It’s estimated that 50 percent of people around the world have teeth that are crooked, misaligned, or irregular. Fortunately for us, today’s orthodontic technology has advanced to the point where corrective devices, such as braces and retainers, are less noticeable, much more comfortable, and can be worn for shorter periods of time than ever before.
That being said, how do you know if braces are right for you? Normally your dentist would be able to point out any potential problems with your teeth at your regular six-month cleanings and refer you to an orthodontist.
Here are a few other points to keep in mind when deciding whether or not braces could be in your future:
Crooked Teeth. As children grow, so do their teeth. And more often than not, certain teeth will come in crooked. That’s not uncommon, as the majority of children will require some sort of teeth correction, whether that’s achieved with braces or retainers. Retainers are custom-made devices that work to either hold the teeth in place, or correct tooth alignment. They’re usually worn all day (except during meals) at the start of the treatment period and then eventually are scaled back so they’re worn only at night. Braces, on the other hand, are worn for at least a year and work to help straighten or position teeth.
Overbite or Underbite. The other main oral issue that orthodontics helps to correct is an uneven alignment, such as an underbite or an overbite. Orthodontists refer to this as a “malocclusion,” which means “bad bite.” Braces can help to rearrange your alignment so an overbite or underbite is less of a problem. After the braces come off for this sort of treatment, patients will usually need to wear a retainer to finish the treatment.
While braces are still most commonly associated with dental issues in children, more adults are now wearing the devices. About one in every five braces wearers are adults; a sign that it’s never too late to correct any oral issues. Part of this trend is due to the advancements in orthodontic technology. Today’s new braces feel much more comfortable and come in a variety of styles — including clear — so they’re far less obvious. Plus, the wires now used on braces are made from advanced metals, which are stronger and lighter, so they get the job done much more quickly and efficiently. With so many people wearing braces these days, nicknames like “metal mouth” and “brace face” will soon be a thing of the past. In addition; insurance plans are increasingly covering orthodontic treatment, making braces a much more affordable option for families on a budget.
When deciding whether or not braces are in your future, it’s important to research all of your options about the types of braces and what treatment option is best for you. Be sure to contact your insurance provider to see what costs are covered and what will need to be paid out of pocket. It might take a few years of treatment, but braces can give you that winning smile for the rest of your life. Call us at Horner Barrow Orthodontics with any questions you might have!