Today there are a number of options for braces that didn’t exist years ago. The first question you might ask your dentist is “Why do I need braces?” There are a number of reasons. Your jaws may not be aligned. You might have missing teeth or they could be crooked or crowded. Such conditions could be a result of traumatic injury or possible thumb-sucking when you were a child.

In most cases, children whose facial structures are in the early stages of development are candidates for braces. Generally, typical ages are between 7 and 14. When it comes to adults, there are usually other procedures involved due to the fact their faces are already developed.

About Braces

Orthodontics entail finding and dealing with issues that have to be corrected in either jaw and teeth alignment.

Braces consist of one of three types:

  • Old-fashioned, conventional braces, which employ the use of metal strips, or bands.
  • Metal or plastic brackets that are cemented or bonded to teeth.
  • Brackets that attach to the back teeth (also called lingual braces).


The first thing your dentist will do is create a plaster cast of your teeth. There will also be full X-rays taken of your head and mouth. 

Once your braces are on your teeth, adjustments will be made occasionally to ensure your teeth are correctly repositioned. Once the braces are removed, the dentist will have a retainer made, which you will have to wear for period of time to make sure your teeth are properly straightened.

Aesthetic and Comfort Issues

Braces don’t have the unappealing appearance issues today. Their lightweight and natural-coloring make that possible. Although these lightweight materials your braces are made of attach to brackets that bond to the tooth’s surface, we will remove them later on.

You can probably plan on wearing your braces around two years. Sometimes you’ll wear them less. For adults, there are longer times involved. That’s because teeth have been in their current position for longer periods of time. Therefore, they will require more time to correct their position.

Orthodontic appliances can create pressure on teeth, when it comes to occasional adjustments. This might create a sense of tightness, which will result in some mild discomfort. However, this only lasts a short while.

Hygiene Issues

You’ll want to make sure that food particles and other debris doesn't get trapped in your braces. In addition to monitoring this issue, be aware that brackets might stain the enamel on your teeth. To prevent that, you should clean the areas that are affected on a daily basis.

Some people with orthodontic appliances can benefit from using a water pick, and if you don't have one, you might consider adding one to your dental arsenal. Their ability to emit small pressurized water bursts is an effective and easy way to rinse this any debris from your mouth. Of course, daily brushing, flossing and rinsing are practices you should follow regularly.

Remember that your braces and sticky foods are not compatible. Any type of snacks that are very crunchy and chewy are things you want to avoid. These culprits have a tendency to loosen or damage orthodontia.

Space Maintainers

If you should experience premature tooth loss, sustain an injury or encounter other problems, space maintainers are a great solution to help teeth grow in place normally.

The biggest advantage to space maintainers is they maintain the proper spaces between teeth, which give future permanent teeth to grow in properly.

Let’s say your young child just happens to loose a baby tooth very early because of tooth decay or a possible injury. If that should happen, the teeth in your child’s mouth could begin to shift as they begin to fill the vacant space. So what happens then? As your child’s permanent teeth grow into place, they find there’s limited room so crooked or crowded teeth are the result. That’s followed with difficulties in chewing or speaking. However, these difficulties can be corrected with braces.