Getting braces can be daunting, but armed with the right information and advice, it doesn’t have to be.

Crooked teeth can be a real problem, no matter how old you are. They can cause a blow to your self-esteem, because misaligned and unusually placed teeth are considered inferior. Even if a patient has fantastic oral hygiene, it doesn’t stop others from making negative comments about their crooked teeth.

This is why it’s important to keep a close eye on the development of “adult teeth” in children. As soon as the permanent teeth emerge, the growth and formation can be tracked, in order to make sure they are completely healthy. If crooked teeth are found, this is the best time to put corrective measures in place. As the mouth is still growing, so the tissues are more flexible and malleable than they would be in adults. It is much better for a child with crooked teeth to be fixed before turning into a teen, as they are more self-conscious in that age and appearance plays an important role to them. Any imperfections, stains, broken or misaligned teeth can lead to social or emotional challenges.

Any teenager will dread being told that they need dental braces and some will refuse to wear them altogether. While modern braces are less obvious than their older counterparts, they are still visible and can cause self-esteem problems for teenagers. It’s best to avoid the drama by keeping a close eye on your child’s dental health by visiting the Dentist regularly for any signs of trouble before they become a major issue.

Here are 10 things to know before you get dental braces:

You can have braces at any age

There is no age limit for corrective treatment. Braces can be used to correct misaligned teeth at any age, so long as your teeth and gums are reasonably strong. Dental braces are or suitable for those who have weakened gums or poor dental health.

Straight teeth are not everything

It is commonly assumed that braces are just about giving patient perfectly straight teeth. While this is one of the main aims of wearing them, it is not the only objective. Dental braces can achieve a lot more. Orthodontist will examine each patient and ask a series of questions to build up a comprehensive oral review. Be patient and answer all the questions honestly, as it will help with deciding what treatment is necessary.

Your bite may also need to be fixed

Whilst you are getting your teeth checked by the Orthodontist for straightening, they will also check your bite. The “bite” is what happens when you close your two rows of teeth and open them up again. When you do this, your rows show meet, but not grind or exhibit too much abrasion. Likely there should be no big gaps anywhere along the line where two rows of teeth meet.

An Orthodontist makes sure your mouth is functioning correctly. If there are issues with your bite it could lead to TMJ related headaches and problems with chewing and speaking if left untreated. Consultations are more than just deciding whether braces are a necessity. They can mean the difference between a quick fix for a minor dysfunction and unnoticed problems that turns into a major challenge.

Your Orthodontist is an expert

An Orthodontist is specially trained in dental movements and the function of the jawbone. They specialize in how the teeth move in the mouth; this makes them perfect choice for prescribing, fitting, and monitoring dental braces.

Don’t fixate on invisible braces

It is understandable that patients would like to be as inconspicuous as possible when it comes to dental braces. However, this may not always be possible, as it may be an unsuitable option, if you do not heed the advice of the dentist, you may end up wearing braces for twice as long.

Cost and treatment times differ

The important thing to know is Dental braces can be a costly treatment and vary greatly. Generally speaking the cost of the braces depends on the patients and whether or not there are complicating issues. The “invisible” braces can be more expensive than the standard metal braces as they are more difficult to manufacture. It’s important that we highlight that this does not necessarily mean that it’s the best option for your teeth. The dentist will be able to advice on what kind of brackets and aligners are compatible with your mouth.

Two years is the average period

The typical treatment duration is around two years, but your own journey will depend on how much work needs to be done to straighten your teeth and fix your bite.

Switching during the treatment is costly

Sometimes it is simply unavoidable, but patients have to move away from their chosen orthodontist during the treatment. This is a tricky situation to maneuver and may incur more financial costs. Some dental clinics have contracts with patients for the duration of the treatment, with agreements on how much treatment has been given and how much is owed. If you have to move during the treatment, it may mean starting another new set of contract. If possible, it is best to avoid such a situation, especially if you have been with a dentist for some time.

There will be some pain

*Cringe* unfortunately, wearing and getting used to braces is not a painless process. During the actual fitting it rarely hurts, the new sensations and pressure against your teeth will cause soreness and aching. It is common to experience soreness of the inside of your gums and lips, as the mouth is not used to having so much metal and plastic close to the tissues. All of these painful side effects should subside within a couple of weeks.

It can be tough to adjust in the beginning, however after a few months, you will barely notice your braces at all. Chewing and speaking may be difficult at the start, but just keep your eye on the prize and the end goal – a perfect smile.

The right way to deal with dental braces

It’s important to keep your mouth and teeth as healthy as possible. Fortunately, brushing with braces is the same as usual; you can use a regular toothbrush with regular bristles. You may need to replace it more frequently as the metal braces will wear it down faster. It may also take more time to floss, take care and be gentle. Remember not to put too much pressure on your teeth.

If you have been fitted with braces recently and are having trouble adjusting, speak to your orthodontist, it is their responsibility to help you through the initial stages.

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