While there are numerous solutions for straightening your teeth, metal braces are still the most popular choice. Yet many people are nervous about getting braces, as they do not know exactly what to expect. Here are the top 7 braces questions and answers.
1. What Are My Options?
Invisalign, billed as “the clear alternative to braces,” is one of the most common options. Other possibilities include self-ligating braces and clear braces. We will carefully evaluate your mouth and make a professional recommendation, but in many cases, which solution to choose is up to you.
2. At What Age Should My Child Get Braces?
We recommend that all children have an early orthodontics screening at seven years of age. This lets us evaluate the emerging teeth and perform any needed preventive treatments to give the teeth the best chance of coming in straight. Despite these preventive measures, though, children may still need braces. There is no “perfect age,” as each child is unique. For most kids, though, braces are placed between the ages of 10 and 14, depending on growth and tooth eruption rates.
3. How Long Does Treatment Last?
Braces treatment normally lasts from one to three years depending on the complexity of the orthodontic issues. You can minimize your treatment length by carefully following all instructions, wearing all devices as directed, keeping all appointments, and maintaining excellent oral hygiene.
4. Should Adults Get Braces?
Adults comprise approximately 20% of all braces wearers. As long as your teeth are healthy, braces can correct problems with your bite and give you decades of beautiful, straight teeth that are easy to clean.
5. Are Braces Just for Looks?
Most people who choose braces are primarily seeking a more aesthetic smile, but there are also important oral health reasons to get braces. A problematic bite can cause jaw pain when chewing and increase the risk for TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). Crooked or gapping teeth can also be difficult to keep clean, raising your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Braces correct these problems, improving your oral health.
6. Are Braces as Bad as They Used to Be?
Thanks to new technology, braces have evolved quickly over the past few years. Today’s metal brackets are far smaller than they once were, and brackets are now available in clear, tooth-color, and even bold fashion colors. Smart wires and brackets make treatment more efficient, more comfortable, and faster, while heat-activated wires reduce the pain of adjustments.
7. How Can I Calm My Child’s Fear of Getting Braces?
It’s tough to be a kid, and even tougher to be a kid with braces. Let your child have the time she needs to warm up to the idea. Gently remind her that many kids wear braces and that this is a short-term way to gain significant benefits for the rest of her life. If she knows anyone with braces, encourage her to ask lots of questions. Like adults, kids do best when they have plenty of information and support.