How Braces are Applied

How Braces are Applied

Getting braces can be an exciting time, but it can also be a bit scary if you are unsure of what to expect. Luckily, you will be able to sit back and relax while your orthodontist works on placing your braces. If you are having braces applied, here are some things you can expect: 

rubber spacers between molars

You May Need Spacers

Spacers are small rubber bands that sit in between your back teeth. They are used to create spaces between back teeth that are very close together. This space is necessary for the placement of the metal bands that will fit around your back teeth when your braces are placed. If your orthodontist thinks you need spacers, they will be placed about a week before your braces. 

The First Appointment is the Longest

Generally speaking, you can expect your braces application appointment to be the longest orthodontic appointment. On average, it can take around two hours for your orthodontist to correctly place your braces. 

Your Teeth Will Need to be Clean

When you arrive for your braces application appointment, your orthodontist may ask you to brush and floss your teeth if you have not done so already. They may also clean the surface of your teeth if there is any remaining debris that may become trapped under the brace. 

Orthodontic Glue Tastes Bad

Once your orthodontist has cleaned your teeth, they will need to begin placing the brackets.  Brackets can be made from ceramic or metal, and they are placed on each tooth to hold the wire in place. These brackets are attached to your teeth using a special type of orthodontic glue. While your orthodontist will do their best to prevent you from tasting it, you may experience a sour taste. However, this glue is non-toxic and should not cause any problems if you accidentally swallow some. 

Blue Lights are Magic

Okay, not really. But your orthodontist will use a special blue light to help set the orthodontic glue. This is known as a curing light and its main purpose is to harden the glue to the tooth enamel. You can expect the blue light to be used throughout the application process to attach brackets, as well as the metal bands that fit over your molars. 

There are Two Types of Orthodontic Hardware

Many people are familiar with brackets, which are made from either metal or ceramic. Brackets are used to hold the archwire and are placed on every single tooth except for the last molars. Instead, your last molars will have another type of hardware known as a metal band. Metal bands wrap around your last molar and are anchors for your braces. 

There are Different Sizes of Bands

Since molars can vary in size, the bands that fit around your molars will also vary in size. This means that your orthodontist may need to try on one or more band sizes to determine the best fit. Because some of the band sizes may not fit well, you may experience some pressure or twisting while your orthodontist slides the band over your tooth. Once the correct size has been determined, the band will be cemented in place using the curing light. 

colored orthodontic bands

You Can Customize Your Braces

After the brackets and bands have been placed, the final step is to place and secure the archwire. The archwire is kept in place using small rubber bands that fit over the brackets and hold the archwire down. These rubber bands come in a variety of colors that you get to choose from. 

Dr. Wade Williams Picture

Dr. Williams is current with all of the latest techniques and theories in the practice of orthodontics and is an active member of the American Association of Orthodontists. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality of orthodontic care to every patient. 

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