Perhaps you feel your teeth are not perfectly straight, or you think your bite could be adjusted. It’s quite possible that braces and other orthodontic treatments might be the right choice for you.
You might need braces if …
- You lost your baby teeth relatively early in life. If your baby teeth fell out too early and your adult teeth did not come in for a while, this could have affected the way your adult teeth grew and developed.
- Your teeth look crowded or crooked. If you are embarrassed to smile because your teeth are not straight, it might be time to consider the cosmetic options available to you.
- Your jaw shifts or makes sounds. This can signify a developmental issue with your teeth and your jawline, and orthodontic treatment may be able to help.
- You are constantly biting the sides of your cheek or hitting the roof of your mouth. This could indicate that your teeth are not properly aligned. Braces can address an underbite or an overbite.
- You have a difficult time chewing your food. This is not only an inconvenience, but it can also be detrimental to your health. Braces can help fix the alignment of your teeth.
- You have to breathe through your mouth on a regular basis. You may not attribute this to an issue with the development of your teeth or jaw, but orthodontic treatment might be able to help.
The ideal age for a child to be seen by an orthodontist is age seven. However, there are many orthodontic treatment options available to adults. It is becoming increasingly common for adults to wear braces and other orthodontic devices.
How do braces work?
In their entirety, braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied.
Will braces hurt?
Some of the adjustments your orthodontist makes to your braces may make your mouth feel sore or uncomfortable. When needed, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help. If you always experience a lot of pain after your braces are adjusted, talk to your orthodontist. He or she may be able to do adjustments a bit differently.
Does age affect the success of braces?
The mechanical process used to move teeth with braces is the same at any age. So the benefits of orthodontic treatments are available to both children and adults who wish to improve their appearance and bite. The main difference between treatments in adults and children is that certain corrections in adults may require more than braces alone and the treatments may take longer because adult bones are no longer growing.