Orthodontic Braces (also called Dental Braces or simply Braces) are a device used in Orthodontic Treatment to align teeth and their position with regard to a person’s Bite. They are often used to correct Malocclusions and other types of flaws or problems with the teeth and jaws. These flaws or problems may be aesthetic (cosmetic), mechanical, structural, or a combination. Sometimes Braces are placed on the teeth in conjunction with Orthognathic Surgery (Jaw Surgery).
Braces may be applied in the traditional manner (with Brackets and ArchWires), or in the newer manner (with clear plastic Aligners). The type of braces that an Orthodontist uses for treatment depends on the person’s individual situation, as well as the Orthodontist’s expertise or training in various tooth movement systems.
The average treatment time for a person to wear braces is 18 to 24 months. Minor orthodontic problems might be able to be addressed in 6 to 12 months. If Extractions are needed, or if the patient requires Orthognathic Surgery, the time spent in braces might need to be increased.
Children often get braces or begin orthodontic treatment starting at ages 6 to 10, when their Permanent Teeth begin to come in. If their Dentist suspects problems with tooth alignment or jaw mechanics, early orthodontic treatment may be required. This early treatment ensures that, as the Permanent Teeth come in and the jaw grows, everything functions and aligns properly. Early treatment often prevents more serious orthodontic problems from developing later.