Ask any person about their top insecurity, and chances are they’ll say it’s their teeth. According to a 2019 consumer poll, 57 percent of respondents said they feel self-conscious when they laugh due to their tooth insecurities. Millions of Americans consider crooked teeth to be a serious problem, one that transcends age, social class, and race.
This is why it’s important to start early when it comes to dental health. A pediatric dentist can monitor your child’s teeth development. When their permanent teeth start to grow, their dentist can keep a close eye on the formation to ensure proper alignment. If one or more teeth are showing signs of misalignment, the dentist can then recommend corrective measures.
It’s easier to fix dental problems in children since mouth tissues are more flexible and pliable. While crooked teeth may be more acceptable in children, it’s best to fix them early on before they can affect the person’s self-esteem and appearance.
Many people, especially teenagers and young adults, are hesitant to get dental braces. Some even refuse them altogether. While there are options that do a good job of improving braces’ appearance, they aren’t invisible, and teenagers are afraid of the possible social fallout. Here are a few things about braces that will help you make a decision.
- There is no age limit for braces
Many people associate braces with children and teenagers, but that’s only because the vast majority of brace wearers get treatment while they’re young. There is no age limit for most dental treatments, so even if you’re in your late 30s or 40s, you can still get braces if you wanted to. The only requirement is that your teeth and gums can support the braces. If you have weak gums or rotten teeth, you will need to get that fixed first.
Braces cause a lot of stress on the gums. To recover from corrective treatment, your gums have to be healthy and flexible to ensure proper adjustments. Otherwise, you can make a bad situation worse. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about braces.
- Braces aren’t just for appearances
Another common assumption is that people get braces to get straight teeth, but that’s not the only reason why you would get one. While it’s true that braces can help align crooked teeth, they also help treat other dental issues. When a person comes in for a dental consultation, the dentist will check the mouth for possible issues. The point is to paint a full picture of the current state of their mouth.
For instance, your dentist will check whether you have a normal bite. If there’s too little or too much space between teeth, or if they protrude too far forward, it could be a sign that there are issues with your bite. If left alone, it could lead to chewing and speaking issues. You may also get headaches.
- Always go for an orthodontist
All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists specialize in the movement of teeth and the jawbone. While they can do everything a regular dentist does, you want to go to the specialist when it comes to braces. After all, they’re the expert on misalignment and malocclusion. Make sure to check if your dentist is trained in orthodontics.
For mild cases, you can go to an ordinary dentist for a fitting. They’re often cheaper, and you don’t have to wait as long. But if you have a severe malocclusion case, you need to leave the treatment to a specialist.
- Listen to the experts
One of the dentist’s top pet peeves is patients who don’t follow their advice. Your dentist might say one thing, and the patient will do the opposite. There are also cases of patients asking for invisible braces. While the concern for optics is understandable, it may not be the best fit for your teeth. Not all patients can be fitted with plastic braces.
A final word
These things will help you decide whether you need braces or not. For areas that weren’t covered by the article, it’s best to speak to an orthodontist. After a dental exam, they will make recommendations that are customized to your particular situation.