The teeth are the hardest substances in the human body and . Besides being essential for chewing, the teeth play an important role in speech. We develop two sets of teeth during our lifetime. The first set called milk teeth or baby teeth starts to appear at about six months of age and are 20 in number. The tooth eruption at about six months is known as teething and can be painful. The second set is called the permanent set and these start to grow at the age of six years. A normal adult mouth has 32 teeth, which (except for the wisdom teeth) have erupted by about age 13.

Generally our permanent teeth grow and have a definite size, shape and structure but sometimes anomalies may occur and they grow out of perfect alignment. Dental braces are devices used in orthodontics to align and straighten teeth and help to put our deformed teeht in perfect alignment. They often used to correct underbites or overbites, open bites, deep bites and cross bites. Braces can be either cosmetic or structural. According to historians, braces date back to ancient times. Numerous mummified ancient individuals were discovered with metal bands wrapped around theri teeth from 400-300 BC. Today orthodontics offer more kinds of braces than ever before:

Metal braces / Traditional braces: these are the metal bracktes and wires most people picture when hearing the word ’braces’. However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious ’metal-mouth’ braces that many adults remember. It is the least expensive type and nowadays coloured bands are also available.

Ceramic braces: They are the same size and shape as metal braces but less noticeable as they are tooth-coloured, sometimes even the wires. Brackets can stain easily if patients do not care for them well and they are more expensive than metal braces.

Lingual braces: they are exactly the same as traditional metal braces except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth. Its main advantage that it is totally invisible from outside, however it is very difficult to clean and quite expensive. They can be more uncomfortable at first, and regular adjustments take longer.

Invisalign: it consists of a series of  18 to 30 custom-made, mouth guard-like clear plastic aligners. The aligners are removable and must be replaced every 2 weeks. It is almost invisible and patients wearing them can eat and drink whatever they want. But it will now work for serious dental problems and not suitable for children. It is one of the most expensive options and it can be easily lost or damaged.

Braces must be placed on patients by qualified professional dental experts. After fitting them properly, they must remain as it is for a number of months or years. Depending on the patient’s dental condition this period may last six months or even six years, then it can be removed. Even after that, the client must follow a number of instructions to ensure the teeth do not regain their previous structure.

Using braces may cause some side effects such as the chance of plague or allerg and the change of jaw and cheek structure. You must always consult an expert before deciding for using  any kind of braces.