Oral Health Before and After Braces
Braces are just for straight teeth and a pretty smile. Orthodontics always means bulky, unsightly braces. Braces are just for teenagers.
Any of these orthodontic myths sound familiar to you? For today’s post, we’d like to bust some top ortho myths and show you why orthodontic treatment might be right for you.
Myth 1: Braces Are Just for Straight Teeth and a Pretty Smile
While cosmetics are certainly a great benefit of orthodontic treatment, having a gorgeous smile is far from the only reason to consider it. Don’t get us wrong: it is one hundred percent acceptable to get braces because you want to improve the look of your teeth. That is allowed! However, you will get so many more benefits to your oral health than just straight-looking teeth.
Before braces, most people’s teeth do not meet up properly, which can create traps for bacteria as well as worsen TMJ issues. Crooked teeth also get a ton more damage like chips and wear compared to straight teeth.
Fact: Orthodontic Therapy Helps Prevent Cavities and Gum Disease
As we discussed before, plaque collects in hard-to-clean nooks and crannies. If your teeth are rotated, tilted, or overlapped, they are harder to keep clean. By straightening your teeth and getting them to sit together in a more ideal position, we can eliminate many of those plaque traps. That means less bacteria, less stuck food, and healthier teeth and gums!
Orthodontic therapy can also help to correct certain speech and chewing difficulties. Getting your teeth to meet properly can take pressure off your jaw and help relieve grinding, clenching, and some TMJ symptoms. By relieving that excess pressure, we can also help decrease your risk for cracked and fractured teeth as well as bone loss and periodontal disease.
Myth 2: Orthodontic Therapy Always Means Ugly Braces
For many of us, the thought of an orthodontist calls up memories of the awkward nerd in 80s teen movies, their mouth laden with huge silver contraptions, maybe even headgear! The good news is, this terrible ortho stereotype has gone the way of the dodo.
Fact: There Are Many Different Options for Ortho Now
The main two branches of ortho apparatus nowadays are braces and aligners. Braces, as most of us know, are brackets glued to the teeth and connected by a wire. However, unlike old-timey braces, there are tons of options for brackets now. They can even be completely clear! There are low profile braces, and minimally visible wires, too.
There are also aligners such as Invisalign. This approach to ortho skips the brackets in favor of clear, removable trays. We’ll get into the details in a future post, but the main benefit here is that the trays are less visually obvious than brackets. This is a great option for adults who cringe at the thought of looking like a teenybopper at work. Which brings us to our next point…
Myth 3: Braces Are Only for Teens
False, false, false! Ortho is usually proposed at a young age because the bone crest holding the teeth is more malleable. That means it’s easier to shift things around. Sure, denser adult bone may slow your treatment down a bit, but you are never too old for braces.
Fact: Adult Ortho Is Normal, and Growing in Popularity
Adult ortho is not only common, it’s growing in normalcy more and more by the year. Sure, many of us had orthodontic treatment as teens. However, our teeth constantly shift throughout our lives. That means that at thirty or forty, it’s very unlikely that your teeth are still at their ideal positions.
This is also about when we start seeing a lot more issues related to a bad bite. Wear on the teeth, chipping, cold sensitivity, fractures, cracks, TMJ pain, headaches, and on and on. So many of these issues stem primarily from misalignment. And they really start to show as we get older. Even patients in their eighties (yes, really) have benefitted from orthodontic treatment. It’s no longer rare or unusual to see adults going through ortho.
And remember, at the end of the day, ortho is temporary but it can save you from some very permanent oral health issues. If you’re concerned about any dental issues, don’t hesitate to ask your dental team here at Anderson Family Dental if ortho is right for you.