Modern braces are comfortable, convenient, and even less visible than older options. Still, many patients sigh when they are recommended and ask a simple question: Why braces?
Well, the simple answer is that a smile that is not well aligned isn’t healthy, nor is it considered attractive by the mainstream. The more complicated answer is that there are many reasons to consider braces. These include:
- Being perceived better by those around you
- Seeing better success in professional and social environments
- Performing better in seemingly unrelated arenas, such as academics
- Taking pride in your appearance
- Finding it easier to clean your teeth
- Experiencing little to no issues with gum disease or tooth wear
- Being able to chew, speak, and breath better
So if your smile is less than its best, braces can help.
Who Can Wear Braces?
Anyone who needs braces can wear them. Adults with gum disease or bone problems may need to work on their oral health first, but nobody is precluded from being able to seek treatment. Adults, teens, and children all can receive treatment with braces and get amazing results from them. And there are numerous options on the market, making it easier to find the type of braces that best work for you.
How Treatment Works
If it is determined that braces are needed, the doctor will go over your options. Once and option is selected, the appliance will be placed. Braces work by placing gentle forces on the teeth to encourage movement, and when they are adjusted, the move the teeth even more. These adjustments can be used not just to increase force after the teeth have moved a bit but can also change direction to move the teeth in the most efficient manner.
Once the teeth reach their final position, the braces come off and the retainers go on, with the retention phase lasting about two years. The exact length of treatment will vary from patient to patient, but most will wear their braces for two years or less.