Orthodontists are experts in correcting jaw and bite issues, not to mention transforming crooked teeth into a beautiful, straight smile. If you wore braces as a kid, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about orthodontics today.
Here are 10 secrets to a better smile that your orthodontist wants you to know.
Braces Aren’t As Expensive As You Think
Many parents and adults considering orthodontics often put off treatment because of the costs associated, but this fear is often unfounded. Gone are the days where families had to sacrifice vacations, or a new car because their child needed braces. Many parents are relieved to learn how affordable braces have become, and are often surprised that their dental insurance plans cover a portion of orthodontic treatment.
Adults Get Braces, Too
Think braces are just for kids and teens? Think again. More than one million adults in the United States are currently going through orthodontic treatment, and these numbers are on the rise. Achieving straighter teeth is possible at any age, and it’s never too late to improve your smile. There are also many adult-friendly options that don’t require metal brackets and wires.
Take Your Children To See an Orthodontist Early On
One of the most important things you can do for your child is to take them to an orthodontist around the age of seven or eight to be examined. This initial consultation should happen before all of your child’s permanent teeth come in. This allows us to identify problems early when they can be easily corrected. Beginning orthodontic treatment early on can reduce the length of treatment.
Not Everyone Needs Braces
Having your child examined by an orthodontist does not always mean that braces will be recommended. If there are no issues present during your child’s consultation, and no visible potential issues, we will not recommend orthodontic treatment. In fact, we often suggest non-orthodontic treatments to help reduce the need for braces in the future. For example, having a few baby teeth removed can prevent overcrowding and allows for the permanent teeth to come in straight without interference.
Technology Has Changed Since You Had Braces as a Teen
If your first thought of braces is a mouth full of metal, think again. Braces technology has come a long way since you had braces as a teenager. Braces are now one-third the size they used to be, and there are a lot of other advancements in today’s treatment options. Tooth-colored clear braces are one of our most popular options for adults and teens.
Skipping Appointments Affects Your Treatment
It may seem as if there are a lot of unnecessary appointments during orthodontic treatment, but these appointments are vital in staying on schedule. Delaying or skipping visits can stall progress and extend treatment time. Your initial plan is adjusted with each appointment to ensure you are receiving the best treatment possible.
Don’t Straighten Your Teeth Yourself
Successfully straightening your teeth is best accomplished by a trained professional. The internet may be filled with do-it-yourself techniques to correct crooked or protruding teeth, but these can often cause more harm than good. Not only could you risk losing teeth from damage, but you may end up having to invest more time and money into having an orthodontist correct the damage caused by these poor techniques.
Braceless Options May Not Be the Right Choice
Bracket-free treatment options may be trendy, but they may not always be the right choice. For one, removable plastic aligners can cost 25% more than braces and can be the most expensive option. Some orthodontists also don’t recommend it for complex treatments such as jaw realignment.
Treatment Can Take Longer Than You Think
Orthodontic treatments generally last anywhere from six months to three years, with the average patient finishing within two years. Your treatment plan will be set with an estimated time frame at the beginning of treatment, but this estimate can change. This may be due to a change in a patient’s growth pattern, the teeth or jaw moving differently than anticipated, or due to the patient’s failure to adhere to instructions.
Your Teeth Won’t Stay Straight Unless…
Not only will you have to wear your retainer after you complete your treatment, but you also need to keep up with wearing it long after braces have been removed. Patients that complete their orthodontic treatment and achieve their desired results will need to wear their retainers, or your teeth will drift back to their original positions – we guarantee it!
Are you interested in learning more orthodontic trade secrets? Schedule a consultation with Thomas Orthodontics to learn the rest of our secrets that we want you to know!