What are Braces?

The concept of orthodontics has been around since 300 BC but today’s braces are much different than braces then or even 40 years ago. Today’s braces involve small metal brackets bonded to each tooth. The purpose of the brackets is to hold the archwires that move the teeth. The archwire is held in place on the brackets with assistance from small rubber bands (that come in many different colors). Throughout your treatment, we may also require you to attach small rubber bands to the hooks on your braces to resolve bite problems. Over time, your teeth will gradually shift into their ideal position with tightening appointments every four to six weeks.

Braces Treatment Overview

Before we can provide you with orthodontic treatment, you must first have a consultation. During this time, Dr. Escoto or Dr. Mantovani will examine your mouth and take x-rays to get an understanding of your full situation. If your oral health is compromised in any way, we will need to treat this first. After we determine if you’re a good candidate for braces, we discuss your goals with you and go over your entire treatment plan, including its time frame. Most patients take one to three years to complete their braces treatment. After the consultation, you will know exactly what results to expect after your treatment.

After answering all of your questions and finalizing the treatment details, we will begin by bonding the brackets to your teeth and attaching the archwire. Your mouth will take a few weeks to get used to the feeling of having braces in your mouth. We highly encourage you to apply dental wax over the brackets to protect your cheeks, lips, and tongue from getting cut on the brackets. Once your mouth gets used to the feeling, you will no longer notice the brackets.

About every four to six weeks, you will visit our dental office to get your braces tightened. We may also ask you to start wearing rubber bands to fix bite issues too. After you complete your treatment, we will provide you with a retainer to wear. Patients usually need to wear their retainer at all times (except when eating) for the first few weeks after getting their braces off. Eventually, you will only need to wear your retainer a few nights per week for the rest of your life to maintain your smile.

Who’s a Good Candidate?

Most patients are good candidates for braces. Our main requirements are patients with good oral health and healthy gums. Your mouth must be healthy enough to allow the teeth to move through the jaw. Braces can address most orthodontic issues though, including the following.

  • Gaps
  • Crookedness
  • Crowding
  • Open bites
  • Crossbites
  • Underbites
  • Overbites

There is no age limit for braces. We see patients as young as children and well into their adult years. There’s no reason to avoid metal braces because of your age. Everyone can benefit from straighter teeth.

Braces Care Guide

To ensure your treatment moves along on time, it’s important to prevent problems as best as possible. To start, there are a few foods you should avoid eating including hard chips, popcorn, gum, chewy candy, corn on the cob, apples, hard bread, hard pretzels, and anything that’s sticky or requires you to bite into it. Wearing braces takes some getting used to in regards to eating. We encourage our patients to take small bites and cut up all their food to avoid breaking a bracket.

It’s also important to keep up with good oral hygiene when having braces. It’s easy for food to get trapped in the brackets so we recommend using an electric toothbrush during your treatment. If possible, try to brush your teeth after meals or at least use a small brush to get food out of the brackets. Although it’s a pain, you should also continue flossing during your treatment. Consider investing in special floss that has a pointy end to make it easier to maneuver between the archwire.

Get Braces in Miami Beach

Are you ready to achieve a perfect, straight, and beautiful smile? If so, don’t wait around for it to magically happen overnight. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Escoto and Dr. Mantovani at SoBe Dentist in Miami Beach to learn about getting braces. Please call (305) 535-2225 today.