When it comes to turning crowded, crooked teeth into beautiful, healthy-looking smiles, Tempe braces are by far the most widely used orthodontic treatment, with a long history of success, predictability and high patient satisfaction. Some historical records say Cleopatra wore an early type of braces to help straighten her teeth, and the first major medical text focused on braces in orthodontic treatment was published way back in the early 1700s.
Of course, braces have come a long way since those early days. Today’s braces are lightweight, really comfortable to wear, and amazingly effective in treating all types of orthodontic problems, including complex issues, in both teens and adults. At Dunn Orthodontics, we use the most advanced techniques and state-of-the-art technology to help our patients get the custom treatment they need for great results — and a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
How do braces “work” to straighten teeth?
Braces help reposition teeth and realign bites with brackets and wires. At the start of treatment, a single bracket is fastened to the front surface of each tooth using a dental adhesive. Then a special wire is attached to the brackets, which are designed to hold the wire securely. During treatment, the wires and brackets are adjusted and gently tightened, creating continual pressure that moves your teeth into their correct positions.
Today, braces come in different materials. All-metal is the traditional choice, and you might hear them referred to as traditional braces. Clear braces are also available. Clear braces use clear or tooth-colored brackets and tooth-colored wires, so they’re less visible. No matter which type you choose, your braces will work the same way to provide you with a great-looking smile.
What can Tempe braces “fix”?
As a time-tested orthodontic treatment, Tempe braces are used to correct a multitude of spacing and alignment problems, including:
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps and other spacing issues
- Teeth that erupt out of alignment (like high up in the gum tissue)
- Open bites
- Other problems that interfere with normal mouth or jaw function
Our team will customize your treatment so it’s just right for your needs.
Are braces “just” a cosmetic treatment?
While Tempe braces can absolutely improve the way your smile looks — to you and to others — the cosmetic benefits are just one aspect of orthodontic treatment. Today’s modern braces offer important benefits for your oral health, too.
Reduced risks of decay and disease
Bacteria is the primary cause of both cavities and gum disease, two of the biggest oral health problems for patients of all ages — and the leading causes of tooth damage and tooth loss, too. We all have bacteria in our mouths, but when that bacterial growth increases, that’s when problems develop. Bacteria like to hide between teeth and at or below the gum line — areas that are difficult to keep clean. Regular, careful brushing and flossing is essential for getting rid of bacteria and the sticky plaque and hard tartar deposits that harbor it. But when your teeth are crooked or crowded, it’s very hard to clean in all the angles and crevices that form. That means it’s a lot easier for bacteria to find places to hide — and to grow. By straightening your teeth with braces, your brushing and flossing routines can be a lot more effective in removing bacteria and plaque and preventing tartar formation, so you can reduce your risks of tooth decay, gum disease and infection.
Reduced risks of jaw strain, tooth damage and TMJ
The other major way Tempe braces could improve your oral health is by realigning your bite. When your bite is properly aligned, the forces inside your jaw joints are balanced. But when it’s misaligned, those forces become uneven. Over time, that can lead to a lot of strain inside the jaw joints, which in turn can cause painful inflammation of the joints. If the alignment is not corrected, you could wind up with chronic jaw pain and a painful condition called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ. Plus, a poorly aligned bite alters the pressures on your teeth, too. That means you can develop areas of uneven wear that can weaken your teeth, increasing the risks of cracks, fractures, infection and tooth loss.
What will happen during my Tempe braces treatment?
At your first visit, the Tempe orthodontist will apply your Tempe braces and adjust them so they’re comfortable. You’ll receive instructions on how to care for your braces, and you’ll also receive guidelines of which foods you’ll need to avoid. That list includes foods that are very hard or crunchy, as well as foods that are sticky or chewy. It’s not that these foods are “extra bad” for your teeth while you’re wearing braces; but they can get caught in brackets or bend or break your wires, so it’s a good idea to avoid them. However, if you do damage a wire or bracket, we can fix it — just give us a call and we’ll schedule an appointment to get your treatment back on track.
During your treatment, you’ll have a check-up appointment about once a month to have your braces adjusted. These regular adjustments are what keeps your teeth moving toward ideal alignment. Plus, it also lets the orthodontist ensure your treatment is progressing and there aren’t any issues that need to be addressed. And of course, it gives you the time to ask questions about your care, too. Most patients wear braces for about two to three years, but your treatment could take more or less time, depending on the issues that are being corrected.
Will I have to wear a retainer?
Yes, after we remove your braces, you’ll need to wear a retainer for some time while your teeth “settle” into their new positions. Orthodontic treatment moves the entire tooth, including the tooth roots. As the roots shift position, the bone that surrounds them has to remodel itself to accommodate those movements. When your braces are removed, that remodeling process is still going on. Wearing a retainer holds your teeth in place until the bone has completely remodeled. At first, you’ll wear your retainer for most of the day and night, reducing wear over time. Many patients continue to wear their retainers for a couple of nights a week while they’re sleeping to help protect their investment and ensure their smiles always look their best.
A lifetime of beautiful smiles starts at our Tempe, AZ, practice
As a top-rated orthodontics practice in Tempe, Arizona, we love helping our patients get the beautiful smiles of their dreams. Our team provides custom treatment plans focused on each patient’s individual needs and unique treatment goals, so they can feel confident about their care and happy about their results. To learn more about Tempe braces and how they can help you or your child, call our office at 602-864-0004 and book an appointment today.