A lot of effort is made to help teenagers feel better about having braces.
However as around 70% of teenagers need braces, it’s a very common experience.
Yet adults can also need braces and it is less common amongst their peers so adults often have more issues about what other people think of them when they go to work and to social events with braces.
Feedback suggests many men feel a bit geeky with braces while women often feel unattractive.
Of course, some adults don’t care what other people think but many do.
The fact is the braces may seem like a big deal for you, especially at first because they are in your mouth. However, most other people barely notice or may just mention it in passing.
Many adults wore braces as kids or have kids who are in braces.
They are likely to be sympathetic and may even admire you for taking action to improve your appearance.
Several high profile actors and musicians have also worn braces as adults and this makes it much easier.
Of course, you may need to be prepared to answer questions – especially when some people meet you for the first time. So you may need a plan for dealing with certain events such as important business meetings.
The idea of getting braces may at first be daunting to a teenager.
But the benefits definitely make it worthwhile.
It may be hard to believe at first but the long-term benefit is a better smile that makes you look great.
Truth is about 70% of US teenagers need braces so, if you look around your class, probably about two out of three of your friends have braces or will have them soon.
Just take a look in the mirror and decide if you like your smile.
Whatever you think now, your orthodontist will make your smile even better.
Think about how much that will boost your social life.
However, it’s not just about your smile, there are many health benefits of braces:
– You will be able to chew your food better: When teeth are not straight, you can’t chew your food correctly. This can cause an upset stomach.
– You will avoid dental problems: If you do not get orthodontic treatment when you need it, your teeth will be hard to clean and your gums will hurt.
– You may avoid developing a breathing problem: The roof of your mouth can sometimes partially block the air passages in your nose. This causes you to snore loudly and may contribute to a condition called “sleep apnea”.
Therefore braces can make a big difference to your life both now and in the future.
Here is the truth on some common myths about orthodontists
Myth – Any dentist can straighten my teeth.
Truth – An orthodontist is a specialist at straightening teeth with two or three years of additional training after dental school.
They usually see hundreds of orthodontic patients a year where some family dentists may see only a handful.
Myth – Only children wear braces
Truth – Around 20% of orthodontic patients are adults
Myth – You only need to see an orthodontist for very complex cases.
Truth – Orthodontists have wide experience and deal with all types of orthodontic issue. However, their wide experience means they know exactly what to do in the most complex cases.
Myth – Seeing an orthodontist is more expensive than going to a general dentists for orthodontic treatment.
Truth – They are usually doing different work. An orthodontist offers value as an expert, highly experienced professional with specific training in this field.
Myth – Braces are painful and take years to work
Fact – Like a new pair of shoes, braces are perfectly comfortable after an initial ‘breaking in’ or adjustment period. Braces can get results after just a few months.
Myth – Braces are ugly and embarrassing in business settings.
Truth – Today braces can be made from clear plastic and can be nearly invisible. They can also be mounted on the back side of the teeth so that they are not visible.
Orthodontic treatment is about straightening out crooked and crowded teeth and may use special appliances such as braces.
While most dentists can deal with minor orthodontic problems, they will often refer patients to an orthodontist for more specialist care.
Orthodontists are dentists with additional training and they specialize in the treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
One of the key aspects of orthodontics is straightening teeth and correcting jaw alignment.
This can be done through braces, corrective procedures and other ‘appliances’.
There are two types of braces:
– Removable: The patient can take these out of their mouth at any time
– Fixed Braces: These are worn all the time and have to be removed by a dentist
The length of time a person needs to wear braces varies depending on the condition but most people wear braces for between one and three years.
After the braces are no longer needed, the person usually need to wear a ‘retainer’ for some time that holds teeth in their new position.
Modern braces are much more comfortable than ever and usually require fewer adjustments than older apparatus.
Braces are orthodontic appliances that can help straighten out crooked and crowded teeth.
As well as making you look better, they can help improve your dental health.
Many people have been put off wearing them because of how they look but modern braces can be very inconspicuous.
One way of making them inconspicuous is by having the brackets – the part that attaches to each tooth – fixed to the back of the tooth.
The brackets can be also be made in many different materials such as metal, ceramic or plastic so they can be more attractive or less visible.
They can also be designed to appear less noticeable – say be being clear or tooth-colored.
You can also choose to have them in virtually any color. You can even have them gold-plated or glowing in the dark.
Some people like to have their braces shaped in as something distinctive such as a heart or a football.
While modern braces can be comfortable and inconspicuous, there are some extra steps you can take in your central hygiene to look after them better.
Firstly, you need to continue brushing your teeth regularly – your dentist will show you the best approach.
You should also continue flossing daily and making regular visits to the dentist.
When you wear braces, it’s especially useful to limit any snacks between meals.
There are also some foods that your dentist may advise you to avoid such as nuts, popcorn, hard candy, chewing gum or caramel.
Some of these may interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires.
When you wear braces, you can still enjoy sports and other leisure activities.
Your dentist may recommend a protective mouth guard to cut any risk of injury to the mouth or jaw.
When you follow good oral hygiene practices, you can continue to wear braces comfortably while making a big difference to your smile and your dental health.
Braces are normally used to straighten teeth and to bring the lips and jaws into proper alignment.
Although the treatment has cosmetic benefits – giving you a better smile – it is not only done for cosmetic reasons.
When teeth are crooked or overlapping, more serious dental problems may develop.
Where teeth are out of alignment, it is more difficult to clean food debris and dental plaque from the teeth and this can increase the risk of dental cavities and gum disease.
There is also a greater risk of damage to the teeth or injury when the upper jaw juts forward,
For example, there may be more risk from an elbow in the mouth while playing sports.
There is also a higher risk of jaw-joint problems.
Braces work by fastening brackets to the front and outer side of the teeth and a wire is connected through the brackets.
This wire puts pressure on the teeth, moving them through the jawbone.
The process takes time – typically 18 – 24 months.
The most common ages for children to wear braces are between 11 and 13 but they should be taken for evaluation by a dentist or orthodontist before age 7.
This will help them see if any steps can be taken before then to solve problems and limit the treatment needed later.