The oral cavity is something that is complex. Reach into it, and you will feel all sorts of textures. The saliva makes it slimy, there is soft tissue that you can feel around, and then you have your teeth that are basically bone protrusions. They also demand quite a regimen for maintenance. The minimum effort required for people to do is to brush after every meal. But then you also have other stuff you can use like floss, mouthwash, and countless other products aimed at oral hygiene. Not giving your mouth the care it deserves could lead to tooth decay, which could then give you other symptoms like bad breath and all sorts of pain.
When this happens, you must turn to an orthodontist or a dentist to find out the solution to your problems. The former is especially adept at corrective treatments for crooked teeth or misaligned jaws. These are not things that can be solved in a day. Depending on the procedure that will be done, the whole process can take weeks or even years to fully complete. Wearing braces, for example, aims to align crooked teeth by having brackets forcing them into the right place. You will be estimated to wear those between one and three years. But that is the bigger picture. Your patient will start to be tested right inside the clinic, and these orthodontic contraptions are great evidence of that.
Getting braces involves attaching brackets to your teeth. These are designed with holes that can hold metal wires that pull everything together. The brackets are placed on each tooth using a special adhesive. But for starters, their surfaces need to be prepped up. A drop of an acidic solution is placed on the tooth to soften the surface for a little bit. After letting it sit for a few minutes, they are cleaned off with a vacuum.
The orthodontist then proceeds to glue in the brackets one by one. And while all this is happening, you would be wearing what is called a cheek retractor. This is a contraption that is designed to push cheeks and lips away from your teeth, and it allows the adhesive to dry without being contaminated by your saliva.
If you have ever been in an operating room, this will look familiar. The dental dam is like a coat made of rubber that you put over your mouth, and this isolates the part of the mouth that needs to be worked on. It is like surgery, where they put a cloth on the part of your body that will be sliced up. This is also done to avoid contamination. And just like that, the dental dam is something that you have to have on your mouth for the whole duration of surgery.
Braces need to be tailor-made for each patient. Due to this, the orthodontist needs a three-dimensional map of your oral cavity as preparation. One way to do this is by asking the patient to bite onto a wet plaster mix. They will have to hold this position for about three to four minutes. After that is done, they should have the impression that they need for them to create a mold. But there are now clinics that use 3-D scanning technology. This does not require a huge effort from the patient, so you might see the molding process become outdated in the near future.
There is nothing more excruciating than being asked to hold an awkward position. And when these involve your mouth, things become much more difficult. It is hard enough to keep yourself from swallowing, and biting or just having something in your oral cavity for several minutes would really test your patience. But if it is really important for you to do it, that is better than having to deal with dental pain for one more day.