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Health Benefits of Braces

Braces aren’t just for kids anymore.  More and more adults are getting braces to avoid long-term dental problems that result because of misalignment of teeth or the jaw.  While the primary reason for having braces put on your teeth is for aesthetic reasons, such as straightening the teeth, spacing out crowded teeth and closing gaps in your smile, they can also be utilized for better jaw alignment, especially if you would be destined to suffer the consequences of TMJ, or with tempomandibular joint issues.  If you suffer from TMJ, you know that opening and closing your mouth, or even masticating, (a more technical word for chewing), can cause pain.  Braces can help to correct the jaw defects which cause TMJ, so that means no more headaches, earaches and that annoying, as well as painful, clicking.

Realignment of the jaw will ensure that biting or chewing issues will be eliminated as well as life-long conundrums like tooth decay and gum disease.  If your teeth were crooked or crowded before undergoing the orthodontic process, and then later in life you needed to have dentures, then those plate(s) would be ill-fitting, without the benefit of braces and correction of overbites and underbite issues.

Getting braces on your teeth, especially after your permanent teeth have come in (usually after fourteen years of age), will have a lasting effect on your dental health if you follow your dentist or orthodontist’s suggestions during the course of your treatment and beyond.  For example, you must be meticulous about cleaning in and around your braces during the course of your treatment to avoid decay.  You might want to use an irrigation device to ensure all particles of food are eliminated from your mouth prior to brushing.  Practicing good dental hygiene during the course of your treatment is important.

Additionally, and most important of all, is how you take care of your teeth after the braces regimen is complete.  You will be fitted with a retainer device and it is important to wear it at all times to prevent your teeth from shifting around.  The retainer may be fitted onto your top or bottom teeth, or maybe both.  You should only remove the retainer to eat and to brush your teeth.

After the braces are removed, you should pay special attention to the possible intrusion of wisdom teeth, which could quickly wreak havoc and undo your dentists or orthodontist’s good work.  Your dentist will need to evaluate the situation to determine if the intruding wisdom teeth should stay or go.  Sometimes wisdom teeth are used in the place and stead of the top or bottom rear molars because wisdom teeth are similar in size and strength to these powerful teeth which are used primarily for grinding and chewing food.

Braces to correct crooked teeth

Perhaps you’ve been toying with the idea of correcting your crooked teeth to enhance your smile.  You should see your dentist about your concerns, because it is he or she who is most familiar with your past dental history.  Often, general-practice dentists have taken coursework which will certify and prepare them to have the expertise to fit the braces on their patients and manipulate the teeth during the course of the braces-wearing regimen.  If you have any additional questions about braces you should contact a top dentist in South Orange. South Orange dentists have many years of experience dealing with every type of dental question.  Other times, when teeth are severely misaligned, it is necessary for the dentist to refer their patients to an orthodontist who will be the dental practitioner of choice throughout the orthodontia process.

When you consult with your dentist, he or she will offer opinions and take x-rays so that a proper course of action can be determined.  Often these are panorama-view x-rays where you will have special x-rays taken while standing up and an x-ray machine revolves about your head and neck.  This gives the dentist a good “reading” of how the course of treatment with your braces shall proceed.

There are several types of braces and your dentist or orthodontist can recommend the best for your particular problem.

The most-popular type of braces are metal or clear.  It is a common misconception that clear braces move teeth slower than metal braces.  The major reason for choosing clear over stainless steel braces is aesthetics.  Clear braces are more expensive as well, and are not always recommended in cases of a deep bite.  Today’s braces simply dot the top of the teeth and are strung together with wire.  Gone are the old-fashioned “heavy metal jacket” braces of yesteryear where rubber spaces had to be placed between the teeth in order that a metal, wraparound jacket-like brace could be slipped onto each tooth and hammered into place with a rubber mallet.  Ouch!  Then wires were strung along each jacket and the wire was pulled taut.  It was like opening up a sardine can.  The use of headgear to correct an overbite has always been a source of contention for teenagers as they traverse through the teeth-straightening process.  Teens think the look of braces is bad enough, but the headgear makes it doubly horrid!  In extreme cases, headgear may be worn up to 22 hours per day for major corrections.  The use of different sizes of rubber bands help to improve the fit of the upper and lower teeth and jaws.  Headgear are used for the “bite-fixing” phase of orthodontic treatment, which is usually the longest and most difficult part of the whole process.

Suffice it to say that the process of correcting misalignment in teeth and the jaw is well worth the effort, but a slow and painful, sometimes humiliating, process.  The goal is to thwart dental issues in the long term and eliminate undue wear and tear on some or all of the teeth.  The end result is preserving your teeth for as long as possible, all “doable” with the use of braces.

Now you are “armed to the teeth” with knowledge about how to prevent tooth decay and how to correct misaligned teeth and irregular jaw issues by getting braces.  A generation ago, adults didn’t worry about keeping their teeth or even straightening them.  It looks like we have come a long way.

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