1. There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment
When most people think of orthodontic treatment, they think of teenagers. But an increasing number of adults are getting braces or aligners (Invisalign). As long as your teeth and gums are healthy, you could benefit from getting your teeth straightened.
Why do adults get their teeth streightened? Usually, their families could not afford braces when they were children. Now that they are adults, they want to improve their smile and their dental health. Some adults had braces as children or teenagers, but didn’t wear their retainers, causing their teeth to become crooked again.
2. Your “bite” is as important as the straightness and aesthetics of your teeth
Many people think that braces only make teeth straight. In fact, they accomplish a lot more than that. An orthodontist evaluates a lot of things when you go in for a consultation. Are your teeth straight? Do they meet properly? Does your tongue stick out of your front teeth? Does your jaw hurt or click? Do you have a lot of crowding or large gaps? Have you lost all your baby teeth? Are your teeth and gums healthy? Do you have problems breathing or speaking?
One of the most important things that orthodontists evaluate is your “bite.” This is the way that your top and bottom teeth meet when you open and close your mouth. Orthodontists are just as concerned with how your mouth functions as they are with making your teeth look great.
3. Cost and treatment times vary
Orthodontic treatment is not cheap, but the value of a beautiful smile can’t be underestimated. The cost of treatment will depend on the complexity of the problem and the type of appliance used.
You will be provided with a quote prior to commencing any treatment and have the option of a payment plan to spread the cost over a number of months.
How long will your treatment last? That depends on your individual case. The patients who make the quickest progress are those who co-operate fully during treatment and follow the instructions from their orthodontist.
4. If I shift, can I transfer my treatment?
If it becomes necessary for you to shift to another city or town, your treatment can be transferred to another orthodontist with the treatment costs apportioned accurately at the time of transfer.
5. You will need to take good care of your teeth
When you have braces or aligners, it is really important you look after your teeth. Brushing will take some extra time, but this is a commitment you will benefit from in the long term. Ideally you will brush your teeth after every meal, rinse with mouthwash and floss at least once a day.
6. Do braces hurt?
It doesn’t hurt to get braces put on your teeth, but you may experience some discomfort a day or two later – a sign that the teeth are starting to move. You may also notice the appliances will rub the insides of your cheeks and lips and may cause mouth ulcers. This is not pleasant, but your mouth will soon get used to it. We will assist you through this time and provide tips and tricks on how to manage this. We recommend the use of paracetamol or ibuprofen, for the first 3 days after having braces or aligners fitted.
7. You will need to wear retainers afterward
After your braces come off, your orthodontist will give you a retainer. The type of retainer you need depends on your case. Sometimes orthodontists recommend a bonded permanent retainer to ensure that your teeth do not move at all. Alternatively, removable plastic retainers can be used.
No matter what type of retainer your get, the most important thing is to wear it exactly as the orthodontist tells you. Most people need to wear their retainers 24/7 for at least 6 months, then switch to wearing them only at night when sleeping.
How long will you need to wear your retainers? Forever. That’s right, forever. Your retainer ensures that your teeth will not move. If you have been out of braces for several years, you can switch to wearing it only a few nights per week but if you stop wearing your retainers totally, you take the risk your teeth may move back to the original position.