Are Braces Worth it?
The goal of orthodontic treatment is to create a beautiful smile and a healthy bite, meaning straight teeth that look great and mesh well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite also makes it easier and more comfortable for you to bite, chew, and speak. Many people find these benefits worthy reasons to invest in a comprehensive orthodontic treatment, but just as people differ, so do their reasons to get braces.
While it’s true your motivations to get braces might be different than your neighbor’s motivations, there are some universal reasons that contribute to the choice of investing in braces. These usually are:
- A beautiful and more confident smile
- The overall improvement of your oral health
If either of these motives resonate with you, keep reading to see if you should invest in your own customized orthodontic treatment plan.
Reasons to Get Braces
The three main reasons people choose to get braces usually fall under creating a more aligned bite, being able to chew more comfortably, and increasing their confidence through straightened teeth.
Healthy, Aligned Bite
If you have a misaligned bite, it can cause unnecessary tension and strain on the jaw muscles, leading to pain and discomfort and in the most severe cases TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. Braces are adept at correcting misaligned bites and ensuring undue stress ins’t placed on the jaw. Even if you don’t experience pain or discomfort from a misaligned jaw, it can still cause unnecessary wear on the teeth.
More Comfortable Chewing
Gaps in teeth or having teeth overlapping each other can making chewing uncomfortable. Crooked teeth can also lead to tooth grinding and clenching, which can contribute to overall pain in the mouth and added wear and tear on the teeth. Correcting these issues through orthodontic treatment can improve not only just the way your teeth look, but also the health of your mouth as a whole.
A boost in confidence through a straighter smile is the most popular reason people decide to get braces. While braces and orthodontic treatment come with the added benefits mentioned above, none are quite as noticeable or confidence-boosting as a straighter smile.
What Braces Do
In general, braces work by applying pressure to the teeth and gums through the metal brackets, ligature bands, and wires to move teeth into their corrected positions. This happens gradually to ensure the safe movement of teeth and correct bite alignment, mitigating relapse in the process that can happen from moving teeth too quickly. We have a whole article that dives into how braces work to straighten teeth if you’d like to learn more about the behind the scenes work of this orthodontic treatment.
Best Age to Invest in Braces
Braces are typically most popular with kids aged 8-14 for a few key reasons. While braces can work for anyone at nearly any point in their life, these younger ages are more ideal because the child’s mouth and head are still growing. This allows the orthodontic treatment to correct issues early on before the teeth and jaw are fully grown and settled.
Most orthodontists recommend early screenings around the age of 7 to determine if there are any overcrowding or bite issues developing. If there are any red flags found at this stage, your child can usually start their orthodontic treatment once he or she looses the majority of their baby teeth, they can then begin their orthodontic treatment.
Getting Braces as an Adult
Even though adults are no longer growing, they can still enjoy the improvements that come from orthodontic treatment. A healthy bite and good looking smile is as important at age 60 as it is at age 16. Your age isn’t a consideration, only the health of your teeth and gums, for orthodontic treatment because healthy teeth can be moved at any age.
Any existing problems, like gum disease or worn and damaged teeth, should be addressed before beginning an orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist should work with your regular dentist to ensure any issues are corrected and that your oral health is in a good position for braces.
One of the biggest drawbacks adult patients find with braces is the noticeable hardware. Fortunately there are alternatives to the traditional brackets and metal of traditional braces. Options like Damon Clear and Invisalign offer virtually invisible orthodontic treatment for those who want a less noticeable treatment. Check with your orthodontist about more invisible alternatives if this is a concern for you.
Why Braces Are Worth it
The reasons behind getting braces and investing in this treatment usually boil down to two main points: improved oral health and a boost in confidence. Although your reasons might differ, these motivations are common in the majority of patients seeking an orthodontic treatment.
If you have any reservations about braces and orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to reach out and ask us! We love educating our community. We also offer free consultations. If braces aren’t the right fit for you, we will tell you. However, almost everyone is a candidate for some form of orthodontic treatment, it’s just a matter of which route you can or want to take.