Who needs orthodontic treatment?
Anyone, regardless of age, who has the following: Teeth that are too crowded or far apart, protrusion of upper or lower anterior teeth, patients with habits such as thumbsucking or tongue thrusting, supernumerary or missing teeth, developing underbite, overbite and other abnormal bite development.
Why do I need orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics offers an opportunity for improved dental appearance that leads not only to enhanced self-esteem, but also to better dental health. When teeth are correctly aligned, dental decay is less likely to occur. Orthodontic treatment also relieves the extra strain on gums and bones caused by teeth that do not fit well, thus averting periodontal disease and tooth loss. Well-fitting teeth brought about by orthodontics promotes better functions of the mouth like speaking and chewing, the latter promoting better nutrition and general health.
How long will treatment take?
Each orthodontic case is unique. Definite corrective treatment lasts approximately two years for most cases. Depending on the severity of the case, treatment may last longer.
Can older people still wear braces?
There is no age limit for orthodontics. In adults, even malaligned teeth can be corrected regardless of the patient's age, as long as the teeth, gums and supporting bones are healthy. Properly aligned teeth can improve appearance, are easier to keep clean, and will last longer.
Will braces affect my lifestyle?
Discomfort may result when teeth are moved. This usually lasts for two to three days after adjustment; and varies with each individual. As treatment progresses, discomfort slowly diminishes. Braces are simple to maintain and will not hamper your lifestyle. One just needs to make a conscious effort to keep the teeth and appliances clean. One will also have to stay clear of sticky or hard foods which may break the braces.
Can a general dentist put braces?
Any dentist can "attach" braces. However, make sure that the dentist who treats your child has the necessary qualifications. Check these important matters:
1. How did he/she train? Orthodontic training maybe in the form of a university-based, three-year graduate program. It is important to check how long the training program took, the nature of their training and the academic credentials of the preceptor/ trainer.
2. Did he/she finish many cases? Anyone can move a tooth to start a treatment. But to finish a corrective orthodontic case properly is a completely different matter. It is always a good idea to check some of the orthodontist's finished cases.