Traditional metal braces are devices used in orthodontics to align and straighten teeth and help reposition them while also working to improve dental health. Crooked, overcrowded teeth can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease because they are more difficult to maintain. Our Staten Island orthodontists use braces in our orthodontic treatment to correct under bites, misaligned bites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw.
At Graziano Orthodontics, our Staten Island orthodontists move the teeth as a result of force and pressure. In the case of traditional metal or wire braces, Dr. Graziano glues tiny brackets to the front of each tooth and uses arch wire and elastic to help align the teeth. The teeth move when the arch wire puts pressure on the brackets and teeth then rubber bands can be used to put more force in a specific direction. Braces have constant pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. This movement needs to be done slowly otherwise the patient risks losing his or her teeth. This is why braces are commonly worn for approximately two and a half years and adjustments are only made every three or four weeks. In order to prevent the teeth moving back to their original position, retainers are worn once the treatment with braces is complete.
Once your braces have been removed, your bite corrected and teeth straightened, the work is not completely done. Your smile looks great but in order to help keep your teeth in their new positions, it’s important for you to wear a retainer. It’s essential to wear your retainer exactly as our Staten Island orthodontists tell you, especially during the first year after your braces come off. This is especially important because it takes about 9 months for your periodontal ligaments to adjust to their new positions and if you don’t wear your retainer regularly, your teeth will shift. After the first year, many people just wear their retainers several nights a week to make sure that their new smiles continue to look terrific.