If you’ve recently been told that you (or your child) need braces, you are probably confused and a bit anxious. Dental braces have a reputation for being cumbersome, costly and at times painful; however, today’s braces are much improved and their impact upon the wearer’s life is less substantial. Become a more informed patient by learning some facts about braces, some of which are listed below.
Braces: A Treatment for Malocclusion
The term “malocclusion” literally translates to “bad bite”. In the ideal mouth, teeth are perfectly straight and evenly spaced, and the top row slightly overlaps the bottom row. There are very few perfect mouths, and some of the less-than-perfect require orthodontic correction. Poorly-aligned teeth can be painful and unattractive, and they can even keep the patient from speaking or eating properly. Appearance is a primary reason for Braces South Tampa, but orthodontists think more in terms of dental health.
Braces Aren’t the Only Type of ‘Appliance’
Depending on the severity of the malocclusion, the orthodontist may suggest other tooth-straightening and jaw-aligning methods. Headgear wraps around the neck and attaches to the braces, and it can help reposition the jaw. In cases where braces alone cannot move the teeth properly, rubber bands are recommended, and many people wear retainers after their braces are removed.
Dental Braces can be Uncomfortable
There can be some soreness, especially in the time immediately after the braces South Tampa are placed and when adjustments are done. Cheeks can be irritated as the wearer adjusts to the feeling of having hardware in their mouth; discomfort is almost always temporary and can be alleviated with OTC pain medications and a softer diet.
Braces are a preferred method of treatment in many cases. The braces of today are made of thin wires and tiny brackets which are glued to the teeth; the wires are the force which straightens the teeth. The wires must be adjusted occasionally for proper positioning of teeth and jaw, and the brackets hold the wires in the correct position. Adults and older teens may want less-noticeable braces and may choose ceramic brackets, if the orthodontist decides they are appropriate.