A dentist will usually recommend a brace in order to improve a patient’s facial appearance, both externally and inside the mouth itself. Crooked and crowded teeth, overbites, underbites and crossbites, misaligned jaw and jaw disorders, if left untreated can cause serious problems. The list includes problems with speaking, biting or chewing food and also headaches or earaches, in addition to ongoing general dental pain.
When to get a brace
Dental patients at popular practices such as Ace Dental in Camden can benefit from braces at any age – though the ideal time would be between the age of 10 and 14, while the jawbone and head are still growing. Straightening teeth is easier at this stage. However, braces are not reserved only for children, they are increasingly rapidly in popularity in adults, due to the new options available.
What are the options?
The most popular type of braces is the more traditional bracket form, which are bonded to the teeth. They come in metal, ceramic or plastic and can be customised into different colours to make them more appealing to children. The ceramic type of brace can be either totally clear or tooth coloured, so they are often practically invisible. Another option is the concealed brace, which attaches to the back of the teeth and is completely hidden.
Newer braces, such as Invisalign, are not totally fixed. Patients are able to remove them to brush, floss or eat if required. This type of brace is only suitable for milder problems.
How long do I have to wear them for?
This depends on each individual case. In general, the more complicated the problem, the longer the course of treatment. For most people treatment is between 12 and 24 months in total.
Is it uncomfortable?
Your teeth will be gently guided into the correct new position, meaning that your teeth and jaws might feel slightly sore at times, but discomfort levels are generally very low.
It is important to cut down on habits that may cause decay and gum disease during the treatment. Very sticky sweets, particularly crunchy snacks like nuts can cause aggravation of the brace and so must be avoided. During and after treatment, maintaining a good standard of oral hygiene is more important than ever.