Are Braces Right for Me?

August 7, 2018

How do you know if you need braces?

It's estimated that 50 percent of people around the world have teeth that are crooked, not aligned properly, or irregular & need braces. Fortunately today, orthodontics has advanced to the point where braces and retainers, are less obvious, and more comfortable. They can also be worn for shorter periods of time. With that being said, how do you know if you need braces? Typically your dentist will be able to point out any issues with your teeth at your regular cleaning and recommend you to an orthodontist. Here are some other things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not braces could be in your future:

Crooked Teeth

As children grow, so do their teeth. More often than not, certain teeth will grow in crooked. This isn't uncommon, as the majority of children will require some sort of teeth correction. Retainers are custom-made devices that either work to hold teeth in place or correct tooth alignment. They're often worn all day, aside from meals. Eventually, retainers are rolled back so they're just worn at night. Braces, on the other hand, are worn for at least a year and work to help straighten or position teeth.

Overbite or Underbite

The other main oral issue that causes a need for braces is uneven alignment, such as an underbite or an overbite. You might hear Dr. Ghatri refer to this as a "malocclusion," which means "bad bite." Braces can help rearrange your alignment so it is less of a problem. Typically after the braces come off for this sort of treatment, patients need to wear a retainer to finish the treatment. While braces are typically associated with dental issues in children, more adults are wearing the devices as well. About one in five braces wearers are adults; a sign that it's never too late to correct any oral issues. Part of this is due to the technological advancements in orthodontics. For instance, new braces feel much better and come in a variety of styles — including clear — so they're far less obvious. Plus, the wires on braces are now made from advanced metals, which are stronger and lighter, so they get the job done much more efficiently. With so many people wearing braces these days, nicknames like "metal mouth" and "brace face" are almost a thing of the past. What's more, is that insurance plans are increasingly covering orthodontic treatment, making braces a much more feasible option for families on a budget. When weighing whether or not braces are in your future, it's important to study all of your options about the styles of braces and what treatment option is best for you. Also be sure to contact your insurance provider to see what is covered and what will have to be paid out of pocket. It might take a few years of treatment, but braces can give you that winning smile for the rest of your life. Call our Springfield, Fairfax, Fredericksburg or Reston, VA office with any questions you might have!

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