What Are Braces?

Braces Las Vegas apply constant pressure to teeth over a period of time, slowly moving them into better alignment. They also adjust the shape of the bone around the teeth.


Traditional metal braces are the most common, with ceramic or clear options less visible. Your orthodontist can help you determine which option is right for you.

Brackets are punctuation marks used to denote a range of special meanings. The most common brackets are parentheses and square ones, but there are also angled brackets (also known as broket, pointy brackets, or diamond brackets), and less-than and greater-than symbols. Originally, most typewriters only provided left and right parentheses, but square brackets were added with some teleprinters. They are also used in chemistry to identify elements and groups. Various mathematical notations use brackets, such as the floor and ceiling functions, Lie brackets, and equivalence classes. In group theory and ring theory, they denote the commutator of two elements.

Misaligned teeth and bites can put excessive stress on the jaw bones, which can cause bone erosion over time. Moreover, improper bites can lead to the formation of harmful oral bacteria, causing gum disease and tooth decay. Luckily, braces can correct these problems by realigning the teeth and bite.

Besides providing proper alignment, braces can also enhance your self-image and boost confidence by enhancing your smile. A smile that reflects your personality will make you feel better about yourself, which will help you develop positive relationships with others and achieve success in life.

Another benefit of wearing braces is that it can help prevent temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMD. This condition causes pain and discomfort in the jaw joints, especially when chewing or biting food. Fortunately, braces can correct these issues by reducing the pressure on the jaw bones and relieving the buildup of bacteria. In addition, a correctly aligned jaw can also relieve your tension headaches. This is because your nerves will be better distributed throughout the body, minimizing the strain on your head and neck muscles.


A metal wire that runs along the arch of teeth, the arch wire is a critical component of fixed braces. The wire follows the crooked contours of the arch and exerts a steady force, slowly moving the teeth into their final alignment. Arch wires are available in many different shapes and stiffnesses, each with a specific purpose. They are also fabricated from different alloys, which include stainless steel, nickel-titanium, and beta-titanium.

Rigid arch wires are usually made of stainless steel and are less expensive than other types of archwire. They are easy to handle, do not corrode in the mouth, and provide a good control over the tooth movements. Rigid arch wires, however, are not as flexible as other types of archwires and do not flex with the force applied to them, so they require more friction from the brackets to achieve the same amount of tooth movement.

Thermo-elastic nickel-titanium arch wires are more flexible than conventional stainless steel wires, and they also flex with the force applied to them. This allows for less friction, which reduces the amount of heat generated in the mouth and results in a more comfortable orthodontic treatment. This type of wire also provides better movement and helps minimize the amount of force needed to move the teeth.

Coaxial super-elastic nickel-titanium wires are even more flexible than conventional arch wires. They can withstand the most amount of bending and still remain elastic for weeks at a time, which makes them an excellent choice to close spaces after extractions or for the rapid correction of deep bites.

If you are having problems with a protruding arch wire, apply dental wax to the area. This can help push the wire away from the inside of your cheek and lips, preventing it from irritating your skin. You may also try using a pencil eraser or cotton swab to gently push the wire back into place. If this does not work, contact your orthodontist.

Elastic Bands

Rubber bands, also known as elastics, apply extra force to specific teeth and help align your bite. These elastics hook to tiny hooks on selected upper and lower brackets in a custom configuration for your specific needs. These elastics are used in combination with archwire to provide the right amount of force and pressure on your teeth and jaws to move them into their proper position.

Elastics come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Some are latex while others are made of synthetic polyurethane (latex-free for those with allergies). The type of elastic you need depends on your particular situation and the goals of your orthodontic treatment.

Class I elastics, positioned horizontally, connect teeth on one side of your mouth to close spaces between them. Class II elastics connect the molars on your upper jaw to those on your lower jaw, helping correct an overbite by pulling your front upper teeth back and down. Cross elastics, positioned in a criss-cross pattern, correct an overbite by moving your top and bottom teeth into their proper positions over time.

It’s important to wear your elastics every day unless otherwise instructed by your orthodontist. When you do, you can expect some initial discomfort while your teeth and jaws adjust to the added pressure. However, this should not last long. If you do experience pain, drink cold water or take over-the-counter pain relief medication per your orthodontist’s instructions.

If you have a hard time placing your elastics, ask your orthodontist for a plastic hook guide to help you with this process. Also, be sure to carry extra elastics with you at all times. It’s a good idea to have at least two bags – one for home and another for on-the-go – so that you can always have enough elastics with you in case of emergencies. Also, never double up your elastics thinking that it will accelerate your tooth movement. This can actually stagnate the progress of your treatment and may cause more discomfort.


Even after braces have straightened your teeth, there is a natural tendency for them to want to go back to their original position. This process is called relapse and can be prevented by wearing a retainer consistently. Retainers are a custom-made appliance that fits comfortably inside your mouth after you finish your orthodontic treatment and hold your newly straightened teeth in their proper place.

There are various types of retainers, and each one is designed to suit the type of your teeth, your mouth, and your lifestyle. During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will discuss the options and select the most appropriate retainer for you.

Clear retainers are most commonly used by adults and teens since they blend in with the color of the teeth, making them more discreet. They are also more convenient than traditional metal braces since they require fewer adjustment appointments. These retainers are made from transparent plastic and have elastic ties that come in a wide range of colors to suit the preferences of each patient.

In addition to correcting crooked teeth, a retainer can also help correct overcrowded or misaligned teeth. Crowded teeth are more difficult to clean because plaque can hide in tight spaces between them, which is why it is important to straighten your crowded teeth to prevent cavities.

Retainers are also useful for preteens and teenagers who are still growing and developing. Wearing a retainer regularly can ensure that the new alignment of their teeth is maintained as their jaw grows and develops, especially when wisdom teeth are erupting. This can prevent the need for additional orthodontic treatment in the future to correct the alignment of a person’s teeth as they grow into adulthood.

Power Chains

Power chains are elastic loops that help close gaps and align crooked teeth. They have more force than normal elastic bands, which means they can move teeth faster and reduce treatment time. They also help correct a wide range of orthodontic problems, such as spacing between teeth, fixing malocclusions, and fixing a protruding jawline.

While power chains are not as common as elastic bands, they still offer more options for patients with various orthodontic needs. They come in multiple colors, just like ligatures, so you can choose the one that suits you best. However, they may stain, especially if you choose a color that is dark. Fortunately, you can get new power chains at each visit if they start to discolor.

Like elastic bands, power chains can be uncomfortable for the first few days after your orthodontist attaches them to your braces. However, this discomfort is not much different from the pain you might feel after getting your braces adjusted. After the initial period of adjustment, you should no longer experience any significant discomfort.

Power chains can be prone to breakage, especially if you bite into hard or sticky foods like corn on the cob, popcorn, or caramel. To avoid this, make sure to use an interdental brush or water flosser to clean your teeth after eating. If a power chain does break, call your orthodontist right away and schedule an appointment for a repair as soon as possible.

While power chains are an important part of your child’s treatment, they do not solve all of the issues caused by thumb or tongue thrashing habits. Some of these include tooth decay, gum disease, and shorter root lengths (a condition called root resorption). In addition, power chains can trap food particles that are difficult to remove with your toothbrush, which can lead to plaque buildup and gingivitis.