How To Know If You Need Braces : A person’s smile contributes largely to his or her self-confidence. Braces are a form of orthodontic treatment that tightens teeth and aims at boosting the patient’s self-confidence. Doctors usually recommend braces to children and teenagers because the jaws are still malleable.
However, adults can also get dental braces. Studies show that only 35% of adults have teeth with proper alignment, leaving the remaining 65% with the need for getting braces. Among the total population of people with braces, adults make up 20%. Other than aligning teeth, braces give the patient an added benefit of good oral health. This is because misaligned teeth are prone to dental problems such as gum disease, shifting, and erosion.
Braces can be metal, invisible, or ceramic type depending on the choice of the patient. The cost of the mentioned braces are different; invisible braces, for example, are more expensive than metal braces. Braces are generally expensive regardless of the type. The duration of orthodontic treatment will also vary from patient to patient. However, the duration of a treatment usually ranges from 12 months to three years with an average duration of 24 months.
How to know if you need braces.
There are signs that show people that they need braces. Some general signs that a person needs braces to include:
- Crowding due to extra teeth.
- Their jawline easily gets tired after a meal.
- Their teeth are visible even when they close their mouth.
- Their teeth are crooked.
- They easily bite their tongue or the side of their cheeks.
- They cannot produce certain sounds appropriately.
- Their jaws produce a clicking sound when chewing.
Some signs in children are different from the signs experienced by adults. For children, specific signs include:
- They commonly use their mouth instead of their nose to breathe.
- They lose or have baby teeth at an earlier stage than normal.
- They continue sucking their thumb past two years of age.
What follows after determining that you need braces?
Once the doctor determines that the patient needs braces, they will provide them with treatment options. Before the patient selects a treatment plan, they need to be familiar with all the pros and cons of the plan. Patients are informed of any restrictions to make in their diet and the basic care for braces that they should follow.
During the consultation, the doctor will estimate how long it will take for the patient’s goals to be achieved with each treatment option. Most doctors also have before and after pictures of some of their work to guarantee patients that they will achieve their goals.
Once the patient starts treatment, they will attend appointments every one to six months, depending on the treatment option. Invisible braces usually require less frequent visits to the orthodontist compared to metal and ceramic braces. The appointments are aimed at doing maintenance checks and adjustments on the braces.
One appointment to the orthodontist is enough to determine whether or not the patient needs braces and also get them. Approximately one hour or two is enough to get braces. Two things will determine the exact period needed; the type of braces and whether or not the patient is getting the braces in one or both arches.
There is no pain involved in getting braces, the patient might only experience a slight pressure during the process. Some pain can, however, be felt after the process is complete such as during eating. This is why most patients with new braces are advised to eat soft foods during the first few days until they get used to the braces. The patient will also have some discomfort of the jaws and headaches.
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