By Marina Koletis
There are many misconceptions about braces that exist, but let’s take a closer look at a few of them and straighten things out:
1. Everyone with crooked teeth needs braces
Not necessarily. If you have a very minor case of a few crooked or misaligned teeth, a simple retainer may help solve the problem. You may not even need braces at all. However, this does depend on the severity of your crooked teeth and jaw alignment. Each case is unique to every person.
If you have a minor case of misaligned teeth, Invisalign may actually be the best fit for you to help straighten your smile. Invisalign helps straighten your teeth and is an alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign are clear aligners and are the most popular alternative to braces. However, Invisalign may not be for you. Be sure to check with your orthodontic specialist to find the best option for you.
2. After the braces come off, my teeth will be straight forever
The first half of the battle is getting the braces on and maintaining them and your teeth thoroughly throughout treatment. The rest of the challenge comes after the braces come off–you need to ensure you wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist since your teeth are still shifting around even after your braces come off. This happens because braces stretch the elastic fibers (the connective tissue fiber) as your teeth move. As a result, when braces come off and your teeth aren’t under forced pressure from the braces, the elastic fibers need to strengthen which will keep your straight teeth in place. This is why wearing your retainer is so important, and wearing it for the correct amount of hours each day. This takes a lot of discipline, patience and dedication, but is very much worth the wait, in addition to the time and money invested.
3. The date my braces are coming off is set in stone
Although the average time to have braces is approximately 1.5 years, this depends on many factors and treatment time can vary and be shorter or greater. Moreover, treatment time varies depending on what kind of braces you get. If your braces break, switch orthodontic centers or if something goes wrong, this may prolong treatment time. On the other hand, here are a few things you can do to ensure proper course of treatment with braces that will also help reduce the length of time you have your braces on:
– Floss regularly
– Brush your teeth after each meal
– Make sure to keep up with your regular appointments with both your orthodontic specialist and dentist
– Avoid certain foods
– Wear your elastics
Follow these simple instructions and you just might find that treatment time may be significantly shorter. As a youngster with braces, it’s easy to fixate on the date that your braces are supposed to come off. As a parent, it’s important to keep close tabs on your children’s braces to ensure they are properly and well-maintained throughout the course of treatment.
Get started on your new beautiful smile today! At Louisiana Orthodontic Specialists, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards in orthodontic treatment and care and providing the best possible service to our patients. Our practice boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a caring, professional staff in a friendly, inviting environment.