Why do people get braces? Are crooked teeth really that big a deal?
There’s no question that the most immediately obvious answer to the question of why people get braces is that straight teeth look nicer than crooked teeth. For some people, their crooked teeth are a source of embarrassment, and we don’t think that anybody should have to hide their smile.
But there are more reasons than just aesthetics to get braces. Crooked, crowded, and misaligned teeth are also more difficult to clean. In time, this could mean a higher risk of decay and periodontal disease. If your bite is misaligned, you could also wind up with dental erosion, jaw pain, and a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder, in which your jaw joint just below your ear becomes inflamed and painful.
Braces are an excellent preventative option that can help you avoid several problems in the future.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
In the past, your orthodontic options were more limited and were more likely to be uncomfortable and bulky. Today, we have many types of appliances to choose from, and some are barely noticeable! In addition to metal, your appliance could be made from ceramic or even plastic. It could also be bonded to your teeth or removable.
The way that braces (and other orthodontic work) appliances is by exerting a gentle but constant force on your teeth, carefully controlled by your orthodontist to gradually move your teeth into their correct positions.
We make braces fun! These days, you can choose clear or metal brackets, and you can even sometimes choose the color of your ties (which are used to hold the wire in place in the brackets). Wires aren’t as obvious as they once were, and updated materials and techniques allow the teeth to move more quickly with less discomfort, making treatment faster and more efficient.
How Long Will My Treatment Last?
In general, orthodontic treatment tends to last between 22 months. Your orthodontist will give you an estimate of your treatment time based on your own unique factors, which include the growth rate of your mouth and face and how severe the problem is.
While we’ll do our best to accurately estimate your treatment time, some variation is possible. Unforeseen circumstances can come up, and you may respond to treatment differently than expected. Additionally, your diligence in using your appliances is also an important part of your treatment program and will help determine the length of your treatment time.