2 Alignment Issues That Can Be Corrected Using Braces

Braces are commonly used to help align the teeth properly. Multiple types of braces may be appropriate based on the type and severity of your alignment issues. Traditional braces, which consist of metal brackets, an archwire and elastic ligatures are often used for orthodontic adjustments. However, other discreet types of braces, such as lingual braces, which are applied to the back side of the teeth, are also available. Here are a few orthodontic issues that can be corrected using braces:


Crowding occurs when the mouth is too small for the number of teeth that are present. When a child's teeth first start to erupt, there may be no signs of future crowding because of the limited number of teeth present. However, as the adult teeth start to come in, you may notice that the teeth overlap slightly. In severe cases of crowding in which there is simply no room for a new tooth to present, the teeth may align in two rows.

Before braces are applied to correct the alignment of crowded teeth, some extractions may be necessary to permit enough room to accommodate the proper movement of the teeth. Still, there are some types of braces that may not require extractions. Self-ligating braces, which don't require the use of elastic bands to hold the archwire in position, can sometimes reposition the teeth without the need for tooth removal. Instead, the braces move the teeth into a new position while widening the smile of the dental patient.

Braces that are self-ligating have brackets that include small holes, which keep the archwire in place. The self-ligation eliminates a great deal of the opposing frictional force that works against the aligning power of the braces. Traditional braces present a significant amount of opposing friction due to the rubbing of the elastic bands against the archwire and brackets.


Teeth that are not closely set may develop wide gaps between them. If the gaps greatly impact the appearance of your smile, you may be interested in having your teeth realigned. Braces can help shift the teeth closer together. However, once the teeth are realigned, if there is still significant room in the mouth for the teeth to migrate back out of position, your dentist may suggest that you wear a retainer to help the teeth remain in their proper place.

To learn more about different conditions that braces can correct, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist in your area.