Typically, a dentist will recommend braces if they feel it will improve a patient's orofacial appearance. Issues such as crowded teeth, incorrect jaw position, underbites, overbites, disorders of the joints of the jaw and crooked teeth can be addressed. If left alone and treatment is not sought, these issues can end up causing earaches, headaches, tooth decay, chewing problems, gum disease, and problems with biting or speaking.
When is the right time for braces?
Anyone with orthodontic issues can benefit from treatment, practically at any age. Ideally, the recommended placement for braces is between 10 years old and 14 years old. During this timeframe, the mouth and head are still growing and this makes the teeth more accessible as far as straightening. Of course, any kind of adjustments in facial appearance can be quite traumatic to a young person during these delicate years and therefore, adults should discuss the matter with their kids prior to having braces applied.
It has become more common for adults to undergo orthodontic treatment in order to improve their smiles and correct minor problems. Braces truly are for anyone nowadays.
What kind of braces will I have to wear?
Depending on your particular issue, your dentist will know which type of appliance suits you the best. Often you will have a choice. For instance, generally, there are 3 varieties of braces. The most popular kind are brackets, either made from metal, ceramic or plastic, which are bonded onto the teeth with a special dental cement. Ceramic braces are usually tooth-colored or clear and therefore, much less noticeable than traditional metal brackets. Concealed or lingual braces consist of brackets that attach to the back of the teeth and are hidden from view. Both kinds of braces utilize wires in order to guide the teeth into their new positions.
Aligners are a new alternative to traditional braces. They consist of a series of customized, clear removable appliances. These kinds of braces are invisible and are also removable so you will not have to worry about having food and plaque trapped between your teeth the same way you would with metal braces. Each aligner is worn for approximately 2 weeks and is only taken out of your mouth during flossing, brushing and eating. This may be a potential option for adults who wish to correct minor spacing problems. Invisible aligners are not appropriate for adolescents or kids who are still waiting for permanent teeth.
How long will I have to wear braces?
How long you will be required to wear your braces is an individual decision that your orthodontist will determine based upon your treatment plan. The more complicated your bite problem or spacing issue is, combined with the older you are, the longer treatment period you will have to endure. The majority of patients can count on wearing full braces between 12 and 24 months. They will need to follow up wearing a retainer in order to set and align the tissues which surround the newly straightened teeth.
Cost of Braces
Several factors will be taken into consideration for determining the cost of orthodontic treatment. Some things to be considered include: the severity and nature of your issue; missing teeth and gum problems or any other kinds of complicating factors. Upper and lower braces can be used to treat a wide variety of issues, some more complex and time consuming than others.
Every office may charge a fee that they deem as appropriate for treating your dental issues. Each office is different and since this association does not survey its members' offices, we are unable to provide an estimate of the average cost of braces.
In Canada, provincial health plans do not cover dental treatment; although, many private plans do offer some kind of orthodontic coverage. If you do have additional coverage through your employer, be sure to mention it at your first visit to make sure you receive your coverage.