In cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics is an important aspect.  When an improper bite (a malocclusion), or a misalignment of teeth is diagnosed, an orthodontist, who is a highly trained specialist, is needed to correct it.  In order to enhance your facial esthetics, and have a great smile, having teeth that fit appropriately and are properly aligned is the key to overall health.

The use of braces has always been a traditional orthodontic treatment.  They can serve the cosmetic purpose of making your smile more attractive, as well as functionally correcting a bite problem that has resulted from an improper alignment or crooked teeth.

Today’s interest by more and more people in their personal good looks, has them very involved in their own health and beauty.  Having that beautiful “Hollywood smile”, that results from perfectly straight teeth, is very much a part of people wanting to feel good and look good, as well as being healthy.

So, far cosmetic purposes, we as orthodontists, desire that your lower and upper jaw shape, which is your arches, to fit together and be perfectly aligned for your oral health, function, stability and comfort.

Metal braces were used in earlier times of dental treatment, and these braces themselves were glued to the teeth, just like the ceramic ones that were the result of later advancements.  Both types of braces were actually like “small handles” that looked like little squares glued on your teeth.

The force that is needed to get the teeth moving in the desired direction, is the wires that we, as Orthodontists, tie into the braces.  Some of these braces have programmed slots that receive the wires, while other different types move the teeth easier and faster, and produce less friction.  The wires were really what used to all the work, however, due to different materials and designs within the last ten years, the brackets also do some of the work.

The overall process of braces uses varying forces such as the wires, the ligation, other auxiliaries utilized, and the bracket doors (for self-ligating brackets) that are all delivered through the bracket.

There are two types of braces when it comes to ligation (tying the wire): ones that you tie, using elastic o-rings, and ones that actually self-tie using doors that hinge closed over the wire.  Something that the kids seem to really like is the o-rings of varying colors, even though they also come clear.

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