Choose Dental Braces for a Straight, Healthy Smile
Braces have a bad reputation. Orthodontics tend to go hand-in-hand with unfortunate nicknames and uncomfortable treatment. What is easily overlooked is just how miraculous braces are for the people who wear them. Whether young person, teen, or adult, undergoing orthodontic treatment improves your oral health, makes it easier for you to speak and eat, and perfects the focal point of your face – your smile.
Braces fix overbites, underbites, overcrowding, and crooked teeth. But did you know that braces can also correct misaligned bites, jaw pain, facial pain, incorrect jaw position, worn tooth enamel, and headaches?
It’s easy to underestimate the power of braces. Straight teeth not only improve the appearance and foundation of your smile, they are easier to brush and floss, which means less chance of developing cavities. When you’re proud of your teeth, you’re more inclined to take good care of them, and that means a healthier smile.
Braces for Kids
Some kids qualify for early orthodontic treatment known as interceptive or Phase 1 orthodontics. This dental care can begin as early as age 7 if some adult teeth have erupted. Because the child’s jaw is still growing, Phase 1 orthodontics are designed to make future orthodontic treatment easier, shorter, and less complicated. Phase 2 orthodontics may still be necessary in the teen years, but this treatment can be significantly reduced if Phase 1 is successful.
Jaw position, jaw growth, and protruding teeth are just some of the issues that Phase 1 orthodontics can treat. Harmful oral health habits – like thumb sucking or using a pacifier for too long – that have impacted proper dental development can be corrected at this stage too.
Kids are concerned about their appearance, and there is a lot to be said for helping improve your child’s self-esteem – as well as their oral health – with early orthodontic treatment and braces for kids. Not every kid qualifies for interceptive orthodontics, but if it is appropriate and could help with future orthodontic treatment, expanders or space maintainers may be the right choice.
Braces for Teens
The teen years are when most orthodontic patients get their braces. Some consider it a rite of passage, others just consider it torture. Braces in adolescence don’t have to be a bad memory, though.
Invisalign Teen is an excellent option for responsible, eager teenagers who qualify for this treatment and crave the ability to straighten their smile without the stigma of being a brace face aka braces for teens. Teens also appreciate clear or white ceramic braces, which minimize the appearance of braces. It’s important, too, to respect traditional metal braces, which have a solid track record for correcting misalignment.
Many adults consider themselves too old for braces, whether they dread the appearance of orthodontia or consider themselves too busy to put in the work. However, there is no wrong age for braces for adults. Discreet options make it easy for you to straighten your teeth without interrupting your lifestyle.
Invisalign is a popular choice for adult braces. The nearly invisible aligners are difficult to see and have few restrictions. There are other subtle ways to straighten teeth including ceramic braces (tooth-colored brackets and wires) and lingual braces (brackets are attached to the back of the teeth).
Many orthodontic patients look forward to the day when their braces come off, but that is not the end of treatment. After all that hard work to straighten your teeth and bite, you want to preserve the change and prevent teeth from drifting back to their former, incorrect positions. What does this mean? A retainer.
Retainers can be obvious or discreet, removable or permanent. Your recommendation will be customized and, no matter what, it will serve as an insurance policy to keep your beautifully straightened teeth in place.
Orthodontic appliances are sometimes used to correct the bite before straightening teeth, or encourage the jaw to grow into proper alignment.
Corrective jaw surgery is also known as orthognathic surgery. If the structure or growth of the jaw is not right, this type of intervention can help by reducing pain and minimizing the need for orthodontics. If a bite or jaw problem cannot be easily corrected even with orthodontic treatment, jaw surgery may be the recommendation.
Orthognathic surgery is typically reserved, however, for problems like cleft palate or dentofacial deformities like an open bite or receding chin. The effectiveness of jaw surgery cannot be overstated, and it is often used in conjunction with orthodontics to perfect the bite and alignment of teeth.
Are You a Candidate for Orthodontics or Dental Braces?
If you’ve shied away from braces in the past, and you still dread the idea of looking like a metal mouth, know that braces have gotten exponentially better as the years have gone by and benefited from modern innovations. They’re no longer as noticeable or uncomfortable as they once were, including traditional metal braces. And that should make any teenage or adult orthodontic patient very happy.
After all of our hard work to straighten your teeth and perfect your bite, the last thing we want is for your teeth to drift back to where they started! Teeth have a tendency to return to their original positions because of “memory” in the gums and bone surrounding them. At Soleil Orthodontics we will give you a few options for retainers – some removable, some glued in. These retainers will act as your insurance policy that your beautiful, healthy smile will be maintained in the future. As you get closer to the end of treatment, Dr. Soleil and her team will describe the advantages and disadvantages to the different types of retainers we offer, and recommend the retainers we think are best for you. We want your bright smile to last a lifetime!