and floss, reducing the potential for periodontal problems in the future.
How orthodontic treatment works
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position.
This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can often choose brackets that are clear or metallic, and sometimes you can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
Duration of treatment
Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient’s mouth and face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original estimate.
On average, orthodontic treatment takes 22 months. The patient’s diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment.