Smiling and laughing are arguably some of the best things in life that are free. But for people who are insecure about their teeth, these two activities can be a source of embarrassment and anxiety. Having crooked or misaligned teeth is seen as normal among kids, but some adults who have these problems might suffer from low self-esteem.
Braces are a good way to solve such issues. It’s easier for younger people to get them, as their gums and teeth are still soft enough for realignment to happen quickly. Getting braces as an adult can take more time and effort, and our fully-grown features might have hardened to a point where altering them would be painful.
But the benefits of getting braces outweigh the possible few weeks of pain, and if you keep reading, you’ll find that we’ve listed down things you need to know before booking a dentist’s consultation for them. Misinformation has prevented many people from seeking dental help, and my hope is you make the right decision if only to make yourself feel and look better.
- Know who to approach
Orthodontists specialize in the movement of teeth and the jaw. They’re better-equipped to deal with crooked and misaligned teeth than the usual dentists. If you’re planning on getting braces, consult with them, and ask as many questions as possible. Think of them as still dentists. Only they have more knowledge on particular dental issues.
You can still go to your dentist for milder requests, such as fitting a mold to your mouth. But for severe dental issues like malocclusion, an orthodontist is the wiser choice. Orthodontists are experts in that field, so you know you’re not leaving things up to chance. Check if your dentist is also a licensed orthodontist. It’s always best to be sure.
- Anyone can get braces
Braces aren’t just for children and teens, but we have come to associate them with each other because most people who wear braces get them when they’re really young. In fact, many children’s dentists specialize in braces. And it does make more sense: softer gums, softer teeth, and the jaw hasn’t fully hardened yet. But some adults get them well into 50 years old, so don’t be shy about your age when the dentist asks for it.
And since getting braces is a corrective measure, you have to make sure that your gums are healthy and flexible. If they aren’t, adjusting them would take longer and be a bit more painful as well.
- Braces improve dental health
Although braces will make your smile straighter, they also help alleviate some dental issues. Dentists usually measure a person’s bite to assess what kind of jaw they have and how best to straighten the teeth. Braces are not a “one size fits all” situation — instead, some consultations take a while to finish because human mouths vary a lot.
Braces can also help solve speech impediments, like lisps. Sometimes, when the jaw protrudes forward too much or too backward, speech irregularities can take place. Getting braces to fix that might help! You can say goodbye to the speech patterns you’d rather not keep once the braces come off.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions
At the end of the day, your dentist (or orthodontist) will obviously know more about this subject than you ever will be. Looking at forums on the Internet for hours does not make a dentist, so you have to follow them when they give you instructions. Ignoring advice regarding the literal bits of metal in your mouth will result in you waiting too long to remove them, or you might develop habits that leave you worse than when you first got them.
Always heed their advice. If they tell you to use a special brush in between the braces or to make sure to brush your tongue as well, you do it. Otherwise, you’ll be spending all that money on nothing. Braces are a pretty serious matter because you will literally be adjusting your jaw and what else is in it.
A final word
No one should ever have to feel insecure about their smile. Braces can help you get your confidence back, so if you’re thinking of getting one for yourself, make sure to speak to an orthodontist first and arrange a consultation to figure out how long it will take for your teeth to be corrected. After examining your mouth, they will make recommendations that fit what you need and into your lifestyle again.