Crooked teeth can affect your self-confidence and even your health. For many people, braces are the only way to achieve a perfect smile. However, how do orthodontic braces work, and how do you know you need them?

The Basics of Orthodontic Braces

a woman with orthodontic braces in Houston smilesBraces feature several components that work together to slowly move the teeth into place. The brackets are the most recognizable and are cemented to the teeth during the duration of treatment. These brackets hold the archwire in place along with the ligature ties, or the colored bands that clients can choose at each visit. Once it’s in place, the archwire puts pressure on the teeth to move them toward proper alignment.

Brackets can also feature hooks to accommodate rubber bands that put additional pressure on specific teeth. Specialized brackets can also feature tubes to allow for wires and the placement of headgear, as needed.

Your orthodontist will adjust your orthodontic braces on a regular schedule during the course of your treatment. This adjustment can involve changing ligature ties, wires, as well as new instructions for wearing rubber bands.

Of course, braces are generally the last portion of orthodontic treatment aside from wearing retainers for maintenance. In children, it’s often advisable to use appliances to adjust the growth of their jaw. This process provides ample room for permanent teeth to grow in, allowing for less intensive treatment down the road.

What Conditions Can Braces Prevent and Treat?

While a radiant smile is often the patient’s goal when they get orthodontic braces in Houston, it’s simply a byproduct. The real goal of treatment with braces is to correct the bite, or the way the teeth sit and come together in the jaw. There are various ways for your bite to be incorrect, including:

  • Spacing- Open gaps between teeth that are generally just a cosmetic issue, but can have underlying causes like periodontal disease
  • Crowding- Teeth that are too large for the available jaw space can crowd themselves. This crowding can make it hard to maintain good oral health
  • Open bite- Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or improper bottle and pacifier use can cause there to be no overlap between the upper and lower front teeth. This issue can cause difficulty eating as well as speech problems
  • Misplaced midline- When the center of the lower row of teeth does not align with the center of the upper row of teeth. While this is often cosmetic, it can indicate other bite issues
  • Underbite- If your lower row of teeth protrudes past the upper row, you may have an underbite. If severe enough, this issue can cause jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty eating
  • Overbite- The opposite of an underbite, this is when the top row of teeth protrude too far over the bottom row. An overbite can make it hard to eat chewy foods, and also lead to jaw pain
  • Crossbite – A crossbite occurs when some of the upper teeth sit behind lower teeth. This issue causes a great amount of stress on the jaw bone, leading to pain

Orthodontic braces can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan for each of the above issues.

Are Braces Only For Kids?

Most people commonly associate braces with late childhood and adolescence. While the vast majority of orthodontic patients are kids and teens, a growing number of adults are seeking orthodontic braces in Houston for their bite issues. While adults may have more limited treatment options, it’s entirely possible for them to achieve a gorgeous, straight smile.

Quality Orthodontics in the Houston Area

Deciding on an orthodontist can be a challenge. After all, you’re trusting them with an important part of who you are.

With two convenient locations, G Orthodontics is a great option for orthodontic braces in Houston. Dr. Garcia and her friendly team will work to make you feel comfortable and get the radiant smile you deserve. To learn more about our orthodontic treatment options, call our Pearland office at 713-677-2258 or our Houston office at 832-847-6749 today.