Malocclusion is often a result of problems with the shape and size of the jaw or teeth. Inadequate jaw room may cause your teeth to grow crooked. Teeth misalignment is a common dental problem during childhood and adolescent years, but it can also occur later in life. Crooked teeth can alter your appearance and make you self-conscious each time you expose your teeth. If you are unhappy with the alignment of your teeth, Dr. Susan Liebman in Brooklyn recommends braces to straighten teeth. Although most people dread braces, they restore the integrity of your smile.
How do braces work?
Braces apply constant pressure on your teeth, gradually moving them in an aligned position over an extended period. Most people think that teeth are directly connected to the jawbone and may wonder how functional braces are. Conversely, your teeth are rooted to the jaw by a membrane, which also controls the position of your teeth. Contrary to what you may imagine, it is not the jaw that responds to the pressure but the membrane.
The installation process may take one or two hours and is not painful. However, you may feel some pain and discomfort during the first week of getting braces as you adjust. It usually feels like a dull soreness and throbbing but is generally not severe. Over-the-counter pain medications may help ease the discomfort. You may also feel some discomfort and pain for a few days after your braces have been adjusted.
Can adults get braces?
While you are never too old for braces, there are some advantages to starting treatment in your younger years. Experts recommend getting braces earlier in life when your jawline is more flexible and more responsive to treatment. Adults have fully developed jaws and teeth and need to wear braces for a more extended period than children or adolescents would. There are also some adjustments that braces cannot accomplish once your teeth and jaw are fully grown.
Generally, the treatment process for adults and children is the same, and the difference boils down to duration. Kids require a short period before their teeth align, while adults may need to keep their braces for a more extended period. Besides the course of treatment, there are other factors that adults may need to consider before getting braces. For example, pregnant women planning to conceive should consult with a specialist to understand how braces could affect their pregnancy. The same applies if you have underlying medical conditions that you suspect could be a problem.
How do I take care of braces?
Once your orthodontist installs the braces, you may need to adjust your diet. You may need to avoid hard and sticky foods such as candy, chewing gum, and popcorn. These foods get trapped between your braces and gum line, and removing them may be challenging. Since your teeth are more inclined to trap foods, you should beware of what you eat to avoid additional problems such as tooth decay. After each meal, be sure to clean your teeth to remove any food particles lodged between your braces and teeth.
If your teeth are crooked, reserve a session with your orthodontist at Brooklyn Heights Orthodontists for braces to transform your smile.