When you find out you or your child needs braces, many questions probably flash through your mind. You might feel overwhelmed and not know where to start to get the information you need to make decisions confidently. At Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics, we believe in patient education. To help you kickstart your research, we’ve put together some of our community’s orthodontic FAQs in one place.
How Can Braces Benefit Me?
Did you know that the alignment of your teeth and jaw is directly related to your mental, oral, and physical health because of its prominent role in your quality of life? It’s true! Let’s go over how.
Misalignments can make oral hygiene difficult due to pain or the creation of hard-to-reach places in the mouth. Improperly cleaned teeth and gums can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Malocclusion and poor jaw placement can also make chewing challenging, leading to issues in the digestive process. Potential concerns include but are not limited to dry mouth, choking, indigestion, and heartburn.
The pain could quickly spread to the neck and head if left untreated, resulting in migraines and the development of TMJ, an uncomfortable and often permanent jaw joint condition.
Other physical health concerns caused by misalignment include trouble communicating and breathing and an increased risk of dental injury.
All of the above could affect your mental health, too. Unfortunately, a conventionally undesirable cosmetic appearance in teeth can negatively affect how others perceive you and how you regard yourself.
You could have low self-esteem if you don’t like what you see in the mirror (from malocclusion or poor dental hygiene). If your misalignment produces a speech impediment or breathing issues, you might feel embarrassed or judged by those around you. You can become isolated, depressed, or develop social anxiety.
This isolation might not be entirely self-inflicted, however. Straight teeth have been proven to be associated with success, good health, cleanliness, and happiness. Because of this positive perception, people with straight teeth find getting a job, second dates, and making friends easier than those with misaligned teeth.
Seeing an orthodontist and getting appropriate treatment can minimize these cosmetic and health risks to leave you happy and healthy.
Does Online Care Differ From In-Person Care?
Yes! In-person orthodontists have quite a few advantages over online, direct-to-consumer providers (at least in our opinion). With us, you’re family. You’re not just a case number or digital person on a computer screen. And that comes with some benefits.
- receive a personalized treatment plan created using all the available and necessary information that an online provider has no means of getting.
- get to form a relationship with the orthodontist creating your customized treatment plan.
- don’t have to do any DIY orthodontic work at home; you have a whole team of professionals at our office who will do it all for you!
- have access to our top-of-the-line technology, like our 3D scanner, that reveals information critical to your care.
- can support a local business and help your community thrive and grow.
- have an oral healthcare professional carefully and closely monitoring your teeth’s health throughout treatment.
- have multiple treatment options available so you and our team can pick the best for your needs and lifestyle.
- and more!
What Age Should I Get Braces?
There is no set age to get braces. Despite their popularity and affiliation with teenagers, other age groups can benefit from braces.
The American Association of Orthodontists states that a child should see an orthodontist by the age of seven for early evaluation. Though most children will not begin care immediately or at all, it is best for potential problems to be found and dealt with as the child’s bones are still developing. Pediatric orthodontics is used for preventative treatment, interceptive treatment, or growth guidance.
You’re still a great candidate for orthodontic care if you’re past child and teenage years. It’s never too late to invest in yourself, especially with your smile! You can still use braces to address your cosmetic or health concerns, and we would love to help you on your journey!
Do I Have To Change My Diet With Braces?
With fixed braces, like our self-ligating metal braces or our clear braces, you will have to change your diet accordingly. Because your braces do not come out, you must watch what you eat to protect your oral health and appliances. Click here to read our most recent blog post about what you can and cannot eat with braces!
If you are a removable braces patient with our Invisalign program, you are not required to change your dietary habits. However, we encourage some patients to reduce their intake of coffee, tea, wine, tomato-based products, and similar items to minimize teeth staining. The residue left behind that discolors the teeth can transfer to your aligners, making them more noticeable to others when worn. But changing your diet is unnecessary because you will switch out your trays every two weeks.
Why Are Retainers So Important?
When you finish the phase known as active treatment (wearing braces), you will transition into the retention phase. This phase can be the make or break of your treatment!
During active treatment, your mouth becomes moldable like clay because your bones are breaking down and reabsorbing. This action, known as remodeling, is how we are able to move your teeth! When active treatment is over, your mouth is still (metaphorically) “soft and squishy,” and your teeth will take advantage of that! Teeth have excellent memories and prefer their original locations to new ones. They will try to return “home.”
That’s what your retainer is for! It retains your teeth in place as the mouth solidifies and adapts to its new layout.
Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics Has All The Answers!
Trying to answer all your questions here would be impossible or result in an incredibly long blog post that you might find unhelpful or uninviting.
If you have any questions that we could not answer here or would like elaboration on any of them, contact our Edmond, Clinton, Oklahoma City, or Deer Creek offices to speak to a helpful and knowledgeable team member. To begin your or your child’s orthodontic treatment, schedule a free consultation with us today!