A dentist will usually recommend braces to improve a patient’s dental health and appearance. Crooked and crowded teeth, overbites, misaligned jaws and jaw disorders, if left untreated can cause serious problems. Problems include issues with speaking, biting or chewing food as well as headaches and achy jaws. These problems can then have knock-on effects on your confidence and self-esteem.
When to get a brace
Dental patients at practices such as Enhancedental in Leeds can benefit from braces at any age. However the ideal time is between the age of 10 and 14, as this is when the jawbone and head are still growing, which makes straightening teeth is easier. However, braces are not reserved only for children, they are becoming increasingly popular with adults, due to the new options available.
What are the options?
The most popular type of brace is the more traditional bracket form, which is bonded to the teeth and not removeable. They come in metal or ceramic and can be customised with different coloured bands to make them more appealing to younger patients. The ceramic type of brace is tooth-coloured, which means they blend into the background of your teeth. Another option is the concealed brace, referred to as lingual braces by dental professionals. These are attached to the backs of the teeth and so are completely hidden from view.
Newer braces, such as Invisalign, are removeable and tend to be popular with adults. Patients can remove them to brush, floss and eat. This type of brace is only suitable for less severe dental problems.
How long do I have to wear them for?
This depends on each individual case. In general, the more complicated the problem, the longer you may have to wear a brace. For most people, treatment is between 12 and 24 months in total. Minor alterations can be achieved with removable braces in as little as 6 months.
Is it a painful process?
Your teeth will be gently guided into the correct new positions, meaning that your teeth and jaw might feel slightly sore at times. However, discomfort levels are generally low and can be eased with over the counter medication, such as paracetamol.