Brackets are bonded to the teeth. Sometimes bands are used around the back teeth. The wires put tension on the teeth to cause them to align. Initial wires are very flexible, and as the teeth line up, stronger wires are used to gain more control. Elastics are often worn to affect the bite.
If you are concerned about minimizing the "look" of metal braces, ceramic braces that blend in with the color of your teeth may be for you. Ceramic braces are not usually recommended for teens since they may have a higher tendency for breakage. Note: The ceramic brackets are only placed on the upper, the lower will have metal braces. The lower teeth do not show as much when speaking and smiling, and the ceramic material is harder than metal, so the upper teeth can become worn if ceramics are used on the lower.
Clear aligners that are changed every 2 weeks gradually straighten the teeth. Often composite shapes called "attachments" are bonded to teeth to assist the aligners in moving the teeth effectively. Often composite shapes are bonded to teeth to assist the aligners in moving the teeth effectively. Invisalign® can be appropriate for many types of orthodontic problems for both adults and teens, but some cases do not qualify. At your first visit, you will find out if Invisalign® would be a good option for you.
It is important to maintain the alignment of the teeth after orthodontic treatment with retainers. Retainers are initially worn all of the time, and after 3-6 months just at night. Long term wearing of the retainers at night will keep the teeth aligned. Retainers can sometimes be corrective for minor tooth alignment problems.
A palate expander is used to correct a crossbite by expanding the upper jaw. The appliance is turned daily at home for 2-6 weeks to obtain the proper wideness. It is left in place at least 4 months after turning to hold the correction, and often limited braces will be added on the front teeth. After the expander is removed a retainer is worn to maintain the alignment until the permanent teeth come in and the patient goes into Phase II treatment with full braces or Invisalign®.
A simple, passive appliance consisting of a wire around the inside of the lower teeth, and bands for the lower first molars. This appliance is used to help alleviate crowding by taking advantage of the fact that the baby canine and molars take up more space than the permanent canine and premolars. So space on the sides is gained to help the crowded front teeth.