Your dentist may have spoken to you about the benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw alignment. Crooked, crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This causes tooth decay and gum disease and leads to tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty chewing, gum & bone loss, and misalignment of the jaw joints. These can cause recurring headaches and face & neck pain. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and an orthodontist can prevent these problems for less cost than waiting for them to crop up before getting them fixed.
A beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of braces. When your braces come off, you’ll feel more confident. Children benefit greatly from this confidence boost. In orthodontics studies from the UK, researchers found that kids who got braces felt more confident and less teased, confirming what orthodontists who’ve watched a shy child who won’t show their mouth transform into a happy boy or girl pleased to grin at everybody have long known.
How Braces & Orthodontic Treatments Work
Orthodontic appliances are made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They’re removable or bonded to the teeth. Each individual appliance is unique, made especially for the patient’s needs. All orthodontics work the same way, however. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move the teeth into the right position.
Orthodontic appliances have changed quite a bit over the years. We no longer place metal bands around each tooth. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic. You can choose the colour of the ties that hold the wires in. Or you can choose to have nearly invisible braces with the Invisalign system, so you can start to feel less self-conscious about your smile right away.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time will typically range from one to three years. Like the individual appliance, treatment time depends on the patient and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and each patient will respond differently to their braces, so the total time can vary. Early treatment procedures can take as little as six months.
Regular use of any prescribed equipment is an important factor in getting the best, fastest treatment. Rubber bands can be a pain, especially when you aren’t used to wearing them and forget to put them back on after eating or brushing your teeth. If you have trouble remembering to wear your rubber bands or other prescribed equipment, there’s a rubber band reminder app for Android and iPhone to help you get your braces off sooner!