Braces offer a slew of benefits for your oral health in addition to perfecting your smile. What are you waiting for?
Forget all the bad things you’ve heard about braces. Braces are good for you! Aligning your teeth in their proper position dramatically improves your oral health and self-confidence.
Yet it’s understandable many hesitate to get braces. Braces involve a significant time and financial commitment. But the benefits of braces far outweigh any perceived disadvantages. Here’s why.
Why you may need braces
For people with crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth, braces are the cosmetic solution you’re looking for. If you have a malocclusion, which means your teeth don’t line up exactly when you close your mouth, your teeth can shift into place with braces. Braces can also fill gaps between teeth.
Although braces are most often placed during childhood and adolescence, adults are also increasingly asking for braces to correct their smiles. Correcting orthodontic complications is easier when a person is young because their bones are malleable. But adults can benefit, too. According to insurer Humana, about 4 million people in the U.S. wear braces, with one in four of those being adults. So you’re never too old to get braces.
And if you’re thinking your only choice is a set of bulky wire braces, think again. Ceramic and lingual braces (secured to the back of your teeth) are much less noticeable than metal braces and work just as well. You can also consider clear aligners, which will be discussed later in this article.
The four top advantages of braces
How long you will wear braces depends on the severity of your orthodontic issue. Generally, you can expect braces on your teeth for several months or years. But when the braces come off, you’ll reap these four advantages:
Less tooth decay. When teeth don’t fit together, they’re more challenging to clean, and you may be tempted to skip brushing and flossing altogether. But not caring for your teeth only lets bacteria and decay grow, resulting in tooth decay and gum disease. With straighter teeth, you can more easily remove bacteria and plaque and prevent decay.
Less pain. Braces can reduce tenderness and pain from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders that affect the ligaments and muscles of the jaw joint. Yet living with misaligned teeth can cause other problems, such as tongue irritation and jaw fatigue after chewing. All those problems could be due to an orthodontic issue that braces can correct.
Can eat and speak properly. Misaligned teeth can affect your speech and chewing. With properly aligned teeth, you can talk and eat with no difficulty.
Increased self-confidence. Having crooked teeth or a pronounced malocclusion can damper your self-confidence and make you hesitate to smile in social situations. Having your teeth straightened can significantly boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Traditional braces vs. Invisalign
As mentioned earlier, clear aligners like Invisalign offer a less visible alternative to traditional wire braces. Unlike conventional braces attached to the teeth with metal wires, Invisalign comes in a series of clear plastic trays to gently realign the teeth.
Both are effective and will give you a successful outcome. Your dentist and you will decide which option is best for you, but here are some points to consider:
Severity. Invisalign can correct less severe orthodontic issues. But for more significant overcrowding or malocclusions, traditional wire braces are the better choice.
Cost. Traditional braces are less costly than Invisalign. Check with your insurer to see which it will cover and for how much.
Comfort. You can expect minor discomfort as traditional braces or Invisalign move the teeth into place. Wire braces may irritate your gums, while clear plastic Invisalign trays will not.
Care. You must wear the Invisalign trays for 22 hours daily and clean them daily. When you take them out when eating, you must clean your teeth before you put them back in. You can brush and floss normally when you take the Invisalign trays out. Since traditional braces don’t come out, your dentist can show you how to brush and floss with braces.
Time. Again, the length of time the braces or Invisalign are needed depends on the severity of the problem being treated. Traditional braces can take anywhere between 18 to 36 months. Results with Invisalign can be seen anywhere between six to 18 months.
Get a straighter smile at Espire Dental.
Dr. Jeff Gray and Dr. Greg Hurtado at Espire Dental in La Mesa have been providing the best quality orthodontic treatment, including braces and Invisalign, to the San Diego community for over 30 years. Schedule your consultation online!
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