Dental braces or simply braces are wire-like devices that serve the primary purpose of straightening and aligning crooked teeth or an overbite. Braces fix misaligned teeth, gaps between teeth while also restoring the relationship between the upper and lower jaw.
Following are the main types of braces:
They are the most common and traditional type of braces. These braces consist of metal brackets that are attached to your teeth with the help of ties or wires.
Ceramic braces, like traditional braces, consist of brackets with ties or rubber bands however, rather than being metallic or grey, they are clear or tooth-colored so are less likely to be noticed.
Lingual braces are the best choice for people who have cosmetic concerns. These types of braces are placed on the inside of the tooth as opposed to the outside making them invisible to other people.
Also known as clear aligners, invisible braces or Invisalign braces are the more expensive variant of traditional braces consisting of a custom-made invisible container that you can wear and take off at your ease.
Braces work by putting pressure on your teeth and this pressure over time allows your teeth to move to their correct position leaving you with a normal bite and perfectly aligned teeth.
You should watch out for certain symptoms or signs which can reveal if you or your child may need to get braces. They are:
A study conducted to explore the psychological perception of patients about malocclusion in Abbottabad, Pakistan, revealed these common reasons for getting braces:
To find out if it’s the right time for you to get braces, you should book an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist. Although there is no age limit to get braces, it is preferable to get them at an early age of 9 -14 years. During this time the teeth are still malleable and have room to grow.
It is advised to get your children checked by an orthodontist at an early age of 7 years when the deciduous teeth are starting to loosen and fall and permanent teeth are beginning to grow. The orthodontist will then guide you on whether or not you should go for braces.
You should follow these techniques to prepare yourself before visiting your orthodontist for braces treatment.
Braces require an arduous treatment procedure that usually lasts for a long period of 1-3 years so you’ll have to be ready for the physical and psychological impact that it will have on you.
Since braces require regular cleaning, it is better to plan ahead by making sure you have all the necessary dental supplies like a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, orthodontic wax, etc.
You should experience a little pain especially within the first two weeks of the treatment which can be relieved through the use of painkillers as well as home remedies like using lukewarm water for gargling.
Remember to always clean your teeth after every meal and use dental floss and orthodontic wax to properly clean your teeth to maintain good oral hygiene.
Throughout the procedure, you should avoid sugary drinks and food with high sugar content, food that is hard to chew like candy, crunchy fruits and vegetables, and nuts. Instead, you should opt for soft food like porridge, eggs, yogurt, and soup.
Sports activities should be off-limits while wearing braces. If you can’t avoid them, it is important to protect yourself by using a mouth guard to avoid any serious injury or damage to your braces.
You should remain positive about getting braces and focus on the benefits. Think about how the procedure will help your self-esteem, boost your confidence and give you a great smile.
These tests may be required before getting braces. Once the orthodontist has reviewed your tests he will make a customized treatment plan for you.
A full oral exam of your mouth and teeth is necessary for diagnosing the severity of your problem.
X-rays can help the orthodontist identify the correct positioning of the teeth. Panoramic X-rays, which consist of your teeth in a biting state are commonly conducted before the braces treatment procedure
Plaster models or dental casts are created from a patient's bite. The impression is then evaluated by the orthodontist. Further tests may be conducted on the plaster model after digitally scanning it.
The orthodontic treatment for braces differs for fixed and removable braces.
You can take off your removable braces as desired, for instance, when you need to brush your teeth. However, keep in mind that removable braces should ideally be kept on for about 22 hours every day for them to work effectively.
The complete treatment procedure for braces can vary depending on the severity of your condition, how misaligned your teeth are, your bite, and the type of teeth braces you opt for.
Generally speaking the complete procedure for braces can last somewhere between 1 to 3 years. After the completion of the procedure, you may be asked to wear retainers to keep your teeth in their new position. You should regularly wear retainers to avoid any relapse.
Braces typically have a higher success rate. A study on orthodontic treatment revealed that braces were 100% successful among younger people belonging to the age group of 12-16 years and 69.5% successful among adults that belonged to the age group of 20-47 years. Therefore, it is better to get braces at an early age.
In the first week right after getting braces, you may feel a little pain and discomfort which is normal.
However, if you experience a significant amount of pain consistently then you should visit your orthodontist for the best advice. The orthodontist will check your condition and may advise you to use painkillers or orthodontic wax for pain relief.
The treatment for braces is carried out by experienced orthodontists who specialize in the realignment of teeth. It is recommended to always opt for an experienced orthodontist who specializes in braces treatment rather than having it done by a general dentist.
We recommend you to use oladoc in this regard as we connect you with the best orthodontists in Pakistan. We have hundreds of experienced orthodontists on our platform and above 90% of patients are satisfied with their treatment. You can also book an online video consultation with them starting from just Rs.300 in a few easy steps.
The average price of braces in Pakistan is Rs. 50,000 - Rs. 300,000.The cost of braces in Lahore can vary greatly depending on the expertise of the orthodontist, the type of braces, and the condition of the patient’s teeth.
The braces price in Lahore, Pakistan is relatively higher in the case of invisible braces (transparent braces) and lingual braces as compared to metallic, or ceramic braces. You can get invisible braces for around Rs. 150,000 – Rs. 300,000 in Pakistan depending on which hospital or clinic you get them from.
It is also worth noting that the braces cost in Pakistan can be much lower starting at just Rs. 15,000 if the procedure is carried out by Pakistani students who are trained, postgraduates in dental colleges across the country.
Braces or orthodontic treatment is generally not covered by health insurance in Pakistan. Most insurance companies that provide dental coverage often exclude orthodontic treatment procedures like braces from their plans.
However, it is advised to verify your eligibility for coverage of braces from the relevant health insurance company.
Braces come with many benefits. Listed below are some of the notable braces benefits:
As with most medical treatments, braces come with certain complications and risks.
The nature of braces is such that it allows food eaten by the patient to tend to stick between the gaps in the spaces between the braces. This leads to the development of cavities and plaque which damages the teeth and may result in discoloration as well.
Some people may be allergic to the metal, ceramic, or other material used in the braces and this may require the removal of braces.
People who wear braces are at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease as braces can make it difficult to brush teeth properly.
Although a rare condition, some patients may develop ankylosis after getting braces. In this type of complication, the root of the ankylosed tooth becomes attached to the alveolar bone. Patients who develop tooth ankylosis face the risk of losing their teeth and may require crown extraction of the teeth that are affected.
In some cases, your braces might break. This can be due to eating hard foods, nail-biting, or an injury. If your braces break, it is important not to panic and schedule an appointment with your orthodontist right away.
A monthly visit to your orthodontist may be required in most cases during the treatment for braces. Generally, you will need to visit the dentist after every 3-4 weeks for a checkup.
You are advised to follow the guidelines set by your dentist or orthodontist and never miss any of your scheduled visits to complete the braces treatment in a timely and effective manner.
Deciding to go for braces can be a tough decision considering its cost and the physical and psychological effects on the patient. However, one should not delay the procedure as it can become more arduous, expensive, and painful with age.
Braces treatment can sometimes be discomforting and painful, but for the benefits, it provides like an enhanced personality, improved self-esteem, and a beautiful smile, it is worth it.