Common Questions About Braces
If you have already planned to get braces or you are starting to think about whether or not your children might need braces, you might have questions. While questions about braces are likely best answered by making an appointment with an orthodontist, there are some questions that we can answer here. Here are some of the most common questions about braces.
1. What are the alternatives to metal braces?
Metal braces are still one of the most popular options for those who want straighter teeth. This is a system that we know works well for even very complicated cases. That said, there are some alternatives for those who do not think that metal braces are the best option for their needs. For example, there are ceramic and even plastic braces that use the same general system as metal braces to straighten teeth. Perhaps the best alternative to metal braces is a system like Invisalign. This is a system of plastic aligners that gradually straightens teeth. Many prefer this system because it can actually be removed from the teeth for eating and then for cleaning the teeth and the aligners. If you do not want metal braces or do not believe that your case is severe enough for metal braces, there are lots of alternatives you can ask your orthodontist about.
2. At what age should my child get braces?
This is a topic of much debate amongst parents and one of the most common questions about braces we encounter. What is the right age for braces? Should your child get braces as soon as they have all of their adult teeth? Should they wait until they are teenagers? Should they start even before all of their adult teeth have come in? Some think that age seven is the best time to start orthodontic treatment, while others think that waiting until their child is fourteen or fifteen is the better method. The truth is that there is no universal age at which all children who are going to get braces should get braces. Some can start very early, even as preteens. Others will need or will want to wait until they are much older. Making an appointment to meet with Dr. Pale, Dr. Gemmi, Dr. Middleberg to discuss the specific situation and to look at solutions is a good way to know when your child should start their orthodontic treatment.
3. Are braces available for adults?
This is another common questions about braces. When most people think of braces, they think of the teenage years. And while it is true that many people get their braces on while they are teenagers, it’s also true that more and more adults are getting orthodontic treatment and are getting just as many benefits from it. There are many different options available for adults, including metal braces, but also a number of more discreet options, like Invisalign. Invisalign was actually was actually developed first and foremost as an treatment for adults who wanted straighter teeth but did not want to get metal braces far after the time that most people believed it was acceptable to get metal braces.
4. Do braces do anything other than improve my smile?
Many people mistakenly believe that braces are a purely cosmetic treatment. And while there is real value in having a straighter, more confident smile, there are plenty of health-related reasons to get braces. Many patients will need not just their individual teeth straightened, but their entire bit corrected. This can make it much easier to keep your mouth clean and healthy. It will also eliminate many of the issues that can make chewing painful or that can cause long term pain in the jaw. You’ll see less gingivitis, fewer cavities, and will overall just be more pleased with how your teeth look.
5. Are braces really that bad?
When I was a teenager about to get my braces put on, I was regaled by my friends about how bad braces were. I got my braces on relatively late, at sixteen, when most of my friends were already done with their treatments. Many parents may also remember having braces as a very bad experience. But are braces really all that bad? Thinking back on my time wearing braces, I was never in pain. Yes, braces are uncomfortable, especially for the first few days after they have been put on and for a few hours after an adjustment, but they are not painful. Any real pain I had was because I ate something I was not supposed to eat at it bent or moved one of my wires, and then I was too embarrassed to schedule an emergency appointment with my orthodontist to have the issue fixed. Braces today are far less noticeable and painful than they were even ten years ago, even if you do not opt for a treatment like Invisalign, because of changes to technology and developments in bracket design. Even the treatments themselves are designed to be more efficient, so you do not have to wear your braces as long as you might have had to ten years ago.
6. How can I make my kids more comfortable with the idea of braces?
The teenage years are already a fragile time for most people. Getting braces during this time can be terrifying. Reminding your child that braces are a relatively short-lived treatment that will make the rest of their life much healthier and better. Starting braces as early as possible is a good way to make sure that they do not have to deal with them as they mature. Also, reminding them that most of their friends are going to be wearing braces at the same time is a good way to encourage them throughout this process.