Tooth braces, previously a source of embarrassment for generations of schoolchildren, have become a modern-day fashion statement.
Jonathan Sandler, consultant orthodontist says “It is almost a rite of passage for teenagers of both sexes these days. The lads want braces in their football team colours and the girls want something to match whatever outfit they are wearing that weekend.” This now mans that those with problems with teeth alignment can achieve a desirable straight look and follow the lead of show-biz stars such as Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg and Cher have all worn dental braces, as have the singer Britney Spears and Princes William and Harry.
Braces and orthodontic treatment are used to correct “bad bites,” or malocclusion (teeth that are crowded or crooked). In some cases your teeth may be straight, but your upper and lower jaws may not meet properly. These jaw or tooth alignment problems may be inherited or could result from injury, early or late tooth loss, or thumbsucking. If you have an abnormal bite your dentist may recommend braces or another orthodontic treatment to straighten out your smile. Correcting the problem can create a nice-looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth.
What are your options?
Today’s orthodontics offer more kinds of braces than ever before.
Metal braces/Traditional braces:
These are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces.” However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces than many adults remember. Plus, new heat-activated archwires use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and less painfully than in the past.
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in to teeth. Some even use toothcolored wires to be even less noticeable.
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth. Although Invisible from outside, they may be difficult to clean; more expensive; not appropriate for severe cases. They can be more uncomfortable at first; regular adjustments take longer and are more difficult than with traditional braces.
How Do Braces Work?
In their entirety, braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied. There are a variety of components used including brackets which are the small squares that are bonded directly to the front of each tooth with a special dental bonding agent or are attached to orthodontic bands. Spacers are separators that fit between teeth to create a small space prior to placement of orthodontic bands.
Elastics or rubber bands attach to hooks on brackets and are worn between the upper and lower teeth in various ways. hey apply pressure to move the upper teeth against the lower teeth to achieve a perfect fit of individual teeth. The time required for braces varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the problem; the amount of room available; the distance the teeth must travel; the health of the teeth, gums, and supporting bone; and how closely the patient follows instructions.
On average, however, once the braces are put on, they usually remain in place for one to three years. The full package which includes regular adjustments and cleaning is likely to cost in the vicinity of 35,000 THB. During our visit to Nadpob Dental we were able to meet a very happy 14 year old young lady named Susanna. She showed us the mold taken of her teeth before her ‘bracing’ commenced. It was painfully obvious that back then smiles would have been few and far between and happy or funny times would have been with a hand across the mouth to disguise her crooked teeth, apart from the difficulties of enjoying taking a bite.
These days Susanna is just beaming. Two months after her braces have been in place, she is full of confidence, eager to display her picture-perfect smile. There’s still a year or so to go but that’s ok; little discomfort and both her and her mum are very pleased with their decision to really ‘embrace her smile’.
This information was provided by Doctor Varissara Naowrungroj from the Nadpob Dental Clinic.
Nadpob Dental is located in Soi 102 or at Market Village.
Footnote: Why is it that many can’t resist feeling our teeth with our tongue whenever the subject of dental care is raised? The chances are that we know that our dental health has been neglected; time for a check-up!