Orthodontic braces have become a modern dental tool to recreate our smiles in the image we all want. many believe, orthodontic braces was a dental treatment reserved only for children. Rapid advancement in orthodontic techniques and materials have led to changes in the appearance of orthodontic appliances, and given dentists the ability to increase the speed of movement of our teeth.
Orthodontics have become an ideal treatment choice for many teens and adults (even seniors). There are multiple options for orthodontic treatment today to make them as cosmetic as possible with markedly shorter treatment lengths to go along with an improved cosmetic appearance. What are some common questions patients have about orthodontic braces? Below you will find many of them:
What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the treatment of irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusion) and jaws, including the use of braces.
Are Orthodontic Braces Just For Children and Teenagers?
According to the Orthodontic Association numbers about 1 in 5 (20%) of all orthodontic patients is an adult. This shows it is never too late to begin orthodontic treatment to correct various issues. These could include crowded or crooked teeth, temperomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), underbites, or even overbites. The process for adults and kids is the same but adults will present some challenges as expected. Children and adolescents are growing while adults are not. For adults, that window of opportunity has closed so treatment may take longer for adults.
What Is The Best Age To Get Orthodontic Braces?
While there is no “perfect” age. For children and teens it is usually between the ages of 10 and 14. The exact time depends on each individual’s tooth eruption schedule. With that said orthodontic braces are highly effective in older teens and adults as well. Any age is available provided the patient is healthy both systemically and dentally.
Are All Orthodontic Braces Ugly and Unattractive?
No. Modern orthodontics have made many advancements in both techniques and dental materials to allow for many attractive options. You can go colored or clear or even ceramic tooth colored brackets. Or you can go almost invisible using invisalign type retainers. Bottom line the capability is there to fit any needs and desires cosmetically.
How Long Should I Expect Orthodontic Treatment To Last?
The average length of treatment for most kids is 1-3 years. This can vary quite a bit from individual to individual based on severity of their particular case. Other factors come into play as well including dental hygiene maintenance, following dentist instructions, avoiding foods that can cause complications (example gum and gummy bears), and maintaining regular dentist schedule.
Are All Orthodontic Braces Treatment Uncomfortable and Painful?
No. Will there be some discomfort and pain as teeth are shifting…..yes. But that pain and discomfort should be quite temporary. If it is not speak to your dentist or orthodontist immediately.
Are Orthodontic Braces Only Cosmetic?
While they can be a very cosmetic procedure there are many functional benefits as well. Straighter teeth will be easier to keep clean. This will lead to better dental hygiene and decreased risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. Orthodontic braces can also correct skeletal issues which can equal reduced jaw pain and easier chewing by patient.
What Causes The Need For Orthodontic Braces?
Orthodontic problems are usually genetic. This means you inherited them from your parents. Issues can also occur through developmental factors. A few of the most commonly inherited conditions include crooked teeth and crowded teeth. Developmental factors such as thumb sucking and the premature loss of baby or permanent teeth can also cause the need for orthodontic braces.
Are There Alternatives To Orthodontic Braces?
Some Adults choose porcelain veneers instead of orthodontic braces to straighten the front teeth. This is a good cosmetic dentistry alternative, however, this will not correct many issues associated with orthodontic treatment.