Are Braces Right For You?

Orthodontic braces are a wonderful solution for people who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. Braces can correct alignment issues, allowing people to have beautiful, straight smiles. However, braces require an investment of time and money. Before getting braces, you should be sure of your choice. Answering these four simple questions can help you determine if braces are right for you.

1. Do you mind the appearance of braces?

Braces are an effective orthodontic treatment. However, traditional braces are highly visible. Before committing to braces, make sure you're okay with wearing visible orthodontic hardware. Choosing clear or tooth-colored rubber bands can minimize the appearance of braces. If you're really concerned about having a "metal mouth," you can choose ceramic braces instead. Ceramic braces work the same way as traditional braces. However, they feature ceramic brackets and tooth-colored wires that are more discreet than those made from titanium or stainless steel.

2. Can you modify your tooth care routine?

Proper tooth care is important for the prevention of cavities. You should brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily to clean plaque off your teeth. You'll still need to follow a good tooth care regimen while wearing braces, but you'll need to modify your routine to accommodate your orthodontic hardware. You can find floss specially designed to be easily threaded through the wire of your braces. Alternatively, you can use a water jet to clean between your teeth and forgo floss entirely.

3. Are you willing to wait for results?

Braces can drastically change the appearance of your teeth, but they don't work overnight. Most people who get braces will need to continue treatment for at least 18 months. If you desire immediate results, you may want to consider veneers for minor cosmetic changes. However, if you can be patient, braces can provide great results for people with crooked teeth and bite misalignments.

4. Will you commit to wearing a retainer?

Braces will move your teeth into new positions with better alignment. However, your orthodontic treatment doesn't end when you get your braces removed. You'll need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting back into their prior positions. Initially, you'll need to wear your retainer all day, only taking breaks for meals. Eventually, you'll only have to wear your retainer at night. You should only get braces if you can commit to wearing a retainer at the completion of your treatment.

Reach out to an orthodontist to learn more.