Partial braces can save patients time and money by providing treatment on only the front teeth. They are commonly requested by adults who want braces for cosmetic reasons. However, partial braces cannot offer full correction for bite and alignment issues, so they may not offer the most beneficial treatment to every patient. Continue reading to learn if partial braces are right for you or your child.
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Define “Partial Braces”
Partial braces, also called “single arch braces,” only treat one row of teeth on the top or bottom. They only apply to the front four to six teeth. Brackets in the back of the mouth hold the braces in place but do not treat the molars like full braces can.
They often include elastic bands on each bracket. They can treat minor cosmetic issues with crowded or misaligned teeth, but they are not suitable to correct major issues.
Often, treatment with partial braces doesn’t last as long. They’re rarely worn for longer than a year, with an average treatment time of 10 months. This makes them enticing for patients who hope to save time and money on their treatment or who only want braces to correct minor cosmetic issues.
However, partial braces are not for everyone. Consider the below reasons why you or your child may benefit from partial braces.
Reasons to Get Partial Braces
Partial braces can offer limited treatment options for those seeking minor corrections or cosmetic treatments. These are the main reasons orthodontists recommend partial braces to patients:
Children’s teeth can become crowded if their adult teeth come in incorrectly. Both the top and bottom teeth may need correction that partial braces can offer. This also applies to teeth with gaps, which are sometimes straight and may not require full braces treatment. Partial braces can offer an early preventative measure for spacing issues.
Bite issues can arise from teeth on either the top or bottom lining up incorrectly. Partial braces can address them and fix minor problems with chewing, eating, and speech. Crossbites and even overbites can be treated this way.
Top vs Bottom
Sometimes, bottom or top teeth can come in crooked while the other row remains straight. In that case, full braces may not be necessary. Partial braces offer an economic way to straighten only one row of teeth at a time.
What Partial Braces Do Not Treat
Partial braces cannot offer comprehensive treatment for all issues. Problems related to jaw structure are especially unresponsive to partial braces. Bite issues related to jaw placement cannot be fixed with partial braces and can even be made worse. As the teeth are pulled together, they may exacerbate bite problems rather than correct them.
Since the effectiveness of partial braces depends on the patient’s jaw structure and the source of their problems, it’s imperative to ask your orthodontist if partial braces are right for you.
Caring for Partial Braces
If you and your orthodontist decide that partial braces will help you, you or your child need to know how to keep them clean to maximize their effectiveness. Despite only treating a few teeth, partial braces need the same care and devotion as a full set.
You should brush and floss twice a day, in addition to brushing after each meal. As with normal braces, foods that are overly crunchy, hard, sticky, or fibrous can damage them. Parents should avoid buying their children certain types of candy during partial braces treatment.
Unlike full braces, partial braces don’t connect with a full archwire. This means that the smaller wire is even more susceptible to damage from hard foods, requiring extra care to ensure it stays straight.
While partial braces may cause some discomfort, it should subside after a few days. If your child continues to complain of pain or tightness, you can give them over-the-counter pain relievers until they feel better.
Talk with your orthodontist about what to expect from partial braces and how to help your child through their treatment. They can offer you recommendations for foods to avoid so that treatment proceeds without unnecessary malfunctions. The pain from a bent wire added to the obligation to visit your orthodontist for correction isn’t worth a hard candy.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
We hope you have a better idea if partial braces are right for you or your child. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and options. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible care in your area!Schedule Appointment