Did you know that braces are almost three hundred years old? They’re doing something right! But have you ever asked yourself—how do braces work?

Our team at Ollins Orthodontics has over forty years of experience treating the citizens of Nutley, and we can give you the rundown on this popular orthodontic treatment!

Why Should I Get Braces?

You might be surprised to learn just how many conditions can constitute a set of braces! Dr. Bruce and Dr. Gabriel will assess your needs and create a customized treatment plan just for you, whether you’re a child, teenager, or adult (though treatment can vary a bit based on age). Here are a few common reasons we might recommend this appliance for you or your child:

  1. Crowded Teeth: Crowding is exactly what it sounds like—picture an elevator with too many people in it! When there’s not enough space in our jaw, it causes our teeth to become misaligned. This can result in overlapping or crooked teeth, making cleaning and maintaining good oral hygiene difficult.
  2. Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to an improper alignment of the teeth or a mismatch between the upper and lower jaws. This manifests as an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite, leading to functional and aesthetic problems.
  3. Spacing Issues: Gaps or spaces can occur naturally between our teeth. Braces are usually the best tool to help close these gaps and create a more uniform appearance.
  4. Aesthetic Concerns: Sometimes, it’s as simple as not being happy with your smile! Braces aren’t always just for orthodontic problems; they can also be a cosmetic treatment.

Lots of Moving Parts: The Components of Braces

Traditional metal or ceramic braces have many elements that make them work; a lot more than meets the eye! Modifications can also be made based on an individual’s treatment plan. 

  1. Brackets: Braces consist of small brackets that are attached to each tooth using a special adhesive. They serve as anchors for the rest of the components.
  2. Archwires: An archwire is what connects the brackets together. These wires can be made of stainless steel or nickel-titanium and play a crucial role in your alignment process. They exert pressure on the brackets and teeth—which causes them to shift over time in the direction our doctors choose.
  3. Elastic Bands: Elastic bands, also known as O-rings, secure the archwire to the brackets. These bands come in fun colors and are chosen for aesthetic reasons for our younger patients.
  4. Springs: Springs are added in some cases to create additional force to move the teeth, depending on the patient. They are placed on the archwire between brackets to apply pressure.
How Do Braces Work?

A Work in Progress 

You will have regularly scheduled appointments with us at Ollins Orthodontics during your treatment. The purpose of these visits is to make adjustments to your braces as they’re exposed to potential damage. For example, we might change the archwire, replace your elastic bands, or make more significant repairs due to an accident. Attending these check-ins on time is crucial to your treatment!

It’s also important to remember that the duration of treatment varies from person to person. Braces will usually be a commitment, so you need to stay on top of your game. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene will be essential to successful results for any alignment process. Our team will provide care instructions for your braces or aligners, including considerations like foods to avoid.

Decisions, Decisions!

Now that you know about traditional braces’ main components and processes, let’s cover some of the appliances we offer in our office! These include alternatives to braces, which are usually in the form of clear aligners.

  • We’re proud to carry Pitts 21 metal braces. We use these due to their efficiency and quality results! Though it can vary, these tend to have a duration of 18-22 months. 
  • Ceramic braces serve the same purpose as metal braces but can be appealing for a less obvious appearance that better matches the color of your teeth. They are more customizable than metal braces and can mean a more complex process for our doctors.
  • Ollins Orthodontics offers Invisalign, which is the most popular alternative option, usually reserved for teenagers and adults. These are by far the most inconspicuous choice. Some conditions won’t qualify for clear aligners, but a lot are covered! The duration is typically around nine to 15 months for treatment, with a new set being worn each week to guide your teeth into their new positions.
  • Retainers are usually the final step in treatment, used to maintain your results after we remove your appliance!
How Do Braces Work?

You’ll Be All Smiles With Ollins Orthodontics!

We know how overwhelming the prospect of braces can be, but that’s why our team of professionals are here to help you along the way! Braces are a collaborative effort between the patient and their provider. If you’re interested in learning more or being seen for an initial consultation, you can reach our Nutley office at 973-667-0771.