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Here Are the Basics of Metal Brackets

October 25, 2022

If you want straight teeth and an aligned bite, you’re certainly not alone. More than four million people in the U.S. and Canada seek orthodontic treatment every year. It not only leads to a beautiful smile but also can help ward off tooth decay and gum disease. An asymmetrical bite, called a malocclusion, also poses the threat of dental injuries and/or speech issues.

The well-being of your oral health affects how you live and enjoy life. We at the office of Pritchard Orthodontics understand this and are here for you when you and/or your child need braces, whether they be metal braces, clear braces or invisible aligners. Think of us as the gatekeepers of a beautiful smile. 

The type of braces you get depends on an orthodontist’s decision during your consultation as to which will be most effective for you. Many patients’ situations require traditional metal braces. Popularly known as “train tracks,” these appliances involve metal brackets that are connected via an archwire. 

Right before the orthodontist applies the metal brackets, your teeth will need to be cleaned by your dentist or dental hygienist. He (or she) will remove plaque, tartar and stains from your teeth and gum line. This thorough scouring will ensure that your pearly whites are spotless and ready for the orthodontist to start the process. 

The application procedure will take one to two hours. It starts with him (or her) applying an adhesive substance to your teeth and deftly affixing the brackets around the teeth. He then threads the archwire through each bracket’s tiny clasp or O-ring. Ligatures, which are small elastics, keep the archwire in place. 

You will likely feel a bit of discomfort for the next three or four days. But that’s a good thing because it means the braces are starting to realign your teeth and that you’re on the road to a gorgeous smile. The discomfort can be easily treated with over-the-counter pain meds. You may also feel irritation if the braces rub against your tongue or inner cheek. Dental wax will take care of it. 

Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to call the office of Pritchard Orthodontics. Your care and comfort are our top priorities. We will take the time to address your every concern and explain your options in care. A stunning smile will be headed your way!