How Braces Have Changed To Be Better Over Time


A perfect smile is accentuated by a perfect set of teeth – pearly white, well-shaped, and properly spaced. It’s what we all want. But we’re not always fortunate enough to be gifted by such perfection. The answer to help one achieve that perfection is often braces. Though common, braces need to be thoroughly understood in order to best utilize and benefit from them. 

What are Braces and how do they work?

Braces are brackets that are attached to the front or the back of our teeth, (depending on the shape of the facial bones and the existing row of teeth) which help position teeth better. Despite common belief, braces are not only designed to give us that beautiful smile but also to fill gaps within the teeth and prevent facial injuries caused by crooked or unaligned teeth.

Braces are used to apply continuous, specific, and controlled pressure on a row(s) of teeth depending on the requirement. There are three main components in most brackets:

  • Wings – They hold the wire to the slot with a tiny runner band
  • Base – Is used to attach the bracket to the tooth
  • Slot – Where the wire is placed

When it is time for braces?

It is important to identify the warning signs that indicate when braces are needed. We should opt for braces if, among other things:

  • Our permanent teeth are protruding with gaps between them or are overlapping each other
  • Unaligned teeth are causing facial injuries
  • Unchewed feed (due to unaligned teeth) are causing consistent stomach ailments

Different types of braces

Braces can be of different types:

  • Metal/traditional braces – have now become smaller and less noticeable.
  • Lingual braces – are fitted inside the row of teeth are not visible, but do not work for severe cases.
  • Ceramic braces – are like metal brackets in size, are transparent, and blend into the teeth, making them less noticeable.
  • Invisalign – Clear, plastic-made aligners. These “invisible braces”, are removable are replaced every 2 weeks.

Adapting to braces

Adapting to braces can be just as much of an emotional challenge as a physical one. Braces can be needed for anyone including children, teens and adults. While there may be physical discomfort and irritation for everyone for the first few days, for children it might be more profound. In such cases, it’s best to consult your dentist and follow their instructions on how to reduce pain and discomfort.

If you’re wearing braces, it’s important to remember to take good care of them. Routine brushing, cleaning, and rinsing is just as important as it was before you were wearing them. Moreover, it’s also important to habituate yourself with the braces, keeping in mind their long-term benefits.

Invisalign and other less visible braces are particularly helpful because they are clear and transparent – removing any feeling of awkwardness in wearing them. If all else fails, and your adolescent child is still reluctant about wearing braces, simply remind them that even their favorite celebrities, like Tom Cruise and Emma Watson, once wore braces as well.

Remember, healthy teeth make a healthy smile!

Dr. Nishan Halim


Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as preventive dentistry, which is at the heart of this Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center.  To learn more tips on how to plan a diet for healthy teeth, contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment. Find out how he can help you maintain your healthy smile.

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