Braces and Retainers: Orthodontic Devices for a Better and Healthier Smile

Braces and RetainersThe main objective of orthodontic treatment is to move teeth to a more desirable position. In America, poorly aligned teeth are frowned upon. You should not be ashamed to avail of orthodontic services if your goal is to improve your smile. Orthodontic appliances are not just for better appearances. They also promote better oral health.

What braces can do for you

According to, orthodontics labs produce fixed appliances that can move teeth into new positions permanently. These appliances are called braces, and they work by applying pressure in the right direction to move the teeth along the jawbone. Dentists prescribe braces for severely crooked teeth. Essentially, these devices consist of small brackets bonded on the tooth surface and cemented rings or bands. These appliances also help correct misaligned bite. If you are wearing braces, you have to keep your appointment with the orthodontist every four to six weeks for minor adjustments.

In the past, braces were made only from metal and bonded fully to teeth. Today, materials other than metal are used to make equally effective braces. The options include plastic, ceramic, and composites. In modern braces, the brackets are bonded to each tooth. Traditional braces are fixed, but some modern appliances are removable. Some products are designed so that the device is installed by the orthodontist behind the teeth.

When do you need to wear removable appliances?

Orthodontists also prescribe retainers or removable appliances. Dentists prescribe these devices after the bracing period. Usually, you have to wear them at night. This is how the new position is retained while the tooth and jaw attachment hardens. For most, the retainers prevent relapse and hold the new alignment in place. If the alignment problem is mild, retainers are favored over braces. They can move the teeth minimally, and so are effective only for correction of mild alignment issues.

Alignment, occlusion, and biting problems can affect a person’s confidence, as well as his or her oral health. Orthodontic devices such as braces and retainers can effectively resolve these problems.