Ever looked in the mirror and not felt like smiling because your teeth weren't picture perfect? According to major insurance provider Humana, over 4 million people in the U.S. have braces -- and nearly a quarter of those individuals are adults. In this world of everyday selfies and Zoom calls for work, having a beautiful smile is one of the easiest ways to boost your confidence over time.
Don't waste time worrying about whether your teeth are straight enough or the alignment is off. Getting braces is a relatively pain-free procedure that is often fully or partially covered by insurance. Orthodontists in Middleton NJ have generations of experience resolving the most common (and uncommon!) challenges with your alignment and spacing of your teeth. Here are some of the great benefits of straightening your smile with braces.
Braces is a general term used to refer to a variety of different orthodontic appliances. Usually, the term braces refers to the combination of metal brackets that are semi-permantly attached to your teeth with glue. Wires are run between the braces to adjust the spacing between teeth. The adjustments to the spacing of the brackets is gradual, allowing your teeth to be shifted over time and providing the greatest possibility for retention of the spacing for the rest of your life.
Braces may also include additional items that are permantly or semi-permantly attached within your mouth, such as rubber bands that are used to increase the pressure on your teeth in a specific direction. Orthodontists use these tools to make adjustments that would be difficult without consistent pressure on your teeth.
While you may think of braces as simply a tool to correct teeth that are not perfectly straight, there are a lot of other benefits to consider. Crooked teeth may be masking underlying problems in your mouth, such as teeth that don't align properly top to bottom or odd growth patterns in your jaw. Braces and associated dental appliances can help adjust everything from growth patterns to overbite and underbite, helping ensure your teeth don't have uneven wear and tear on them over the years.
There is no easy answer about how long you'll have to wear braces. That said, the majority of orthodontists recommend 18 months to two years to ensure your teeth have time to be fully adjusted and set in the new configurations. If your teeth require more adjustment, the length of time you wear braces may be significantly longer, however. Your Middletown NJ orthodontist will be able to provide the best information after a detailed consultation that may include X-rays and a history of your teeth and dental care practices.
Yay! You've completed your full course of treatment and are ready to get the braces off. Surprisingly, those brackets that stayed on so well for months or even years are quickly and painlessly removed by your orthodontist and their dental assistants. Then, depending on your orthodontist's recommendation, you will enter a phase of your treatment called retention. This helps ensure that the new configuration of your teeth remains long-term and your teeth don't slowly migrate back to their original location.
This phase of your treatment often includes full or partial retainers, which are plastic or partially-metal appliances that are worn either at night or full-time. Each retention period could be of varying length and is driven by years of experience from your orthodontist in creating a long-lasting and healthy smile.
You may have heard that you can't eat certain foods or do certain activities when you have braces -- and this is true! Your braces are sturdy but can be damaged by certain hard foods like popcorn or sticky substances such as chewing gum. If your brackets pop off, you might be poked by a random metal wire, which definitely isn't comfortable! Therefore, it's important to follow the instructions that your Middletown NJ orthodontist shares as you're starting your care.
Ready to learn more about braces and whether they're right for you? Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. We answer all of your questions and walk you through a potential course of treatment that will help create a lovely, balanced and healthy smile to last a lifetime.