When is the right time for Braces?

Patients with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment at nearly any age. An ideal time for placement of braces is between 10 and 14 years of age, while the head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more accessible to straightening. However, because any adjustments in facial appearance can be traumatic to a child during these sensitive years, parents should discuss the matter with their children before braces are applied.

And braces aren't just for kids. More and more adults are also wearing braces to correct minor problems and to improve their smiles.

What kind of braces will I have to wear?

Your dentist will know what appliance is best for your particular problem, but you often have a choice. Braces generally come in three varieties: The most popular type are brackets, metal, ceramic or plastic, that are bonded to teeth. Ceramic brackets are typically clear or tooth-colored and are far less noticeable than metal brackets. Lingual, or concealed, braces are brackets that attach to the back of teeth, hidden from view. Both types of braces use wires to move the teeth to the desired position.

How long will I have to wear braces?

That depends upon your treatment plan. The more complicated your spacing or bite problem is, and the older you are, the longer the period of treatment, usually. Most patients can count on wearing full braces between 12 and 36 months, followed by the wearing of a retainer to set and align tissues surrounding straightened teeth.

Will treatment be uncomfortable?

The interconnecting wires of traditional braces are tightened at each visit, bearing mild pressure on the brackets or bands to shift teeth or jaws gradually into a desired position. Your teeth and jaws may feel slightly sore after each visit, but the discomfort is brief. Keep in mind also that some teeth may need to be extracted to make room for teeth being shifted with braces and for proper jaw alignment. For patients with aligners, there may be some soreness as your mouth adjusts to each new plastic tray.

Do I have to avoid any foods or personal habits?

Yes. Cut down on sweets, chips and soda. Sugary and starchy foods generate acids and plaque that can cause tooth decay and promote gum disease.

Cut healthy, hard foods like carrots or apples into smaller pieces. Sticky, chewy sweets like caramel can cause wire damage and loosen brackets. Avoid hard and crunchy snacks that can break braces, including popcorn, nuts and hard candy. More don'ts: ice cube chewing, thumb sucking, excessive mouth breathing, lip biting and pushing your tongue against your teeth.

What about home care of my teeth with braces?

With braces, oral hygiene is more important than ever. Braces have tiny spaces where food particles and plaque get trapped. Brush carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and check your teeth in the mirror to make sure they're clean. Take time to floss between braces and under wires with the help of a floss threader. Have your teeth cleaned every six months to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Insufficient cleaning while wearing braces can cause enamel staining around brackets or bands.

Can Adults wear Braces

Braces aren't just for teenagers. No matter your age, it's never too late to improve your dental health and beautify your smile. About 1 million Americans and Canadians over the age of 18 wear braces. As a result, general dentists today are more familiar with potential concerns and special needs of their adult patients. Some general dentists have the training to diagnose and treat orthodontic problems.

Why do adults need braces? 

Some adults never received orthodontic treatment as children to correct problems such as crooked or crowded teeth, overbites and underbites, incorrect jaw position or jaw joint disorders. If left untreated, these problems can result in tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and earaches, as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems.

Is orthodontic treatment different for adults?

Like children, adults can receive the same benefit of an improved smile and oral health from wearing braces. However, since adults are no longer growing, treatment may take longer than it does for teenagers. The average adult wears braces for 18 months to three years. After braces are removed, you may need to wear a retainer to maintain the results of your treatment.

 

Orthodontic treatment is used to correct a “bad bite.” This condition, known as a malocclusion, involves teeth that are crowded or crooked. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may not meet properly and although the teeth may appear straight, the individual may have an uneven bite.

Protruding, crowded or irregularly spaced teeth and jaw problems may be inherited. Thumb-sucking, losing teeth prematurely and accidents also can lead to these conditions.

Correcting the problem can create a nice-looking smile, but more important, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth. That’s because crooked and crowded teeth make cleaning the mouth difficult, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and possibly tooth loss. An improper bite can interfere with chewing and speaking, can cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel, and can lead to problems with the jaws.

Is there a faster treatment?

Years of research has culminated in the development of a new procedure by which teeth can be moved approximately 4 times faster than ever before possible with conventional orthodontics. As a result, the treatment time for most orthodontic cases can be reduced to 3 to 8 months. This new patented method is a combination of time-tested and proven techniques from the fields of orthodontics and periodontics and is called the Accelerated Osteogenic Orthodontics.

With the new procedure, patients who would have declined conventional orthodontics strictly due to the length of treatment now have a viable alternative. This group of patients has tended to include adolescents who do not want to wear braces for 1 1/2 to 3 years while in high school and adults whose social or professional responsibilities would preclude their wearing braces for a long period of time. The AOOTM procedure is feasible for most patients, regardless of age, as long as their permanent teeth are present.

Dr. Omar Aguilera Garcia is the first dentist who performed this procedure in theNorthern part of México obtaining his certification and licensure in the year 1999and he has been performing it since then with excellent resultson his patients.