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It is never too late to choose braces if you have always wanted to straighten your teeth. Braces are designed for the young and the old, with adults making up one-fifth of the population who wear braces.
Braces correct your smile by moving your teeth into their proper position using an arch wire, which places pressure on the teeth. The arch wire goes over brackets that are attached to each individual tooth. Dr. Smith will also place rubber bands called O-rings over the brackets and will replace them when the braces are tightened. Correcting an underbite or an overbite, may require the use of elastics, which provide additional pressure needed to move the teeth.
Braces are worn from 18 months to two years, depending on a person’s unique situation. The more you keep your braces clean, the more efficient the process can be. Dr. Smith will instruct you on how to practice proper oral hygiene when wearing braces. Special orthodontic toothbrushes have V-shaped bristles that make it easier to clean around the brackets and arch wire. Dr. Smith will also teach you how to use a floss threader—a device that allows you to floss easily underneath your arch wire without damaging the appliance.
Once you complete treatment and your braces are removed, you should plan on wearing a retainer at night. This ensures that your newly straightened teeth remain in the right position. Following Dr. Smith’s instructions during and after braces will allow you to enjoy straight teeth permanently.