Do you need braces? That’s a good question. Orthodontia can have both aesthetic and dental health benefits. It can improve the look of your smile as well as the function of your bite line. Yet it can also be a substantial investment. Are braces necessary? Are they worth it? Here’s what you need to consider if you think you might be a candidate.
Mouth Problems that May Require Braces
Take a look at your smile in the mirror. Do you have crowded or crooked teeth? These are known as malocclusions. If your teeth overlap, protrude on one another, or sit sideways, braces can help. Most people get braces because their teeth are crowding each other.
Braces also might help if the top and bottom of your front teeth don’t touch. This kind of open bite can make it challenging to bite or chew foods. It may even be causing a slight speech impediment. You probably don’t notice it, but after it’s corrected, the difference is, shall we say, pronounced.
An overbite, where the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth, can be fairly common and usually isn’t too much of a problem. But in some cases, it can be extreme. If you bite down and don’t see much of your lower teeth, the overbite may be enough to cause dental issues. Talk to your Sharonville dentist and see what they say.
What Ages are Ideal for Braces?
Braces can be beneficial at any age, although 10 to 14 is ideal. At this age, the mouth and teeth are still growing, and most conducive to straightening. That being said, braces can be done at any age. These days, braces have become more common for adults to correct their smiles and ease dental discomfort. Perhaps they weren’t able to afford them as children, or the problem had not yet been identified by their Cincinnati family dentist.
What Causes Teeth to Need Braces?
Tiny mouths: Some people are just cursed with having a smaller mouth. This leaves little room for teeth to grow. As permanent teeth come in, it can lead to overcrowding.
Poor jaw formation: A misaligned jaw affects your bite, making it difficult to chew. It can even cause something known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder — pain in the muscles of the jaw that make it difficult to chew or even speak.
Extra teeth: Some people have too many teeth; others are missing teeth due to injury or other dental problems. Malformation of the teeth can result from overcrowding or gaps in the jawbone.
Tongue thrusting: Some kids, or even some adults out of nervous habit, will thrust their tongue against the front of the teeth, which can lead to problems over time.
Thumb sucking after 3 years of age: Thumb sucking is perfectly normal during infancy and early toddlerhood, but if can cause problems if it continues past the age of 3 or 4.
How Long are Braces Needed?
Most people wear braces for around 18 to 30 months, depending on your age and how complicated the problem is. That’s why we recommend braces during the early teen years because the mouth is still growing and more adaptive to change. They can still be effective for adults, but the process can take longer.
How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of braces can vary according to the procedure, geographic location, and age. It’s typically not covered by insurance, but that depends on your plan and the need for treatment. Talk to your family dentist.