Posted on October 19, 2018
Braces are a major life decision. If you’re going through a quarter-life crisis (as we all do), don’t just get them on a whim! When you go through any orthodontic procedure, there are a lot of health considerations and treatment options to think about. Not to mention, you’ll want to get the best results possible, so invest wisely in an orthodontist who you can trust with your teeth.
If you don’t have good oral health, then you may want to delay getting braces. It’s important to have strong jaws, gums, and teeth in place before moving anything with orthodontic treatment.
There are many reasons you may want to get braces, aesthetic reasons just being one of them. Orthodontic treatment is about much more than your appearance. It’s a way to align your orofacial muscles, teeth, and skeletal structure, so they can function properly for your long-term health. A misaligned jaw or incorrect bite can lead to many health problems. You might be a candidate for braces if you experience any of the following:
The habit of grinding or clenching teeth is also known as bruxism. Though it might seem harmless, this behavior can damage enamel, cause joint dysfunction, and hurt the jaw. It’s often caused by stress, anxiety, or breathing problems. Sometimes, bruxism is caused by teeth and dental arches that don’t align correctly, causing the person to subconsciously push them together. Braces can fix this by straightening the jaw and teeth. If you suffer from bruxism, ask your dentist if braces could help the problem.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
One of the long-term effects of bruxism is temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. The temporomandibular joint functions as a connector between the temporal bone and jaw, allowing the jaw to slide open and shut easily. When there is damage to the joint, it can be annoying and even painful to perform basic functions, like chewing or talking. Consult with your orthodontist to see what can be done to prevent severe damage by treating TMD now. Often, it’s simply a result of a misaligned or overgrown jaw that can be corrected with braces.
Crowded and impacted teeth
When teeth grow in at odd angles or positions, they can crowd the mouth and take up space for other teeth, which may result in impacted teeth. It’s recommended to realign the teeth and remove or at least, identify the impacted teeth because they’re difficult to clean and can easily cause periodontal disease and infection. Since impacted teeth do not fully develop, they can cause problems if they grow into other teeth or push against the jaw below the gumline.
Diastema or gapped teeth
Gapped teeth aren’t necessarily a problem unless they begin to affect your ability to clean your teeth. Space between the teeth allows debris and plaque to cultivate. Sometimes, they even make it difficult to eat or speak. Talk to your dentist if this becomes a problem for you.
Many speech impediments stem from physical irregularities in the jaw or teeth. Gapped teeth, malocclusions, and open bites could all contribute to problems communicating. Who knew correcting your orofacial structure could actually help you speak more clearly? Consult your orthodontist to see if your teeth are the reason you’re having trouble pronouncing certain sounds.
Getting your teeth and jaws straightened could fix these problems and prevent future complications. Even if you don’t struggle with any of these problems, braces could still benefit you! They reduce the risk of injury and trauma in the event of an accident, too.
Slow and steady always wins the race! Well, not always, but you get the point. At Orthodontics LA, we focus on getting great, stable, stable and long-lasting results with our orthodontic treatments. That means it might take a little longer because we’re not correcting the smile superficially, we are correcting the skeletal and muscular structure around it, too.
The braces will take effect as soon as they’re affixed to your teeth (you’ll definitely feel it), but it may be difficult to see the results since your teeth are moving gradually into the right position. Once you get the braces off, you’ll definitely see the difference when you compare them to old pictures, though! The process usually takes one to two years, but it could take longer depending on the situation. For example, it could take a lot longer if you have a severe underbite or overbite. Ask your orthodontist for an estimate about how long it could take.
For younger patients, two-phase treatment is also available. This is a specialized type of orthodontic treatment that is split into two parts. For more information, check out what our friends at Kids Healthy Teeth have to say about dental care for teens and kids. Dr. Chen is a pediatric dentist in Katy, TX, who has worked extensively with children and understands their needs.
If you know you want to get braces, but you’re not sure where to start, we can help! There are many different types of braces and clear aligners available nowadays, but they’re not suited for everyone’s teeth. Here is everything you need to know about all your choices:
Traditional braces are a great option for anyone. They are a common type of braces made of stainless steel that straighten the teeth with brackets and archwires. Patients can also choose colorful elastics to keep the brackets in place. They can treat mild to severe orthodontic problems easily and they’re cost-effective.
Damon Braces & Clear Braces
Damon braces are self-ligating braces. This simply means that they don’t use the ties or elastic that traditional braces use. Instead, they use a sliding mechanism that tightens the braces automatically. These are a great option for people who don’t have time to go to the orthodontist all the time to get their braces tightened. It’s also a faster treatment because the sliding ligatures are constantly tightening the braces as needed. There’s also less friction on the mouth because the brackets don’t have rough ties like traditional braces do.
At Orthodontics LA, we also offer clear Damon braces. They’re made of ceramic, so they’re undetectable, except for the thin metal band that the braces together.
Invisalign is a clear aligner system that corrects the teeth. Patients simply wear the invisible, custom-made trays for 20 – 22 hours a day to push the teeth into place. They’re completely removable, so they can be taken out for eating and brushing teeth. Many patients opt for Invisalign because it’s a comfortable and subtle orthodontic treatment for adults and teens. However, it’s important to note that Invisalign is not for everyone. If you have a severe bite problem, Invisalign cannot realign the jaw. Ask your orthodontist whether Invisalign or traditional braces are better for you.
Now that you know more about braces, you have a better idea of whether it’s the right option for you. Stop by Orthodontics LA in Encino for a consultation with one of our orthodontists. We love helping our patients achieve the beautiful smiles they deserve!