Bracing for the Year Ahead
Photo by Pim Chu on Unsplash
If fixing your smile is “on the list” for 2019, then braces might be in your future.
Braces can help correct problems such as crooked or crowded teeth, overbites or underbites, incorrect jaw position and disorders of the jaw. These days, the number of patients who get braces for cosmetic reasons and the number of people who have them to mitigate jaw or tooth problems is just about equal.
Before we go too much deeper on the subject of braces, it’s good to carefully consider length of time you’re committing to this process. Minor corrections might take roughly 1 year. More complex issues may take up to 2. Know that the average amount of time people wear braces is 2 years, followed by a time when retainers are needed to set the tissue around the straightened teeth.
What are the different types of braces available?
The most commonly used braces are brackets, which can be metal or ceramic. Traditional steel braces remain a staple for many dentists and patients because they remain the least expensive option. Ceramic brackets can be clear or tooth-colored for minimal visibility.
These discreet braces are attached to the back of teeth, hidden from view. They can be trickier to keep clean, and they may not be an option for severe problems.
An alternative to traditional braces, aligners are a series of clear, removable appliances. Each aligner is to be worn roughly 2 weeks at a time, taken out only to eat, floss and brush. One of the benefits to a removable appliance is that food and plaque does not get trapped between teeth, like it will with fixed braces. Note that aligners are probably best for adults with minor spacing problems. They are not an option for kids or teenagers who are still expecting permanent teeth.
Whether you’re thinking about braces to boost your self-confidence about your smile, or you need to address an oral health issue, know that your dentist is there to help you navigate this decision. Schedule an appointment to talk with your dentist about the situation you’re working to correct, and what you hope to achieve at the end of treatment. That will help inform the best appliances or treatments for you.
Cheers! Here’s to a happy and healthy smile in 2019!