4 Things Commonly Used In Orthodontic Treatment

If you suffer from crooked teeth, gaps between your teeth, or an overbite, you can benefit from orthodontic care. Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry concerned with occlusion and teeth alignment. Most orthodontic treatment lasts for approximately two years, and braces are one of the most common treatments. If you're nervous about getting braces, learning about the various tools orthodontists use can put you at ease. Here are four things commonly used in orthodontic treatment:

1. Ligatures

When your orthodontist first applies your braces, they will glue brackets to your teeth. Ligatures are the small rubber bands used to secure a wire to those brackets. Ligatures tighten your braces so they can do their job of realigning your teeth. Your orthodontist will use a ligature gun to secure the rubber bands in place, and you will wear them until your next appointment. When it's time to tighten your braces, your orthodontist will remove your ligatures and reapply a new set.

2. Power Chains

Power chains fulfill a very similar function to individual ligatures. They secure wires to your braces brackets and provide the tension required to shift your teeth. Unlike ligatures, power chains come in unbroken strips. One power chain will be used to connect all the brackets on your top or bottom teeth. Power chains can provide more tension than traditional ligatures, making them useful for people who would like faster orthodontic treatment.

3. Rubber Bands

Rubber bands are sometimes utilized during orthodontic treatment. Although rubber bands are made from the same material as ligatures, they are larger and fulfill a different function. These rubber bands connect your upper and lower teeth to correct an overbite or underbite. Your orthodontist will show you how to apply the rubber bands, and you'll be given a bag of rubber bands to apply on your own. You may remove your rubber bands to eat and brush your teeth, but you should wear them at all other times. Complying with your treatment will result in straighter teeth and a shorter treatment time.

4. Clear Aligners

Once your orthodontic treatment is over, your orthodontist will remove your braces. However, you will need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Many orthodontists now use clear aligners for their patients' retainer needs. Clear aligners fit over your teeth and provide just enough pressure to keep them in place. Follow the wearing schedule prescribed by your orthodontist for the best results.