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Malocclusion, or crooked teeth and a misaligned bite, is a common issue. Some people’s teeth come in crooked, overlapping, or crooked. This may occur when a person’s mouth it too small for their teeth, which causes crowding. Other times, a person may have upper and lower jaws that aren’t the same size or that did not form correctly. This can cause an overbite or an underbite. If you have malocclusion, Dr. Thomas Dowling may recommend braces in Olney, Maryland.

Braces can be made from different materials. Traditional braces are made of metal. However, for those who are hesitant about wearing metal brackets and wires, we offer cosmetic braces. These braces have brackets and wires that are made from clear or tooth-colored material. During your consultation, discuss your options with our orthodontist to find the best treatment for you.

Braces continuously apply pressure to the teeth over a period of time to move the teeth towards their ideal positions. When the teeth move, the supporting bone changes shape because of the applied pressure. Braces are made up of many components, including:

Brackets – The brackets are bonded to the front of each tooth or are attached to orthodontic bands. The brackets hold the arch wires in place that move the teeth.

Orthodontic bands – Stainless steel, clear, or tooth-colored materials that wrap around each tooth to provide an anchor for the brackets. Orthodontic bands are cemented to the teeth. Orthodontic bands are not used in every case. Some patients have brackets without orthodontic bands.

Arch wires – Arch wires attach to the brackets and guide the teeth to their ideal positions.

Ligatures – These tiny rubber bands hold the arch wires to the brackets.

Elastics or rubber bands – These are attached to hooks on the brackets and worn between the upper and lower teeth. They move the upper teeth against the lower teeth to achieve proper fit of individual teeth.

We welcome you to contact our office today for more information and to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist.