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Metal Mouth: Living With Braces

By HERWriter
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having metal mouth living with braces MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Contrary to what some kids may think, braces are not instruments of torture or embarrassment brought upon them by their unfeeling parents. Braces are tools for correction of an assortment of problems.

If your teeth are crowded or crooked, or if they overlap, braces can straighten things out. If you have malocclusion which means a bad bite, braces can make things right.

Malocclusions come in two types. An overbite occurs when your upper jaw is bigger than your lower jaw. An underbite is the situation when your lower jaw is bigger than your upper jaw.

Your dentist will recommend that you go to a specialist called an orthodontist if your teeth or jaws are not properly alignment. Your orthodontist will be able to tell you what if any actions and devices are needed.

How do teeth and/or jaws become out of proper alignment? Sometimes these things happen as a result of early tooth loss, accidents, thumb sucking or tooth decay. Other times, it is just a matter of heredity.

No age group has a monopoly on braces. Children as young as 6 years of age, on up to adults get braces.

An orthodontist will check your bite, and ask about any other problems related to the teeth. For instance, do you have a hard time chewing? Is swallowing difficult? Do your jaws pop or click?

X-rays will tell the orthodontist the positions of your teeth, and show permanent teeth that have not yet erupted.

The usual arrangement involves wires and rubber bands. Wires move teeth over time, and rubber bands adjust alignment.

I had braces in my teens, about forty years ago. Back then the traditional bands of metal on metal were the only option. I was regaled with names like Metal Mouth by other kids who thought they were geniuses.

Though human nature hasn't changed, it is your good fortune that braces have. They come in a variety of styles now.

Brackets may be made of stainless steel but they can also be made of clear or white plastic or ceramic. Be aware though that plastic brackets can eventually become discolored. Ceramic and plastic brackets can also create greater friction with wires.

Not all braces grace the outer surfaces of the teeth.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I remember feeling like my parents were so mean when I got braces in middle school. I hated having them on my teeth. Now that I am older I realize that it is a luxury to get to go to the orthodontist and have braces. Lots of people don't have the chance to get braces and live with crooked teeth for their whole lives.

August 13, 2014 - 11:23am

This is a really helpful look at the many options for braces today, and what it's like to get them and live with them. It's so worth it.

October 9, 2012 - 10:10am

Good Job explaining braces. Most kids today do not mind wearing braces. It is not the torture device it once was for them. They see the benefits and ultimately do not mind them. Adults are becoming much more interested in it as well with products like invisalign.

Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Family Dentist

October 8, 2012 - 9:07am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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