Worrying about having better teeth after braces is often a parent’s job, as their kids will probably not be so happy about the thought of having metal objects inside their mouth all the time. The problem, when they do some research online, is that they can’t be really sure about the facts about braces they read on the Internet. If you want to be sure, you can always check the website of the American Association of Orthodontists.
One thing you may discover is that adults can get braces too, so it’s never too late if you want to correct that massive overbite you’ve been sporting since you were a kid. Lots of people wear braces in college, and even when you’re already working it’s still okay to wear them. The right age for braces for children may be debatable (the AAO recommends that a visit to the orthodontist should be done by age 7), but for adults most experts agree that now is the right time for you to visit an orthodontist if you haven’t done so before.
Choosing an Orthodontist
“I want braces!”
The first thing you need to do if you are thinking about braces for yourself is that you need a proper orthodontist. An orthodontist is a specialist who underwent more years of training for this job, so if you have a dentist who offers to do this service for a lot less money then you really have to think twice. It’s true that some dentists can solve simple tooth movement problems. But if there are some complications, then you’ll need a proper orthodontist to help you.
So what is a proper orthodontist, and how do you choose the right one?
- They have to be Board certified. Ask your family dentist if they know one who is certified.
- Their manners and dental styles should match your temperament. If you are somewhat anxious and the orthodontist doesn’t help you overcome your problems, then you may want a different orthodontist.
- Ask about how much it will cost. Orthodontists have different approaches, and they may recommend different treatments. They also charge differently, and that’s because some orthodontists are simply better than others.
“Do I need braces?”
To know the answer, arrange for a consultation with an orthodontist. Consultations are usually free, so take advantage of this. During the consultation, you get a sense of the orthodontist’s manners (which is crucial, since this arrangement can last for years) and you’ll find out what they think you need and how much it will all cost.
Before you go ahead with getting braces because you’re thinking “I need braces,” it’s really prudent that you get three opinions so you can pick one to your liking.
Types of Braces
There are several types of braces, and they may be made from different materials. This is crucial when you’re allergic to certain metals.
If you don’t care for braces alternative options are always available. For example, you may opt for a kind of braces that works much more quickly, so that you don’t have to spend years wearing one. Then you can also choose braces which aren’t as obvious in your mouth.
Alternatives to Braces
There are, of course, other alternatives, but your orthodontist will mention them only if they work for your particular dental situation. You can read various braces review articles online to give you a clearer idea.
You need to “brace” yourself—it can cost as much as $8,000. The average, according to experts, is in the $4,000 range. You may check your insurance provider if they provide coverage, but unless your dental insurance specifically covers braces then you may have to pay for it out of pocket.
In general, orthodontists can offer you a payment plan so that you can pay over several years. The costs will be one of those things you need to consider as well.
But when you choose one orthodontist, you really need to make sure that you stay with that one for the duration of your treatment. If you have to have a different orthodontist (because you’re moving to another state, for example), then your new orthodontist may start over from scratch. As we’ve said, orthodontists have different approaches to these things. If you’re lucky, you can find an orthodontist who can continue what your old orthodontist started, but this is uncommon.
Now you may have heard about free braces, but, for the most part, this is available to kids from poor families. As an adult, learning how to get free braces is a much more difficult proposition.
What to Expect
In general, you can expect to be wearing braces for a full two years. Admittedly, that’s a very long time, but you may want to consider faster-working braces if you wish.
Now when you start wearing your braces, here are some things you need to expect:
§There’s going to be some pain, and it may be enough that you may regret your decision, especially if you have a low threshold for pain. The pain doesn’t come when the braces are put on your teeth. The pain and discomfort happen a day or so later. You can take some over-the-counter pain killers, as prescription drugs aren’t usually required.
§You’ll get mouth sores. These are caused when the brackets on your teeth rub the insides of your lips and gums. You can treat these with mouth rinse or warm salt water several times a day. This will only last a couple of weeks, and then it will pass when you form scar tissue inside your mouth.
- During those first weeks, you’ll need to eat only soft foods and chew very slowly.
- You’ll have to brush your teeth after every meal, and floss daily.
- Once the braces are off, you’ll need to wear retainer probably for the rest of your life.So when all things are considered, are you sure you really want to wear braces? Choose the right orthodontist, and let them help you make the right decision. Just remember, it’s never too late to have a great smile.
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