The ABC’s of Straightening Teeth

Braces are an incredible resource to help people get a healthy smile that they are proud to share. Here’s everything you need to know about straightening teeth, and why that’s such an important part of a healthy mouth. 

Straight Teeth help Healthy Smiles 

Adult teeth inform the health and shape of the mouth, and misaligned teeth can cause a lot of anguish if left untreated. Crooked teeth interfere with proper chewing patterns, which cause more strain on teeth and can lead to a misaligned bite. This is incredibly uncomfortable, and can cause anxiety and social stress. Additionally, crooked teeth are more difficult to keep clean, which increases the odds of forming a cavity. 

When is the Right Time to Straighten Teeth? 

Typically, braces and orthodontic devices are placed between 10 and 14 years of age while the head and mouth are still growing. But, braces aren’t just for kids. More and more orthodontic appliances are available for adults that can help them improve their smiles. Our dentist can determine if they need braces or an orthodontic device. 

What Causes Crooked Teeth? 

There are several reasons that teeth become crooked. Some teeth arrive twisted, over lapping or crooked, while some teeth arrive too soon, which can lead to crowding. Improper loss of adult teeth, or losing a baby tooth too early can cause improper spacing, and lead to jaw and bite misalignment. Facial injuries and improperly fitting oral appliances like fillings and crowns can also lead to crooked teeth.

Does Getting Braces Hurt? 

Straightening teeth can be an uncomfortable affair, because braces gradually pull teeth into place with a great amount of force. Getting braces doesn’t hurt, but most experience a small amount of discomfort and pain for 4 to 6 hours after getting their braces. It’s common to experience a small amount of pressure in the teeth, gums and jaw for the first week after placing the braces. Additionally, follow-up appointments are necessary for the orthodontist to adjust or change the wires and elastics. This will cause a small amount of pressure that will abate in a few hours. 

How long do Braces Need to be Worn? 

Typically, orthodontic treatment lasts anywhere between 12 and 24 months, depending upon the specific needs of the patient. A retainer is necessary to keep teeth straight after the braces have been removed.

Does My Child Need Braces? 

Your child may need braces when their adult teeth arrive. The best way to determine if they need braces is by scheduling an appointment with our office so that our dentists may evaluate your child’s smile. Braces are not a one-size-fits all fix, and there are a number of orthodontic devices to correct a variety of oral health impairments.