Do you have crooked or crowded teeth or a misaligned bite? If so, there are a variety of treatments that can help straighten your teeth, including braces. It’s never too late to achieve that smile you’ve always wanted!
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends screening children at the age of 7 because early childhood is the best time for treatment. Treatment that starts while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. That doesn’t mean that adults can’t have braces because healthy teeth can be treated orthodontically at any age.
The orthodontic community has made significant strides in recent years to improve braces. All different types of braces work by applying continuous pressure over time to gradually move them to a more attractive position.
Traditional braces have brackets that hold an adjustment wire in place. The wire is threaded through the brackets, applying pressure to move your teeth, and are adjusted regularly during treatment. Treatment times will differ based on the severity of your condition, with most completed within two to two and a half years. Once you achieve the desired results, you will wear a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting to their former positions.
There are many reasons you may consider braces. Braces are commonly used for teeth straightening, for aesthetic purposes, or to address an extreme need. People with crooked teeth that are not correctly aligned may develop an abnormal bite, which can affect the way they chew or process food. Misaligned bites may cause headaches and other problems.
Braces are used to treat crowded teeth, which result from the jaw not having enough room to fit all the teeth. If left untreated, overcrowded teeth may get worse, resulting in severely crooked teeth and a multitude of oral problems.
Braces are frequently used to correct underbites and overbites, which may prevent the regular function of teeth, leading to tooth wear and can lead to painful jaw problems. Braces are also useful in treating crossbites, where the upper and lower jaws are misaligned, and open bites where some teeth are unable to make contact with opposing teeth. Open bites often cause a painful condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Some people opt for braces for cosmetic purposes, because after all, who wants misaligned teeth?
BRACES FOR ADULTS
Do you think braces are only for children or teens? That is no longer the case. More and more adults are choosing orthodontic treatments to treat different conditions. Misaligned teeth can contribute to serious health problems for your teeth and mouth.
Some people want to correct their bites or improve their smiles, while others aim to improve their oral health or avoid serious dental problems. If you are considering braces, Dr. Fortson and his team will help you decide on the best course of treatment for you.
CARING FOR BRACES
Once your braces are placed, you may expect some mild discomfort as pressure is applied to your teeth to shift them. Pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help. Your discomfort and sensitivity should ease up after a few days.
You will need to make sure to take good care of your oral hygiene by caring properly for your braces. You will need to brush your teeth regularly and use a Waterpik to flush out the food particles that can get caught between your braces and your teeth. You should also avoid sticky foods. With adequate care and regular checkups, you can keep your teeth healthy.
TALK TO OUR EXPERTS!
We were not all born with perfectly straight teeth, but with good oral hygiene and a little help from orthodontics, you can get your beautiful and healthy smile. Visit us at Fortson Dentistry to learn more about braces and how they can brighten your smile. We are here to discuss your options and help you determine the right orthodontic treatment for you. It's never too late to get that dazzling smile!
TYPES OF BRACES
Orthodontics today offer more kinds of braces than ever before. Below are options available to you.
Traditional Braces or Metal Braces: These are the orthodontic treatments that most people think of when they hear the word “braces.” They come with metal brackets and wires and are the most visible of all types. Kids love the different color choice of bands. Today’s modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than in the past. Additionally, heat-activated archwires use your body’s heat to help teeth move more quickly and comfortably than in the past. Metal braces are the least expensive types of orthodontic treatments.
Ceramic Braces: These come in the same size and shape as metal braces, except they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that are less noticeable than their traditional counterparts. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be less visible. Ceramic braces are more costly than metal ones, and can easily stain if you do not care well for them.
Lingual Braces: These braces work the same way as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of your teeth, making them invisible from the outside. They offer a cosmetic alternative for those who want their teeth straightened, without the braces showing.
Invisalign: Invisalign clear aligners are custom made for you of proprietary, multilayer SmartTrack® material to gently shift your teeth into place. They are virtually invisible and fit snugly over your teeth. Each aligner shifts your teeth slightly, moving them horizontally and vertically and even rotating them when needed. Your aligners are engineered to use the right amount of force in the right place at the right time. Aligners are removable, enabling you to eat anything you want to, and to engage in any activities freely.