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.
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.
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.
The vast majority of modern mothers believe braces today are much cooler than when they were young.
In a study for the American Association of Orthodontists, 86 percent of mothers said braces are cooler today than when they were kids and 69% said wearing braces makes their children feel cool.
The vast majority – 81 percent – said their children’s experience with orthodontic treatment was either positive or extremely positive.
One of the factors making braces better today is the range of different color options available so that children can choose the look they want.
This makes the kids feel better about their orthodontic treatment.
Even though the mothers feel braces are cooler today, most – 78 percent – of those who had braces theselves as a child feel it was a great investment by their parents.
Most feel comfortable about visits to the orthodontist and 81 percent rated their child’s experience of visiting the orthodontist as positive or extremely positive.
Entertaining video games and music help children enjoy their visits to the orthodontist while computer software that predicts how they will look after treatment keeps them motivated.
Orthodontists are specially-trained dentists who can give you a better smile.
They do this by bringing the teeth, jaw bones and facial profile into proper alignment.
Here are five ways they could help you or your family:
– Straightening your teeth to cut the risk of decay and gum disease
– Enhancing your appearance to boost your self-esteem
– Correcting protruding or misaligned teeth to get rid of speech problems
– Treating jaw joint difficulties known as TMJ
– Correcting jaw problems
An orthodontist will give you a full oral examination looking not just at the teeth but also at surrounding structures, jaw joints, facial aesthetics, muscular functions and speech patterns.
There are several options after this examination.
Sometimes – for example in younger children – it is too soon to do anything so they might advise coming back in a few months.
As the majority of a child’s facial growth happens before age 10, early treatment can deliver results without needing to have teeth extracted and may mean less time with braces.
When most of the adult teeth have erupted, it is possible to re-align the teeth into the desired position.
Although you get the best results by going to see an orthodontist as early as possible they can help people of any age.
If you don’t have straight teeth, you might wonder if you need to do anything about it.
Straight teeth have psychological and physiological benefits.
Straight teeth can help you bite, chew and speak better. They also contribute to healthy teeth and gums.
Properly aligned teeth and jaws may also alleviate or prevent physical health problems.
Having straight teeth enhances your smile and makes you look better.
An attractive smile enhances your self-esteem, self-confidence and self-image.
Orthodontic treatment can improve your appearance by bringing teeth, lips and face into proportion.
It can therefore be a step towards greater social and career success and can help you enjoy life more.
Straight teeth therefore work better and make you look better.
People with beautiful smiles therefore have a lot to be happy about.
Correcting problems with crowded and crooked teeth not only gives you a better smile, it also leads to a healthier mouth.
Malocclusion, also known as bad bite, involves teeth that are crowded or crooked.
Sometimes, the upper and lower jaws may not meet properly and, although the teeth may appear straight, the individual may have an uneven bite.
Problems such as protruding, crowded or irregularly spaced teeth may be inherited. But thumb-sucking, losing teeth prematurely and accidents also can lead to these conditions.
As well as spoiling your smile, crooked and crowded teeth make cleaning the mouth difficult. This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and possibly tooth loss.
A bad bite can also interfere with chewing and speaking, cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel and lead to problems with the jaws.
Orthodontic treatment can help correcting these problems giving you a better smile but, more importantly, creating a healthier mouth.
Your dentist will advise you on how orthodontic treatment could help you.
Braces are orthodontic apparatus used to help fix crooked and crowded teeth.
While modern braces can be comfortable and inconspicuous, you may have to take extra steps to care for your teeth when wearing them.
Its important that you continue good oral hygiene practices while wearing braces.
You need to continue brushing regularly, following the approach suggested by your dentist, as well as flossing daily and making regular visits to the dentist.
People with braces should stick to a balanced diet and limit the number of snacks between meals.
Your dentist may suggest that you avoid certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires. This can include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods such as chewing gum or caramel.
You can still continue to enjoy sports and other activities but a protective mouth guard is often recommended to reduce the risk of injury to the mouth or jaw. Your dentist will suggest an appropriate mouth guard when the braces are in place.
Braces can make a big difference to your smile and your future dental health. Modern technology and following good practices means you should be able to wear them with comfort and confidence.
Invisalign is a system of clear mouthguards that can be used instead of braces to help straighten teeth.
The big advantage is that Invisalign looks better and is more comfortable than braces.
However, not everyone is a candidate for using the system so you with have to check with your dentist.
If an orthodontist certified in Invisalign says you can benefit from the system, they will take impressions of your mouth, write up a detailed specification and then send everything to a high-tech lab.
Next, the lab will show the orthodontist a preview of the appliances.
The lab then makes a series of aligners – depending on the situation, you may need between 12 to 48 aligners.
After the impression of the teeth is taken, it will normally require a visit to the orthodontist every six weeks.
Some patients will be advised to wear metal braces for a period and then switching to Invisalign when their mouth is ready.
For many people Invisalign provides an ideal way of making their smile look better.
When buying dental products, its a good idea to look out for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.
The first Seal of Acceptance was awarded in 1931 and its regarded as an important symbol of a dental product’s safety and effectiveness.
Although the Seal program is strictly voluntary, approximately 100 companies participate in it and they commit significant resources to testing their products in clinical and laboratory conditions.
More than 300 consumer dental products carry the Seal of Acceptance. These include toothpaste, dental floss, manual and electric toothbrushes, mouth rinse and chewing gum.
You can get more information about the seal and how it is awarded for specific products at http://www.ada.org/ada/seal/
This site also contains links to the most current lists of accepted consumer products.