Are Braces Necessary?

Are Braces Necessary?

Are Braces Necessary?

Getting braces seems commonplace these days, almost a rite of passage for young teenagers. Braces are a common way to straighten teeth that are not aligned properly. Typically, braces are a wire-based appliance used by orthodontists to correct tooth and jaw issues, but braces these days can include other options like invisible or clear braces. Understanding your needs will help you decide which option might suit you best.

The decision to get braces will be made in conjunction with your orthodontist. If you’re regularly seeing a dental provider for cleanings, they will be able to evaluate you and track any issues that could put you in need of orthodontic care. While people may think of braces as a way to fix cosmetic dental issues, there are a wide variety of reasons a person might need braces:

After consulting with your orthodontist, they may recommend braces for you or your child. Depending on the specific need, orthodontists will recommend a specific age or time to correct the condition. Some conditions in children can begin correction before all of their baby teeth have fallen out, however other conditions require that all baby teeth be gone. While braces are most common in children ages 8-16, it’s become more and more common for adults to undergo orthodontic treatment, and studies have found that only about 35% of adults have properly aligned teeth! That means more adults need braces than don’t need braces. Regardless of what condition you have, don’t wait before seeking advice or treatment- as we age, our jaws continue to grow but issues like teeth overcrowding or bite conditions don’t typically correct themselves.

What to Expect

If you consult with your dentist and orthodontist about one or more of the issues above, they might recommend you get braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, a successful outcome for orthodontic treatment will depend on several factors. Pressure, time, and cooperation all matter when it comes to having a positive braces experience. Braces work by utilizing wires, bands, and brackets to put pressure on teeth to change position over time. Patients can help make this process successful by cooperating with orthodontic recommendations to keep braces clean, avoid foods that could break brackets, and other specific directions from their orthodontist.

Braces can be a costly investment, but a highly effective way of treating many mouth and dental issues. Braces can range in price from $2,000 to $10,000, and the length of time needed for treatment can also vary from 16 to 24 months, depending on the severity of the condition and method of treatment. If you’re undergoing treatment for a bite correction, the treatment time could be years long.

If you get braces, you can plan on visiting your orthodontist every 6 to 10 weeks until the corrections are complete. Orthodontists may also employ other techniques or tools like a palate expander or rubber bands to speed up the process.

Once your treatment is complete, your teeth will be in the correct place and your orthodontist will remove all of your appliances, brackets, and bands and give you a permanent retainer for you to wear to prevent your teeth from shifting back over time. After braces, in addition to a bright, shining, beautiful smile, your daily oral hygiene should be easier to maintain, and you should have overall improved oral health.

Alternative Treatments

While not a completely alternative treatment, invisible braces can be an effective treatment option for those who need only minor oral or dental corrections. These treatments can be more desirable as they’re often cleaner looking, you can remove them for pictures, and they’re generally more attractive than traditional wire braces. The cost is comparable in some instances to wire braces, and there are limitations in what invisible braces can accomplish, so they are not the right method for everyone.