What Are Dental Braces?
Dental braces are a device that is used to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth. Braces work by applying constant pressure on each tooth to reposition them and create a gorgeous, straight smile. As your teeth shift over time, the braces need to be tightened in order to achieve the pressure needed to move your teeth into the proper position.
What Are The Different Types of Braces?
When patients think braces, they usually think of the metal type. While these are certainly the most common and most affordable, they are not the only type of braces available.
Metal braces are made up of wires and metal brackets, making them extremely noticeable. On the other hand, ceramic braces, which are the same shape and size as metal braces, feature clear or tooth-coloured brackets that are subtle, but can stain easily.
Another subtle option is invisible braces, commonly known as Invisalign, which are clear plastic aligners that shift the position of your teeth over time.
What Are The Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment?
While many patients turn to orthodontic treatment to enhance the appearance of their smile, there are many other benefits including:
- Improved oral function
- Minimised pain or stress of jaw joints
- Easier cleaning of teeth and reduced risk of gum disease, plaque build up and tooth decay
- Reduced risk of wear or damage to teeth
If left untreated, many oral health issues can worsen over time. Talk to your experienced dentist at LN Dental to find out if orthodontic treatment is right for you.
Why do I Need Braces?
There are many reasons why people of all ages require braces. Commonly, braces are used to fix orthodontic issues such as crooked, misaligned or gapped teeth. Braces can also be used to alter an overbite, underbite or crossbite, and can even reposition your jaw.
They are also a popular choice for cosmetic purposes, with many patients choosing braces to help create a straight smile. If you’re unsure if you need braces, or if they are a suitable option for you, call the team at LN Dental today to book a consultation.
Am I Too Old for Orthodontic Treatment?
Contrary to popular belief, braces are no longer just for kids or teenagers. Many adults undertake orthodontic treatment for a variety of reasons, including improving their smile and overall confidence or correcting dental issues that have developed. As long as a patient’s teeth and gums are healthy, orthodontic treatment can be started at any age.
Can Children Benefit from Orthodontics?
They certainly can! In Australia, it is recommended that children aged between 7 and 11 undergo an orthodontic assessment. This allows the orthodontist to detect potential problems while their teeth and jaw are still developing.
The child may receive preliminary treatment to prevent orthodontic problems, or the assessment can give both the parents and child an opportunity to prepare for treatment later on down the track.
Are there Foods that I Cannot Eat While Wearing Braces?
Unfortunately during your treatment, there are some foods that you must avoid. Hard, sticky, crunchy, and chewy food should be avoided, such as:
- Chewing gum
- Corn on the cob
Food can not only get stuck in your braces but can loosen or damage them and prolong your treatment.
How Often should I Brush My Teeth while Wearing Braces?
While wearing braces, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, although it is preferable to brush after every meal to prevent bacteria, plaque and food building up. Ensure that you brush your teeth before going to bed. To further protect your teeth, you can also use a tooth mousse.
How Often will I Need to Have My Braces Adjusted?
Your experienced practitioner at LN Dental will schedule regular appointments to adjust your braces. The time between appointments varies depending on needs of the patient and the stage of their treatment. Generally braces are adjusted every 4 to 8 weeks. These appointments are important to not only adjust your braces, but so your dentist can track the progress of your treatment.
Do Braces Hurt?
Once your teeth, gums, mouth and cheeks have adjusted to your new braces, they should not hurt. However, when you first get braces, and for a few days following each adjustment, you may experience mild discomfort. Again, this will subside as your teeth shift into position. If you are experiencing severe pain, call the team at LN Dental.
Are There any Alternatives to Braces?
There are quite a few alternatives to dental braces. Your options depend on your orthodontic issue or your desired outcome. For small gaps in your front teeth, you may consider dental bonding, or for misaligned teeth, you may consider dental veneers. Braces can be a lengthy treatment, so it’s important to book a consultation with an experienced practitioner at LN Dental who can advise if it is the best treatment option for you.
What Are The Disadvantages of Braces?
For some patients, the downside of braces is that they are incredibly visible, depending on the type you get. Additionally, most types of braces can’t be removed, with the exception of Invisalign, and you will need to watch what you eat during the treatment to ensure your braces don’t snap or break.
While braces are suitable for adults, the treatment time can be longer compared to children, as fully-developed adult bones require more time to shift. If you have any concerns about braces, or want to know if the treatment is right for you, call LN Dental today to book a consultation.
Do Braces Fix Teeth Permanently?
Braces are only attached to your teeth for a fixed period until your teeth have shifted into place. Once the braces are removed, your teeth can return to their original position. Following your treatment, you will be fitted for retainers, either permanent or removable, that can aid in keeping your teeth straight.
How Long does It Take for Teeth to Move with Braces?
The treatment time for braces is different for each individual and varies depending on the position of your natural teeth and the desired outcome. During your treatment, regular appointments will be scheduled to tighten your braces. Generally, movement of teeth takes around 4 to 6 weeks, and you may begin to notice changes shortly after starting your treatment.