Facts about Orthodontic Procedures & Braces

The American Association of Orthodontists recommend that regular orthodontic checkups begin no later than seven years of age. Though at this age, orthodontic procedures will generally not be started right away, many problems are more easily corrected when spotted early, minimizing the possibility of surgery or other serious corrections later on in the patient’s life. In most cases, the ideal age for braces and other orthodontic treatments and corrections is between ten and fourteen years of age. Correcting orthodontic problems becomes more difficult with age, as the facial bones are more completely formed.

The first thing people often think of when they hear the word orthodontics is braces. Braces are also referred to as fixed orthodontic appliances, and come in three different types. The most commonly used are brackets, which can be either metal or plastic, which can be clear or tooth-colored. Brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth. There are also lingual-type brackets which attach to the backs of the teeth so they are hidden from view. Finally, there are bands which cover most of the teeth with metal bands which wrap around the teeth. There are also clear aligners which are more suitable for older, more responsible patients.

When the dentist applies the braces, he starts by attaching the brackets to the teeth with a special bonding agent. Wires called arch wires are then placed through the brackets. Finally, tiny elastic bands called ligatures are placed around the brackets to help hold the wires in place. A patient can expect to be uncomfortable for the first few days after the procedure, but most of the discomfort disappears within a week or two.

The savings from Ameriplan® on orthodontics can be substantial! In some areas, and depending on the provider, the discount can be over 50%!


  • http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/peds_adolescent/braces.cfm