Braces: What You Need to Know
There’s a negative perception surrounding the idea of dental braces. For many people, they are simply a big inconvenience; braces are bulky, unattractive, and even painful. Many think braces are a form of optional suffering on the road to a million-dollar smile and that there are teeth braces side effects you need to deal with. It’s 2018, and it’s time to go beyond this simplistic understanding of this powerful tool – especially that there is no teeth braces age limit.
In reality, teeth braces can positively impact not only the beauty of your smile, but also the integrity of your bone structure and your overall health. Braces address multiple problems that can depress a person’s self-esteem, and that can lead to chronic health concerns like headaches and tooth pain. It can help improve your bite and your smile.
Getting braces is both a health and beauty concern for adolescents and adults. Before you turn away from the benefits and medical importance of braces, you need a better grasp of what problems braces address and why dental health and beauty is best left to professionals.
Addressing Important Teeth and Alignment Problems with Braces
People approach their nearest dental specialist and orthodontist for a variety of reasons. Some want to correct crooked teeth to achieve a more beautiful and dazzling smile. Others need braces and corrective treatment their teeth straightened and aligned to solve problems with speech.
Braces have the ability to conveniently and effectively address important teeth and jaw alignment problems. While the duration of treatment differs depending on the type of braces, the right fit can result in a better smile and less health problems.
The important teeth and alignment problems which braces can treat include spacing, crossbite, open bite, overjet, reverse bite and misplaced teeth.
Spacing, Overcrowding and Misplaced Teeth
Many parents come with their children to consult about gaps between teeth or overcrowding and overlapping. A gap between teeth, called a diastema, is often seen between the two upper front teeth, or between any teeth. Gaps or excessive spacing are often caused by extra space in the jawbones, compared to the size of the teeth.
On the other hand, overcrowding and overlapping of teeth is because the teeth develop to be too big for the jaw. Overlapping teeth appear crooked and can be uncomfortable.
There are also other reasons for gaps aside from the difference in jaw size and teeth size. Some teeth may be missing, or undersized. Overcrowding can be due to having extra teeth. It may also develop in relation to a cleft lip or palate.
To understand the cause of teeth spacing problems, it is best to consult with a specialist.
Normally, the upper teeth rests a little outside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. A malocclusion, or “bad bite”, occurs when the two rows don’t meet properly.
A crossbite is a type of malocclusion. This occurs when your teeth, or even just one tooth, are not in its correct position in relation to the corresponding tooth on the upper or lower jaw. It can be closer to the cheek or tongue than it should be.
The problem of crossbite often presents in childhood and does not resolve through the years. This misalignment problem can involve the front, back or both sets of teeth.
There are many causes of crossbite. It can be hereditary, or due to delayed eruption. Braces are a popular method of correction for crossbite.
Underbite or Reverse Bite
An underbite, or reverse bite, is a type of malocclusion. Also known as prognathism, this problem occurs when the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. The gap may be minimal or it may be wide.
Most patients present with an underbite at a young age. This condition can cause many problems when left untreated, such as speech difficulties, eating difficulties, chronic pain, and mouth breathing.
There are many corrective measures for an underbite, including jaw surgery to braces.
Another type of malocclusion is open bite. In this type of dental and jaw problem, the teeth are misaligned so that they do not come together when the mouth closes. There is a gap between the two rows of teeth.
An open bite presents many problems, aside from changing the look of your smile. It can cause difficulties with speaking and lead to speech impediments.
There are many treatment options for open bite, including braces. The treatment for you depends on a few factors. It is best to consult with the orthodontist.
Overjet is a type of teeth problem where the top front teeth point outwards or protrude towards the lip. It was commonly called “buck teeth”, and it can be treated. For many people, overjet causes embarrassment and low self-esteem.
Aside from affecting your smile, overjet can also put your front risk at a higher risk of damage upon an accident. It can also create problems with chewing.
The problem of overjet can be treated effectively using braces.
Specialists plan out your treatment to address your needs. Over time, braces apply the correct amount of pressure in the right direction to manipulate and encourage bone remodelling.
To know more about how braces work, watch this video:
The Benefits of Wearing Braces
There are different braces types for types of teeth and alignment problems. Aside from effectively treating these important dental health issues, wearing braces also leads to other great benefits in your confidence, speech and oral health.
1. Improve Your Self-Esteem
Crooked teeth or an uneven bite can be a source of discomfort and low self-esteem. By wearing corrective braces, you can improve your appearance and boost your confidence.
You can also move around more comfortably without the threat of tooth pain or other dental health problems.
2. Correct Speech Problems
Many people don’t realize it, but misaligned or crooked teeth can cause speech problems such as whistling or lisp. Certain sounds are made by resting your tongue against your teeth.
By correcting tooth and jaw problems with braces, you can correct an existing speech problem.
3. Prevent Tooth and Gum Diseases
Tooth decay and gum diseases are influenced by many factors, including overlapping teeth. Crowded teeth form the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria, because they provide an enclosed environment that is difficult to clean.
With the proper maintenance and adjustment of braces, you can achieve better alignment and teeth placement along with reduced chances of teeth and gum decay.
The Different Types of Braces
There are different types of braces that suit the lifestyle, needs and budget of the individual. Here’s a quick guide to the different types available, from fixed to removable braces.
1. Metal Braces
Metal braces, or traditional braces, are the type that is most commonly found because of its effectivity and price. They are the “first generation” type of braces. The brackets are usually made of high-grade stainless steel, and are glued to the front of the teeth.
A metallic wire connects the brackets of the braces together and creates an applied pressure on the teeth. This archwire is held in place by ‘ligatures’, which are elastic bands that can come in a variety of colours. The choice of modules or bands can make this option appealing for children and young adolescents.
Another type of metallic braces are self-ligating braces. These do not require ligatures, but instead use specialized metal clips.
This pressure is calculated by the orthodontist. It can be directed to a particular side, depending on your alignment problem.
While they are the most effective and also the cheapest, metal braces can be inconvenient due to their high visibility and difficulty to clean.
2. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are similar to the traditional metal braces. They are often considered as more appealing because unlike metal braces, the metal brackets and wires are attached to the inside and not the outside of the teeth. Lingual braces are not visible from the outside.
However, lingual braces can be more difficult to clean. They also take longer to effectively adjust the alignment of your teeth. Because the brackets rest inside the teeth, lingual braces may cause very slight differences in your speech.
3. Clear or Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces provide a different aesthetic advantage, while remaining very effective. While they are still attached to the outside of the teeth, the material of the brackets — made from composite materials which can be natural-toned or completely transparent– make it seem like you’re not wearing bulky braces. These materials include ceramic or polycarbonate (plastic).
Like metallic braces, clear braces can be conventional or self-ligating.
While they are less noticeable, this type of braces can be brittle or more fragile because of the different material. Ceramic braces are therefore not as easy to maintain, making teeth braces cost more. The aesthetic advantage may also be hampered by the fact that ceramic can stain.
4. Invisible Braces
Invisible braces are custom-made and completely transparent, giving them an edge when it comes to appearance. Unlike the other types of braces, which are glued onto the teeth, invisible braces can be removed when eating or brushing. However, this also means that invisible braces can be misplaced easily.
This type of braces is less common because they can only work on the teeth of those with minor alignment problems. Invisible braces cost more, and they take longer to be as effective as traditional braces.
Remember: it’s always best to consult thoroughly with an orthodontist about your health and beauty needs before spending your money on one type of braces.
Visiting a Health and Beauty Specialist for Braces
Orthodontic treatment can begin at any time. Our specialists recommend beginning treatment using braces at the onset of puberty, around 12 or 13 years of age.
To fully prevent the development of further teeth and health problems, as well as to get all the benefits of a beautifully aligned smile, contact your trusted orthodontist today!