Braces are orthodontic devices that help in aligning and rectifying the position of a person’s teeth with regard to his bite. Also known as orthodontic cases, these are built not only for proper alignment or straightening of teeth and jaws, but also to improve oral health.
Improper alignment of teeth such as crooked teeth or crowded teeth or incorrect jaw positions affect the shape of your face. Hence, a dentist recommends dental braces to improve and sharpen a person’s orofacial structure and appearance. But the effects of poorly structured teeth and jaws goes beyond cosmetic; if it is left untreated, one can develop various dental disorders such as tooth decay and gum disease. Furthermore, it can cause migraines and headaches. It can also affect the way you speak, bite and chew – which could make you feel conscious in social gathering and lower your confidence.
Before we get into why people need braces, let’s address a few questions and concerns when it comes to dental braces.
The Nitty Gritty
- The right time to get them: Ordinarily, the best time to get braces is between the ages of 10-14 years because the head and mouth of the child is in its growing stage and the teeth are more flexible to changes in alignment.
But braces aren’t just for kids – adults are wearing them today to make minor corrections too.
- The different types of braces: Essentially, there are three types of braces; Ceramic brackets, metal brackets and concealed brackets. A new removable alternative for these called aligners are used by adults who have minor spacing problems. Your dentist will recommend the right type of braces for you.
- How long does it take?
Although it depends on the treatment plan and severity of the problem, on an average a person would have to wear braces for at least 12-24 months and mostly follow it up with retainers. The older the person, the longer the treatment will take.
- Eat healthy, clean regularly!
Here are some of the reasons why people get braces:
- Underbite: When the lower jaw extends out causing the lower front teeth to overlap the upper front teeth.
- Spacing issues: This includes missing teeth or unnecessary gaps caused by deformed teeth.
- Protrusion of upper front teeth: When the upper front teeth extend too far causing problems in normal functions of the teeth. It also impacts the way you chew, bite and speak.
- Crowding of teeth: Due to insufficient room for teeth to grow out from the gums, it all starts crowding and becomes uneven. .
- Crossbite: When the upper teeth tend to sit in the gaps of the lower teeth, the jaws become misaligned and it also causes tooth stratification.
- Overbite: Harmful for the roof of the mouth, the lower front teeth are covered by the upper, which results in you bite into the gums.
- Openbite: No overlap or alignment of any sort in the upper and lower front teeth which results in improper chewing and also tongue thrusting habits.
- Unmatched dental midlines: Incorrect or uncoordinated back bite which negatively impacts other dental functions.
It is important to understand that dental problems must always be nipped in the bud and not be neglected as this could have adverse effects on other parts of the body.
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