Fixed braces have been around far longer than most people realize. In fact, the concept behind braces (i.e., using wires to physically realign teeth) reaches all the way back to ancient Egypt. Archaeologists uncovered this fact by examining the crude braces affixed to the teeth of certain mummies.
Although we know some ancient cultures performed simple orthodontic work, it wasn’t until the 1800s that physicians created what we would call “modern braces.” French physician Christophe-Francois Delabarre invented modern braces in 1819 when he first used wires and wedges to correct tooth misalignments. In the following years, more physicians improved upon Delabarre’s invention to create braces that resemble what we use today.
To this day, braces are still one of the most popular devices in orthodontics. Safe, reliable, and capable of treating mild-to-severe alignment problems, braces remain a popular go-to option for correcting bite issues.
Despite this familiarity, patients always have questions about braces before treatment begins. Some of the most common questions we hear at consultations include:
- Do braces damage teeth?
- How do braces work?
- How do I care for my teeth during treatment?
If you’ve been asking yourself the same questions, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Read on to learn how braces work and how they can improve your oral health.
Do Braces Damage Teeth? NO.
For those new to braces, they can seem a bit intimidating. After all, braces are most commonly made with a metal like titanium or stainless steel. If you don’t understand how they work, it’s natural for you to wonder if braces damage teeth.
Simply put, braces fitted by a professional, licensed orthodontist will not harm your teeth.
The bonding process uses a composite adhesive to affix brackets to your teeth. Not only is bonding completely safe, but it’s also pain-free and takes only a few minutes to complete.
After attaching all the brackets, your orthodontist threads a metal archwire in between them. This is another safe, painless process that is relatively brief.
Once in place, the braces allow your orthodontist to reposition your teeth by adjusting the archwire’s tension. The wire applies constant pressure to the teeth, and by periodically adjusting how tight the wire is, your orthodontist gradually moves your teeth until into flawless alignment.
Broadly speaking, treatment takes around 12-24 months to complete. After that, your orthodontist will remove the brackets and wires—revealing your gorgeous new smile!
Potential Causes of Damage: Bad Oral Hygiene
Braces should never pose a risk to your teeth. Professional orthodontists attend rigorous training programs to learn how to use braces as a safe, effective treatment. By partnering with a trained orthodontist like BHO’s Dr. Monica Madan, you can find braces treatment for:
- Spacing issues/smile gaps
- Impacted teeth
To avoid potential problems, always seek orthodontic work from a trusted professional and always follow their oral care guidelines. Remember, braces do not damage teeth, but teeth can still develop cavities among other problems during your braces treatment. Patients with braces must be meticulous about their oral hygiene.
While wearing braces, you must be diligent about your oral care to avoid potential health issues. We recommend the following measures for the best possible outcome:
- Use an Electric Toothbrush to Clean Your Teeth. Electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque than conventional toothbrushes and can help your teeth stay cavity-free throughout treatment. We recommend the toothbrushes by BHO or Sonicare.
- Brush Your Teeth Up to Five Times a Day. We know this sounds like a lot, but food can get stuck in between your teeth and brackets throughout the day. Brushing once at night, after meals, and before bedtime will keep your teeth from developing cavities.
- Focus on Cleaning Every Bracket. Brackets quickly become filled with plaque if you do not faithfully clean them every day. Brush above, below, and in between each bracket to keep any plaque from developing. Using an oscillating brush head specifically built for cleaning brackets will help, too.
- Floss Daily and Try Floss Alternatives. Although braces may make flossing more difficult, it’s important to continue flossing every day during treatment. If you are struggling with traditional floss, thread floss and water flossers may also help.
- Rinse With Mouthwash Every Day. Fluoridated mouthwash can fortify your teeth against cavities and other issues.
Ready To Improve Your Smile? Call Beverly Hills Orthodontics Today
If concerns about whether braces damage teeth have made you hesitant about orthodontics, you can rest assured that braces are one of the most reliable, safe, and effective treatment methods available today. Capable of treating all kinds of bite problems with a wide range of severity, braces can help give you a healthier, better-functioning, and more attractive smile
As as a diamond Plus Provider, Beverly Hills Orthodontics has been using braces to improve smiles since 2008. With offices in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, and Downtown LA, the BHO team is here to provide you with the best orthodontic care in the Los Angeles area. If you have any lingering questions about braces, oral care, or anything else related to orthodontics, we can give you answers during a consultation. Call today to schedule!
NOTE: All blog content is intended to supplement—NOT REPLACE—the expertise of a healthcare professional and should not be construed in any way as medical advice. Consult a professional orthodontist directly, like the ones at BHO, to assess your individual needs and advise the best course of treatment.