Many people are born with crooked and asymmetrical teeth. Another large portion has their teeth slowly moved out of place by growth in adolescence. If you have crooked teeth, at any age, it doesn’t mean you have to live with it forever. Orthodontics has the ability to radically change the appearance of your teeth, revolutionize your smile – and your life.
People generally think that braces are just for younger people, but adults are more commonly wearing them too. Braces are a great way to straighten your teeth at any age, and often adults actually do not have to wear them for long.
If you do not want traditional braces, we offer a newer technology called Invisalign. This orthodontic development is a clear plastic retainer that uses the same principal as braces in straightening teeth, but it is removable and nearly invisible. Many people choose this as an easy alternative to metal braces.
Interceptive orthodontic is an essential part of our treatment plan, early child visit may be a chance to diagnose early a future orthodontic problem which will solved through a simple treatment rather than the complicated one if the problem left for future.
Are there any alternatives to braces?
- Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternatives to braces, but there are alternatives to the metal braces that many people immediately picture. You can get clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires, which make braces much less noticeable. Some patients are also eligible for Invisalign instead of traditional braces. There are also other types of removable appliances that can help align teeth.
- Some adults choose to get veneers instead of braces to serve as a purely cosmetic fix. However, these are quite expensive, may need to be replaced at some point in life, and do not actually correct any bite issues.
- What’s the best age to get braces?
- There’s no set “best” age to get braces. For most kids, the best time for braces is generally between ages 10 and 14, when a child’s mouth and head are still growing and the permanent teeth are erupting. The exact time depends on growth and on how quickly a child’s adult teeth come in. However, braces can still be effective in older teenagers and adults.
What does “Phase I” and “Phase II” treatment mean?
- Phase I, also known as “early intervention”, refers to orthodontic treatment that occurs before a child has all of their permanent teeth. This usually happens between ages 7-10. Phase I treatment doesn’t always function as a complete replacement for braces – its purpose is to fix problems that are most easily corrected at an early age and to make the Phase II treatment (braces) easier. To put it simply, Phase I takes care of the initial structural (skeletal) corrections so that braces can make more refined (dental) corrections and finish the job.
- Some orthodontic problems like underbites/crossbites, large over bites, severe crowding, severely protruded front teeth, and narrow jaws are easier to correct at a younger age. Early correction often leads to easier and more predictable treatment after all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Early intervention can also decrease the need to extract permanent teeth in the future, correct harmful habits like thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting, and speech problems, reduce the risk of tooth trauma to protruded front teeth, eliminate the need for later corrective surgery, and reduce teasing caused by abnormally crooked teeth.
- Between Phase I and II, kids may wear a retainer or space maintainer to maintain their progress, and should continue visiting their orthodontist so he or she can check on jaw and tooth development.
- Phase II, sometimes just called “active treatment”, consists of full braces. It’s designed to finish straightening the teeth and correcting the bite once all the permanent teeth have come in.
How long do people have to wear braces?
- On average, most kids wear braces for 1 to 2 years, but this can vary greatly for each person based on growth and the severity of the problem. It also depends on the cooperation of the patient, including maintaining good oral hygiene, wearing auxiliaries such as rubber bands as directed, avoiding damaging food, and keeping all of their follow-up appointments.
I’m already an adult – should I bother with braces?
- This is a subjective choice, but braces can still be quite effective for adults and modern styles are much less noticeable than the braces that many adults remember. In fact, about 20% of patients with braces are over 18. Many adults decide to get braces because they couldn’t afford them as a kid and now can, or because their teeth have shifted with age. Getting braces, even as an adult , can give you decades of more attractive straight teeth and correct serious structural problems, so many people see them as a worthwhile investment.
Other than making teeth look good, are braces really necessary?
- Some people may get braces for mostly cosmetic reasons but there are also a number of health benefits to straighter teeth. Straight teeth are easier to clean well, which reduces tooth decay and gingivitis. Correcting the bite also fixes many structural problems, which can reduce jaw pain and make chewing less painful.
Types of Braces:
Metal braces/Traditional braces
These are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces.” However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces that many adults remember. Plus, new heat-activated archwires use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and less painfully than in the past.
Pros: Least expensive type; colored bands give kids a chance to express themselves
Cons:Most noticeable type of braces
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in to teeth. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be even less noticeable.
Pros: Less noticeable than metal braces; move teeth much faster than clear plastic aligners (Invisalign)
Cons:More expensive than metal braces; Brackets can stain easily if patients don’t care for them well
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth.
Pros:Invisible from outside
Cons:Difficult to clean; more expensive; not appropriate for severe cases; can be more uncomfortable at first; regular adjustments take longer and are more difficult than with traditional braces
Invisalign consists of a series of 18 to 30 custom-made, mouth guard-like clear plastic aligners. The aligners are removable and are replaced every 2 weeks.
Pros: Almost invisible; Patients can eat and drink whatever they want
Cons: Will not work for serious dental problems; only available for adults and teens, not children; more expensive option; can be easily lost and costly to replace; treatment may potentially take longer.