Braces (sometimes called brackets) are the tried and true appliances of the orthodontist. They can be used from very simple to extremely complex cases and can be made out of the traditional metal or ceramic materials (clear braces). Braces are a great choice for any treatment. The great thing about braces is that you really do not have to think about them once they are placed (aside from abiding by the food list). For patients who want an appliance that the orthodontist is fully in charge of, this is usually the best option.
The day that braces are placed we will start by cleaning your teeth like your dentist does. We will then place a device to help keep your teeth dry and make it easier to hold your mouth open. Once the teeth are dry, we use another cleaner to remove anything that may prevent the braces from sticking. After the teeth are super clean, we will place a sealer on the surface of the tooth that will be getting the brace. Then, we apply a special cement on the back of the brace and position the brace on your tooth. After the braces are placed, we will make sure the extra glue is gone and that all of the braces are on in exactly the right place. Then we will shine a very bright blue light on the glue to cause it to set within 5-10 seconds. This whole process usually requires the mouth to be open for about 15-20 minutes.
Treatment time with braces varies based on the complexity of the case as well as other factors such as the ability to maintain regular appointments, to keep the teeth and the braces very clean, to prevent the braces from breaking away from the tooth (staying away from the forbidden foods), and to wear rubber bands as instructed. Simple cases can be finished in 6-12 months while complex cases can last beyond 30 months.