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!