7 Interesting Facts About Orthodontic Treatment

If you’re an adult considering orthodontic treatment, you’re not alone. In fact, one in four people who are currently receiving orthodontic treatment are adults.

Orthodontics isn’t just about getting straight teeth. Getting braces or clear aligners is an investment into your smile, which can potentially support better oral health and boost your self-confidence.

Whether you have had braces in the past, are considering braces now, or are thinking about orthodontics for your kids, here are seven interesting facts about orthodontic treatment you may not have known.

  1. Orthodontics May Reduce Your Risk of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Did you know that receiving orthodontic treatment has the potential to make your smile healthier?

Crowded or crooked teeth are often difficult to brush and floss properly. You may not be able to work floss into tight spaces between teeth, or you may consistently miss areas with your toothbrush due to the unusual positioning of teeth.

When you have your teeth moved into their proper positions with orthodontics, your teeth may be easier to take care of. As a result, you may have a lower risk of plaque buildup in your oral cavity, which can reduce your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

2. You Don’t Have to Have Braces to Straighten Your Teeth

Although metal braces are the traditional way to straighten teeth, you aren’t limited to braces when pursuing orthodontic treatment.

Today, you have the option of going with clear aligners such as Invisalign, ceramic braces, or even lingual braces, which are placed on the backs of your teeth where they can’t be seen. If you want straighter teeth but don’t want to have the look of metal braces, you may be able to choose a more discreet treatment method.

While braces may be the most effective form of treatment for certain cases, Invisalign and other braces alternatives may be able to move your teeth just as quickly. Your orthodontist can let you know what options are available to you during your consultation.

3. Wearing Your Retainer Is a Must

Most people know that they will have to wear a retainer once their orthodontic treatment is complete. However, many people don’t realize just how long they will have to wear their retainer to keep their teeth straight.

Orthodontists now recommend wearing your retainer for life after getting your braces removed or completing your Invisalign treatment. For the first few months, your orthodontist may recommend wearing your retainer as much as possible. However, eventually you’ll be able to switch to wearing your retainer only at night.

Wearing your retainer every night ensures that your teeth stay in their positions and don’t try to drift back to where they were before. Although wearing your retainer nightly may sound like a hassle, it’s often well worth developing this habit to maintain your straight teeth and keep your smile beautiful for life.

4. You Don’t Have to Be a Kid to Have Braces

If you think you’ve missed your window of opportunity to get braces, think again. Although it’s true that children and teenagers tend to have more malleable bone structures that make them ideal candidates for shifting teeth, adults can still receive orthodontic treatment to straighten their smiles.

Orthodontics can effectively move your teeth no matter what age you are. So whether this is your first time considering braces or you need to get braces again after having them as a teen, don’t worry—you have options for treatment and finally getting the smile you always wanted.

5. Braces May Improve the Function of Your Smile

Orthodontic treatment may help you chew and speak better. When teeth are misaligned, it can make proper chewing difficult, which can increase your risk of gastrointestinal disorders. Crooked or crowded teeth may also affect how you pronounce words, which could make proper pronunciation difficult in some cases.

Getting straighter teeth can not only help improve your chewing and speech. Properly aligned teeth may also help prevent injury to your teeth later on. When your teeth fit together properly, you have a lower risk of wearing down your teeth prematurely and may also reduce your risk of chipping or cracking your teeth.

6. You May Not Need Braces on Both Your Upper and Lower Teeth

Although many people who pursue orthodontic treatment need braces on both their upper and lower rows of teeth, this won’t be true for every person. Some people may only need braces on their upper row of teeth or their lower row of teeth to align everything properly.

Only having braces on the top or bottom of your teeth may mean a shorter treatment time and a more affordable treatment plan. However, keep in mind that not every patient will qualify for this type of treatment.

The most common cases in which braces are applied on either the upper or lower rows of teeth are when an overbite is present, if there is nothing wrong with the bottom (or upper) teeth, or if the primary reason for orthodontic treatment is gapped upper or lower teeth.

7. Flossing Aids and Electric Toothbrushes Can Help You Keep Your Braces Clean

When receiving orthodontic treatment in the form of braces, it will be harder to clean your teeth and gums—especially if you continue to use regular floss and a manual toothbrush.

The good news is that by switching to an electric toothbrush (sonic toothbrushes are particularly helpful) and using flossing aids such as a water flosser or floss threaders, you can keep your teeth clean and healthy while receiving orthodontic treatment.

Your dentist or orthodontist can review healthy cleaning practices with you to ensure you’re equipped to maintain your oral health while you have braces. And if you have clear aligners such as Invisalign, you can easily remove these to clean both your teeth and the aligners—no change in your oral care routine needed.

Are You Considering Braces?

If you’re considering braces, don’t wait to book a consultation with your local orthodontist. Our team at Saunders DDS can also refer you to orthodontists in the Asheville area and help you keep your teeth clean while you’re receiving treatment. Contact us at (828) 277-6060 or use our online contact form to request an appointment today.