Braces and Retainers Before
Braces and Retainers After

Orthodontics, the use of braces and retainers, can help to correct over and under-bites, misaligned teeth, crookedness and gaps in both child and adult patients. If you've got a crooked smile or uneven teeth, you know how self-conscious you can feel when you smile.

To shift and straighten crooked teeth to a more attractive arrangement in the mouth, braces work by putting mild continuous pressure on the teeth over time. Braces come in metal, plastic or ceramic brackets adhered to the front of the teeth. Using a tightening wire, called an arch wire held by the brackets, the orthodontist tightens the wire to promote a better position for the teeth. As your teeth move, the wire is tightened once a month for approximately two years, depending on the degree of movement required, until the desired position is achieved. Retainers are appliances used to maintain the position of newly shifted teeth after braces have been removed. A removable clear plastic mold with a retaining wire or a clear mold shaped to the teeth can be used to prevent realignment. This appliance may only be required to be worn at night for a few months, or may be recommended as a permanent aid worn only at night.

Recovery time: Aside from the time the procedure lasts, there is not a lot of recovery time associated with orthodontics.