Crooked teeth can be a real problem, no matter how old you are or what condition your mouth is in. The biggest blow is to self-esteem, because misaligned and unusually placed teeth are considered to be inferior. Even if a patient has great oral hygiene, it doesn’t stop people from making negative judgements about crooked gnashers.
This is why dentists keep such a close eye on the development of adult teeth, in children. As soon as the permanent teeth have begun to emerge, their growth and formation can be tracked, in order to make sure that they are completely healthy. If crooked teeth are found, childhood is the perfect time for corrective measures to be put in place.
The mouth is still growing, so the tissues are more malleable and flexible than they would be in an adult. It is much better for a child if crooked teeth can be fixed before the onset of adolescence, because this is a time when appearance means everything. Imperfect, stained, broken, or misaligned teeth are likely to lead to social and emotional challenges.
This guide to some of the most important things to know about dental braces will help you to prepare for them, no matter how old you are.
You Can Have Braces At Any Age
Dental braces are most commonly associated with teenagers, simply because this is when most people first notice their crooked teeth. There is no age limit for this kind of corrective treatment though, so don’t be put off by the stereotypes. You can use braces to correct misaligned teeth at any age, just so long as your teeth and gums are reasonably strong. Dental braces are not suitable for patients with weakened gums or poor dental health.
This is because they place a lot of extra pressure on the gums. Naturally, you need to have tough, robust, and flexible gum tissue that is able to bounce back if you want to wear braces. It is becoming increasingly common for adults to be fitted with braces. Many of these people saw a need for corrective treatment as children, but their families could not afford it. They turn to braces in adulthood to try and fix the crooked teeth that are holding back their confidence.
Straight Teeth Are Not Everything
The assumption is that braces are all about giving a patient perfectly straight teeth. While this is one of the main aims of wearing them, it is not the only objective. Dental braces achieve a lot more. This is why, when a patient attends a consultation for braces, their orthodontist examines their mouth for a lot of different issues. They will ask a lot of questions, but what they are trying to do is build up a comprehensive oral review.
Whatever your orthodontist asks you, they are asking for a good reason, so give an honest answer. Be patient and try not to fidget as they check your mouth for crowded teeth, gaps in the gum line, and impacted teeth.
Your Orthodontist is an Expert
The relationship between orthodontists and regular dentists can be an unnecessarily confusing one sometimes. In simple terms, an orthodontist is specially trained in dental movement and the function of the jawbone. So, they know all of the things that a regular dentist does, but their specialist subject is how the teeth move in the mouth. This makes them the perfect choice for prescribing, fitting, and monitoring dental braces.
Cost and Treatment Times Differ
The bad news is that dental braces don’t really come cheap. They can be a costly treatment option, but since they are usually an essential one, there are lots of dental membership plans and payments schemes to help patients meet the expense. The important thing to know is that costs vary wildly. The typical cost of braces depends on the location, the clinic, the age of the patient, and whether or not there are any other complicating issues.
There Will Be Some Pain
Unfortunately, wearing and getting used to braces is not a pain free process. While the actual fitting rarely hurts, the new sensations and pressure against your teeth will cause soreness and aching. You may experience sores on the inside of your gums and lips, because the mouth is simply not used to having so much metal or plastic close to the tissues. All of these painful side effects should subside after a couple of weeks.
The Right Way to Deal with Dental Braces
If you have recently been fitted with braces and are having trouble adjusting, speak to your orthodontist. It if their responsibility to help you get through the initial stages of wearing braces; use your specialist as a valuable resource. Ask questions, raise concerns, and inform them about any changes in your mouth. If you stay in touch with your dentist and visit as often as recommended, you should find that the process goes much more smoothly.