Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
Treatment time typically ranges from one to two years, depending on the growth of the patient's mouth and face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond differently to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may be longer or shorter than the original estimate. The patient's diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands and good oral hygiene are important factors in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.