All About Braces – What You Need to Know

Posted on: April 3, 2017

BracesIf you are curious about whether you may need dental braces or not, you probably have some questions. Braces are not normally a necessity unless dental health is at risk. Many people opt to receive straightening treatment simply to look more attractive and feel more confident, but sometimes braces are necessary, especially if jaw misalignment or bite problems exist.

Are braces painful?

Braces do not typically cause pain. Upon first placing braces, the patient’s teeth may feel tender because they are adjusting to the pressure of the braces. The patient’s teeth may be a little tender after placing the separators, setting the new wires, tightening or adjusting the braces. Tenderness will most likely not last longer than two to three days. After the teeth adjust to the braces, the patient will experience less discomfort following any other adjustments.

Since the lips and cheeks may not be accustomed to rubbing against the braces, the patient may experience mouth sores on occasion. After some weeks wearing braces, the patient’s oral tissues will adjust to the slight abrasion. Any time the patient’s cheeks or lips feel irritation, the patient can apply orthodontic wax to the irritant. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help with any discomfort the patient experiences.

Are there less noticeable options that work as well as braces?

Yes. There are many other less noticeable options patients can consider if they do not want traditional metal braces. Today’s metal braces are actually much less noticeable than they once were due to smaller components and less metal. However, if patients still want to explore other options, then they can look into ceramic braces (also known as clear braces), clear aligners, or lingual braces.

Ceramic braces consist of translucent, ceramic materials that are tooth-colored or clear, so more of the natural tooth is visible and the actual braces appliance is less obvious. While the appearance is different, the function of ceramic braces is virtually the same as traditional metal braces.

Clear aligners like Invisalign® are plastic retainer-like appliances worn in a series that gently move teeth into a new alignment while being virtually invisible. New aligners are received every two weeks to be worn to progress straightening treatment.

Lingual braces are very similar to traditional metal braces in structure, but they adhere to the backs of teeth and are not visible from the front.

All three of these options are less apparent, but they may cost a little more than traditional metal braces. Depending on the patient’s needs, we can discuss the details of these options in further detail when visiting for an appointment.

Can braces be worn at any age?

As long as one has a healthy mouth, including healthy gums and bones, then one can wear braces. Unfortunately, since the teeth and bones of adults are less malleable than that of children or teens, straightening treatment may take a little longer the older the patient.

If you are interested in learning more about braces and what they can do for you, visit our Long Branch office. We can give you the straight and beautiful smile you want at an affordable price.

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