Braces have become almost a routine part of the childhood experience in America. Four million Americans are wearing braces at any given point in time, with almost 1 million of those people being adults! For such a common practice in many people’s’ oral health journey, there are often a lot of questions that arise when considering braces for your child or yourself. We’ve outlined some of those most common questions here to help you make an informed decision on your orthodontic treatment!
Why do we have crooked teeth to begin with?
Crooked teeth can be caused by a combination of factors, including a misaligned jaw or malocclusion, a genetic condition that causes teeth to protrude, crowd, or grow at odd angles. Sometimes teeth are destined to be crooked from birth, but external factors like thumb sucking can cause teeth that would have otherwise grown straight to come in crooked.
What’s the best age for a child to get braces?
Many people have strong opinions on this question, some swearing earlier is best, nipping problems in the bud, while others want to wait to see how teeth develop as a child grows. The truth of the matter is that timing varies from child to child, and an individual plan will have to be formulated with your orthodontist. The good news is that it’s never too late for braces! Which leads us to the question:
Can adults get braces?
Yes! Adulthood orthodontia is becoming more and more common, even though many think of braces as a childhood or teenage occurrence. Along with traditional metal braces, there are more discreet options for adults such as Invisalign. Invisalign straightens teeth using clear plastic trays that can be worn, as the name suggests, almost invisibly. While often pricier than traditional braces, many adults prefer the subtlety of products like this.
Why do we need braces?
Admittedly, much of the appeal for many people is purely the cosmetic benefit of straight teeth. For some people, they need no other reason than enjoying their smile more, and that’s great! For others, the need extends further. Teeth that are severely crooked can negatively impact speech and chewing abilities, causing unnecessary stressors in ones life.
How can I help my child or myself become more comfortable with the idea of braces?
Being a teenager is a universally tough experience, and most kids just want to blend in as best as possible. Braces can seem like a scary way to differentiate themselves from the crowd and many teens—and adults!—may recoil from the idea. It’s important to remind anyone who needs braces that nearly everyone will have them at some point, and the time spent wearing them is relatively short compared to the years of benefits after. Starting orthodontic treatment as soon as your doctor recommends can help your child be done with braces before they mature. Many orthodontists also offer ways to allow your child’s individuality to shine through their braces, with things like colored rubber bands!
While braces have almost become a rite of passage these days, it’s normal to have questions or concerns about any medical procedure.
If you’d like to further discuss braces for yourself or your child, don’t hesitate to reach out to Metro Square Dental Associates in Vernon Hills today to schedule a consultation and learn more!