Columbia, SC Edition
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Braces … More than Just Straight Teeth

Virtually everyone understands that the dental term orthodontics is synonymous with the word braces. And there are many types of braces; these include traditional, ceramic, clear alignment (a popular brand being Invisalign), and even lingual braces, which are placed on the back of the teeth.

            Traditional orthodontic procedures (metal or ceramic braces and wires) can sometimes take as long as two or three years to successfully reach desired results. Many adults (and even kids) find this length of treatment to be intolerable. Often, the complaint is: “I’m too old,” or “I’m too busy with my life or job to be able to put up with three years of braces.” Sometimes short-term orthodontic procedures, such as the “Six Month Smile,” unfortunately produce an even less desirable result that often ends in relapse (a return to the original dental state) in a short time.

            Certainly, there are benefits to wearing braces—a straighter and prettier smile being the most obvious one. However, there are many other benefits to wearing braces that many are generally not aware of. Braces can often help a dentist restore a winning smile with less preparation (drilling) on the teeth. When the teeth “line up” better, the job of the dentist is much easier, thus reducing the amount of dental drilling necessary to successfully restore one’s smile or repair the teeth—a great benefit indeed!

            In addition, straighter teeth are easier to keep clean, and less likely to develop cavities or gum disease. There are many reasons that people develop cavities or experience gum disease. The list of causes include neglect, genetics, medications, systemic disease, or just plain bad luck. With a straighter smile as a result of wearing braces, it is much easier to brush and floss the teeth and gums—keeping them cleaner while protecting them from decay and gum disease.                            

            Teeth work better and are less likely to relapse when the teeth and roots are aligned properly. Teeth are made to be “axially loaded” (dentist talk for biting straight up and down along the teeth in the same direction as the muscles in the face move the jaw up and down). When a tooth is “tipped” (a crooked tooth caused by drifting due to the loss of adjacent teeth), or the roots are in the wrong place, the bite force will cause the teeth to wear out sooner. Biting on tipped teeth will cause them to “tip” even further. As a result, the bone and gum supporting the teeth become stressed and worn by erosion, causing the teeth to become loose and the gums to recede—leading to an unhealthy dental condition.

            Chewing with the teeth straight up and down in harmony with the jaw muscles will make them last longer, work more efficiently, and stay in the right position. In addition, the gums and supporting bone structure endure longer, and even grow stronger.

            And this is the biggest benefit achieved by the revolutionary development of Fastbraces—the next evolution and revolution in orthodontics: Using a special bracket with a super flexible rectangular wire, Fastbraces move the teeth and roots fully into the correct position with, amazingly, much lighter force and less discomfort, resulting in actual jawbone growth. Moreover, since the entire tooth is moving, the treatment time is often cut in half. Fastbraces leave the teeth more stable and less likely to relapse—ingredients for that winning smile!

For more information or to receive a FREE smile consultation, call the Art of Dentistry, located at 7505 St. Andrews Rd., in Irmo, at 803-781-1600. Also visit

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