Misaligned teeth affect your appearance, weaken your teeth and cause permanent damage to your dental structure. Having an orthodontic treatment, therefore, is not only for your appearance but for protecting your dental structure and preserving your teeth.
Ever since their inception 300 years ago, braces have been used to correct malocclusion in people of all ages. These appliances are available in different types, but all have one common goal; to align your teeth for better oral health. Before you can come for your orthodontic treatment, here are five facts to know.
1. Braces Are Used When Necessary
Dental braces are not used for every person. The orthodontist can recommend braces to correct various conditions like:
- Irregular or late loss of baby teeth
- Delayed emergence of permanent teeth
- Unproportioned jaw and teeth
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Over or underbite
- Incorrect jaw positioning
- When you have missing or extra teeth
2. No One Type of Braces is Ideal for All
Contrary to popular opinion, traditional braces are not the only best option. although they are the commonly used type, these metal braces are not suitable for people looking for a less conspicuous option.
Traditional braces contain metal brackets that are fixed on the outer surface of the teeth to straighten them. Metal braces are fixed and removed at the dental clinic, and also need frequent adjustments to ensure proper alignment.
Other types of braces include:
- Clear braces are subtle and can be used at home. Furthermore, they are removable, and unlike metal braces, they are easy to clean.
- Lingual braces are similar to traditional ones but are placed inside the teeth instead. If you don’t want the metal braces, you can opt for these as they are unnoticeable.
- Clear aligners work similarly to metal braces without the inconvenience of the metal and wires
3. The Treatment Time Differs
The length for using the braces varies from person to person based on several factors:
- The severity of the problem
- The distance between the teeth
- The amount of room available
- The health of teeth and gums
- The available bone density
- Your willingness to follow the dentist’s instructions
However, on average, you should expect to use the braces between one and three years. Age can also affect the treatment process. Braces work faster in children because their teeth are still growing and therefore can be easily manipulated. Since the jaw growth is complete, adults may take longer and will also need other orthodontic treatments to solve the problem successfully.
4. You May Experience Slight Discomfort
When the metal braces are fixed, you will not experience any pain. However, in the days that follow, you will have slight discomfort as the teeth begin to move to the position. The discomfort also happens every time the braces are readjusted. The dentist may prescribe pain relievers to ease the pain and discomfort.
5. Dental Braces Maintenance is Important
The braces, especially the metal wires, can trap food and cause plaque buildup. If not brushed properly, the plaques can stain teeth. Our dentist advises you to brush your teeth after every meal to remove food particles and rinse with fluoride mouthwash at least once every day. If you choose clear braces, you should remove and clean them every time you brush to keep them clean.
Avoid foods that can cause the braces to crack and break such as corn, nuts, taffy or caramels.
What to Expect After the Braces Come Off?
After the treatment process is done, the dentist will remove the metal braces and clean your teeth. An x-ray and dental impression will be done to check the alignment of the teeth.
You may have to wear a retainer, a custom-made appliance that helps to maintain the teeth position after the braces are removed. The time frame for wearing the retainer will vary, but on average you may need them for about six months.
Don’t live with misaligned and crowded teeth. Contact us and we will be happy to help you choose a dental brace suitable for you.