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What Are the Different Types of Orthodontic Supplies?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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There are many different types of orthodontic supplies, but orthodontic braces are one of the most common types. Orthodontic braces are used to align teeth by gradually pulling them into position with the help of dental cement, orthodontic bands and wires. The bands are used to provide steady pressure by pulling on the teeth with the braces. In addition, orthodontic archwires, which can be made of different types of material, can also be used to put gradual pressure on the teeth. Finally, orthodontic pliers and wire cutters are typically used to remove braces and related orthodontic supplies from a patient’s mouth when the time is right.

A common category of orthodontic supplies is orthodontic braces, more simply known as braces. Sometimes, people who have misaligned teeth choose to have orthodontic braces installed. Braces can correct the alignment of a person’s teeth and make them easier to take care of and more aesthetically pleasing. Orthodontic braces are typically made of metal wires, but clear plastic braces are available. The amount of time it takes to make a difference varies greatly, anywhere from under a year to about five years.

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Orthodontic bands are one of the orthodontic supplies key to braces repositioning a person's teeth. These small rubber bands can be used to apply pressure to teeth and try to move them in a certain direction. As a person can lose his or her teeth if they are moved too abruptly, this method of small steady pressure can be integral to aligning teeth. Constant steady pressure is the typical safe way that orthodontists readjust the alignment of a person's teeth.

Similar to orthodontic bands, orthodontic archwires apply pressure to teeth. They can be made of many different types of metal, such as beta-titanium, nickel-titanium and stainless steel. Based on composition and material, different archwires provide different amounts of pressure and are typically changed as treatment progresses.

A special kind of pliers is used by orthodontists when removing a person’s braces. Orthodontists remove the brackets from around the patient’s teeth with this device before they fully remove braces. Normally, most parts of braces that require cutting break cleanly and can be removed without issue. Similar tools may be used to scrape cement off the teeth and unhook orthodontic bands while removing orthodontic braces. This is not a dangerous procedure but it can be painful for the patient, and his or her gums might appear swollen for hours afterward.

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