Dentists usually recommend braces to improve the appearance of the mouth. Problems such as crooked or crowded teeth, pre-bite or under-bite, jaw malposition and jaw joint disorders can be corrected by orthodontic treatment.
When is it time to get braces?
People with orthodontic problems can benefit from braces at practically any age. The ideal age range for fitting braces is between 10 and 14 years, because the head and mouth are still growing and the teeth can be realigned more easily. Since the associated change in the appearance of the facial area can be very stressful, especially for children at this sensitive age, parents should discuss the possibility of braces in detail with their children. Moreover, braces are not only suitable for children. More and more adults are also choosing to wear braces to correct minor problems and to get a prettier smile.
What kind of braces do I have to wear?
Your dentist will recommend the best appliance for your individual problem, but as a patient you often have the choice. Braces are available in three types. The most popular are brackets made of metal or plastic, which are attached to the teeth and are less conspicuous. The "lingual" variant of braces are brackets that are attached to the back of the teeth and are therefore invisible. The traditional variant are bands that cover most teeth, with metal bands wrapped around the individual teeth. In all variants, wires are used to pull the teeth into the correct position to make the smile more beautiful.
How long do I have to wear the braces?
That depends on your treatment plan. The more complicated your tooth position or bite problem is and the older you are, the longer it usually takes to correct the problem. Most patients must wear their braces for 18 to 30 months and then wear a retainer for a few months to two years to adjust the tissue to the newly aligned teeth. Some people have to wear a retainer permanently to prevent the bite from returning to the previous misalignment.
Is the treatment unpleasant?
The interconnected wires are retightened at each appointment, creating a slight pressure on the brackets or bands so that the teeth or jaws can be gradually approximated to the desired position. Your teeth and jaw may hurt a little after the appointment, but the pain will not last long. Please keep in mind that it may also be necessary to pull teeth to make room for the newly aligned teeth and corrected jaw position.
Who carries out the orthodontic measures?
Your regular dentist is responsible for the coordination of your dental treatments. The treatment plan may include orthodontic measures including diagnosis, examinations and interventions. However, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist - an expert in the development, prevention and correction of irregularities of the teeth, dentition and jaw and related facial abnormalities.
Eating with braces
You or your child should avoid certain foods with fixed braces at all costs; otherwise, the braces may be damaged. Hard, sticky, pithy, or chewy food can damage the brackets and metal wires. You or your child should adjust your eating habits slightly to maintain the fixed braces. In general, there is always the risk that the brackets cannot withstand the strain when you bite firmly and break or come loose from the tooth. Remember that damage to the orthodontic appliance is usually accompanied by an extension of the treatment period.
Foods to Avoid with Braces
With fixed braces, you should avoid especially hard and chewing food, as this can damage the brackets and be uncomfortable in the first few days. Besides hard food, you should also avoid tough, sticky, or fibrous food. Avoiding the following foods (among other things) can make eating with fixed braces more pleasant and also make dental care much easier: