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Thinking of Braces?

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Regardless of age, tooth alignment personally affects many people. Some might be putting off braces because of the cost, thinking they are too old, or embarrassed to sport the hardware. Whether you are interested in braces for yourself, or your child you should know that not only do braces boost your self-confidence, they have health benefits as well!

Crooked teeth make it harder for brushing and daily maintenance of oral hygiene. When teeth are tightly packed, bacteria and food particles may get lodged and stuck in these tight areas and increase chances of cavities and erosion. Ways to help include spending extra time brushing in these problem areas, and adding an antiseptic mouthwash to your brushing routine. This will help eliminate bacteria in the hard-to-reach places that you may be unable to see. Also, flossing may be extremely difficult but is so beneficial for in between tightly-packed teeth.

Additionally, having an irregular bite may increase grinding of teeth and also impair jaw movement over time. WebMD.com also associates crooked teeth with improper chewing, straining of muscles, increased risk of breaking a tooth, and a decrease in self-esteem.

Putting price aside, braces are now less dramatic then ever. Those wearing braces for a second time (oh yeah, it happens), explain how the most recent set is more comfortable and less noticeable than the previous one. Also, the average time spent wearing braces is less now than years before. Choices of brackets (the part that attaches to the tooth) can be metal, ceramic, plastic or a combination. The color choices seem endless, and for those not worried about concealing their hardware, there are even glow-in-the-dark options!

Some individuals may have less severe tooth corrections needed and can opt for removable braces. These products are almost invisible and have the ability to be taken out at certain times of the day. Talking with your orthodontist will help determine which treatment option works best for you.

If braces are something you’ve been interested in, it’s never too late!

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

You're so right about the benefits of adult braces. I had them two years ago at age 52, to close up a large gap between my lower front teeth. It did that job perfectly, and on top of that, it must have realigned my jaws just enough that I no longer have TMJ pain! I'm so glad I did it, and it only took a year.

March 25, 2010 - 2:51pm

Hey Susan,

Thanks for the comment!

I never really worried about my teeth growing up... I am very fortunate and have an almost-straight smile without any dental work, and I just never really thought anything about my one or two crooked teeth. It wasn't until a dentist mentioned that he could "refer me to an orthodontist for Invisalign" one day that made me start to question straightening my teeth!

Currently, I am still in the "contemplating" mode. I think my first step might be some white strips of some kind and see if that can hold me over. :) I am glad to hear that you took the plunge and how amazing you feel now that your smile is straight!

Thanks again for the comment, take care.



March 22, 2010 - 5:10pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Claire-
Great article and great information, thank you!

I always had lovely white teeth with a couple of crooked teeth thrown in for good measure and by the time I was in my early 30s, they had shifted a lot and were straight on one side of my mouth and really slanted on the other. I felt I had to hold my head on a sharp angle to look normal in photos!

I took the plunge a couple of years ago to get some good old fashioned train tracks! I'm not a fan of veneers (I've never seen 'natural' looking veneers. Even if the person thinks no-one can tell, everyone can - from a mile off! They look too....70s game show host...to me! ) so I had them in for two very painful years. I got them off three months ago and I am a new woman! I smile in my photos (every professional avatar pic always saw me with my mouth closed) and smile a ton in general - with no covering my mouth anymore! It's amazing what a healthy, straight white smile does for someone! My teeth are easier to clean and my retainer at night stops me from grinding. I highly recommend braces to anyone who needs them - no matter their age. Monthly payments are easily available too, which is a help to everyone these days.

Anyhow, that's my story. Braces rock!

March 22, 2010 - 11:56am
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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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