Although there are many options for straightening teeth today, metal braces remain the most popular choice. Yet you may wonder exactly what to expect. Here is what you should know about getting braces.
The Right Age for Braces
We recommend an early orthodontics screening shortly after your child turns 7. This lets us evaluate the emerging teeth and take preventive measures to increase the likelihood that the teeth will come in straight. Sometimes this is enough, but some kids still need braces. We recommend placing them when your child is 10 to 14 years old, depending on individual growth rate and tooth eruption.
As long as your teeth are healthy, though, it is never too late for braces. We frequently place braces on older teens and adults. In fact, adults comprise about 20% of all braces wearers. No matter how long ago you got your permanent teeth, braces can correct bite issues and improve your smile.
Reasons for Braces
Improving the appearance is a top reason to get braces, but it is not the only reason. In fact, straight teeth are essential to your oral health. They are much easier to clean, reducing your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. In addition, misaligned teeth can cause jaw pain and increase your risk for TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). Getting braces can eliminate the pain and make chewing easier and more comfortable.
Depending on individual needs, you or your child may need to wear braces for one to three years. You can minimize your treatment length by maintaining excellent oral hygiene, keeping all appointments, and wearing all devices as instructed. Still, since each mouth is unique, your treatment length could vary dramatically from that of a friend or relative.
Although braces are not exactly pleasant, modern braces are a far cry from those of just a few years ago. Metal brackets are significantly smaller than they once were, and clear brackets are also available. The wires are more flexible and are gentle on teeth.
Calming Kids’ Fears
Being a kid is tough, and it is not uncommon for kids to panic about getting braces. Let your child get used to the idea slowly. Remind them that braces are extremely common, and are a short-term way to gain long-term benefits. If your child knows someone who wears braces, encourage them to ask questions. Like adults, children generally do better with lots of information and support.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are seeking a passionate, caring, highly experienced orthodontist in Westchester County, contact Fine Orthodontics today at 914-666-8997 (Mount Kisco) or 914-232-2997 (Katonah).