Braces are used to correct crooked, crowded teeth (malocclusion), or bad bites. Sometimes braces are recommended because the teeth are straight but the lower and upper jaws do not align correctly. Jaw or tooth alignment issues can be inherited, from early or late tooth loss, or thumb sucking. Correcting these issues with braces gives you a beautiful smile, but more importantly, gives you a healthier mouth.
If the issues mentioned above are not corrected, further oral issues could result including:
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
- Tooth decay
- Jaw issues
- Abnormal tooth enamel wear
- Difficulty with speech or chewing
How Do Braces Work?
Traditional braces move teeth by applying pressure. They consist of small brackets that are metal or ceramic. The brackets are attached to the teeth and connected with a wire. Patients are progressed through a wire series taht gradually moves the jaw and teeth over time.
When Can I Get Braces?
We recommend that children be evaluated for braces around age 7. Treatment that begins between the ages of 8 and 14, while a child is still growing, produces optimal results. That is not to say that adults cannot benefit greatly from orthodontic treatment as well. Approximately one of every five orthodontic patients is an adult! It is never too late to work toward a beautiful, healthy smile.
Adult orthodontics often requires special treatment. Unlike other offices which may involve a variety of practitioners in your care from different practices, all of your needs can be met right here in our office. Some patients may have gum tissue or bone loss around their teeth. This may require periodontal treatment before, during, or after having braces. During treatment, regular dental checkups to monitor your gums and teeth are very important. If you are missing or have worn teeth, implants may be needed. We may also need to bond or veneer teeth after orthodontic treatment. Being able to have all your needs met in our office allows you to achieve optimal results without having to worry about communication among several practitioners.
How Long Will I Need to Wear My Braces?
Treatments vary for everyone, but you will typically wear braces for one to three years. After braces are removed, you will be fitted for a retainer that helps keep teeth in their new positions.
Do Braces Hurt?
Braces are more comfortable now than in the past. New metals or ceramic materials can apply a constant, gentle pressure to move teeth and typically require less adjustments. These new designs make results more predictable as well. We are always reviewing new orthodontic techniques to continue to give you the most up-to-date and proven treatments.