Braces for Kids
Some kids love braces because it means they are finally transitioning out of childhood into teen or tweendom. Others loathe them because of long-held stereotypes that are hard to break. Either way, braces are a fact of life for many children and 1st Family Dental can help make them a reality.
The American Association of Orthodontists estimate that 75 percent of children can benefit from wearing braces. If that number sounds high to you, it’s because braces are not always needed solely to fix crooked teeth. They can correct jaw and other unseen issues that may exist in children who appear to have straight teeth.
Permanent teeth start coming in at around age 7, at which point you can begin seeing an orthodontist to determine if your child is a candidate for braces. There’s no magic age when it’s time to see an orthodontist, but the first consultation is generally done between ages 7 and 10. The sooner the visit is held, the sooner potential problems can be detected.
The orthodontist will determine if any issues exist that require braces to correct, and make a recommendation on when might be good time to apply the braces.
Braces for Adults
One of the biggest myths surrounding adults and braces is that your teeth are set into place once you reach adulthood and cannot be corrected with braces. This is not the case.
Think of teeth the way you would any other bone on your body. They do stop growing at the end of adolescence, but it’s still possible to correct them throughout your life. If your arm breaks, it can heal and be put back into place with a cast. Teeth are no different.
However, years of dental work like crowns, root canals, and cavity fillings can make it harder for braces to work because parts of your teeth have been replaced by artificial substances. The same is true of gum disease. We can determine whether you are a good candidate for braces given your dental history.
As an adult, it will likely take longer for braces to correct your teeth than it would for a child. Specific wearing time varies from person to person, but the average is about two years. 1st Family Dental will work with you to determine how long you can expect to wear braces based on your situation.
The old “mouthful of metal” stereotype many adults remember is no longer true thanks to advances in metal braces.
Today’s braces are made from stainless steel, or stainless steel mixed with titanium. This makes them lighter, and provides the option for them to be different colors. Brackets are also now much smaller in size than they used to be, meaning that they take up less room on your teeth.
Metal braces are used in conjunction with rubber bands, which are available in a variety of colors and can be changed often to achieve a particular look.
Moving Beyond Metal: Invisalign and Other Options
While metal braces with brackets are still the most commonly used type of braces, there are other options out there that are more comfortable to wear and less noticeable to others.
Clear aligners are plastic trays that fit over your teeth. Invisalign is the most widely known brand in this market. Aligners are customized to your teeth and are removable, making them easier to clean and maintain. However, they are only intended for smaller adjustments. Brackets are required to close larger teeth gaps.
Ceramic braces offer a middle ground between metal braces and clear aligners. They are similar in structure to metal braces but the brackets are customized to the color of your teeth, which makes them less noticeable.
1st Family Dental offers all of these options and will work with you to determine which one will be the best fit —literally and figuratively — for your teeth. Get started today with a 100% free orthodontic consultation to learn more about the treatment options that work best for you or your child.