Braces are oral devices for the mouth, meant to align and straighten crooked teeth. They are required of patients that suffer from an overbite, out of place teeth, or incorrect jaw positions. Put in place by an orthodontist, dental braces work by applying pressure to the troubled teeth with an archwire. This main wire holds smaller brackets that are placed and glued onto each tooth. While traditional, metal braces are the preference of an orthodontist, other options are also available: Clear Braces, Colored Braces, Gold Braces, and Lingual Braces. Lingual braces are applied behind the teeth so they remain unseen. Glow in the dark options are also available.
Patients that need braces can wear them anywhere between 12 and 24 months, depending on the treatment plan. The orthodontist will determine the length of time during a thorough examination of the mouth and teeth. After the braces are removed, the majority of patients will wear a retainer; a device that completes the alignment process by further setting the delicate tissue surrounding the now straightened teeth. The retainer allows the newly straightened teeth to become established in their new space.