Seating Orthodontic Bands

As the big day approaches to get ones braces on, there is usually a quick step that precedes that appointment. With modern technology, the newer braces can be made in small dots making them much more esthetic. These are bonded to the teeth by etching the enamel surface with acid. However, the molar teeth bear quite a bit of brunt of the bite, so bonding brackets onto those teeth can be frustrating because they can become debonded under normal chewing. Thus, many times it is helpful to go back to the old style bands for those molars. To seat the bands comfortably, there needs to be a small gap between the teeth. Therefore, separators must be placed ahead of time to create that space. A separator can be an elastic “donut” or a twisted wire. They are placed about a week before the big appointment. This will allow the bands to be slipped on with minimal fuss. They usually will make ones teeth sore for a day or two – nothing that a little ibuprofen wouldn’t take care of. But it is sure well worth it because otherwise, the bands would have to be forced on.

Clear Orthodontic Brackets

There is a lot of talk these days about “invisible braces” and for good reason.  For selected cases, they work great. They can be removed to eat and to brush and floss.  However, these type of “braces” do not work on many cases because of the complexity of the case. The invisible braces do not allow for fine control of tooth movement and some movements such as raising a tooth from it’s socket or doing a lot of rotation cannot be done with that method. Many adults and even some teens avoid orthodontic treatment because of the “metal mouth” stigma. For those who are not candidates for invisible braces, there is still hope to get their teeth straightened without having to wear a silver smile. Clear brackets are placed on the teeth as an alternative to the metal ones. These are made of an extremely hard, ceramic material. A metal wire still needs to be used, however, that is so thin that it is not very perceptible from a conversational distance. The ceramic brackets can be more difficult to work with and some orthodontists will charge more due to that. They can especially be problematic treatment wise when torque is placed on them and they can tend to crack due to their brittle nature. But if the only other acceptable treatment is no treatment, the clear braces are certainly a very acceptable alternative.