An obvious sign that an adult or child needs braces is if they have crooked or gaps in between their teeth that are not properly aligned.
What are braces, and how do they work?
Braces are commonly used to align your teeth correctly. The treatment involves patients who want to correct crooked, protruding, or crowded teeth. Braces are usually recommended for children and teenagers, however, there is an increase in adults seeking the treatment. The procedure of placing a brace involves shifting your teeth by the pressure applied on them, which eventually, changes the way they are aligned. The brackets work by holding your teeth in place.
How do I know if I need braces? (For adults)
The best approach to find out if you need braces is by visiting your dentist. They will examine your teeth and see if any issues need correcting. Although there are a couple of obvious signs, you can spot them for yourself. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Gaps in between your teeth
- Malocclusion (crooked teeth)
- Impaired speech, e.g. if you have a lisp
- Frequent jaw pain
- Persistent bad breath
- Food always getting stuck to your teeth
How do I know if I need braces? (For children)
It is usually difficult to spot if a child needs braces. To spot the signs early, the most common signals are baby teeth that are crooked or overcrowded. Children need to have regular check-ups with their dentist to ensure their teeth are healthy. It is recommended for children to visit their dentist before the age of eight but up to the age of fourteen is still advisable.
Here are some critical signs to look out for:
- Gaps in between your teeth
- Your teeth stick out
- Sucking your thumb past the age of two
- Poor oral health
- Poor nutrition
- Biting your tongue or cheek frequently
- A baby teeth that has not fallen out yet but is obstructing an adult tooth that is trying to grow in its place
- Your jaw clicks
Top 5 Benefits of Having Braces
Getting braces will leave you with massive oral benefits including a fresh smile and new refound confidence. Listed below are the top 5 benefits of having braces:
- Braces aid digestion
- Prevents gum disease
- It improves your speech
- Prevents bone erosion
- It improves your overall appearance and boosts your confidence
Is Wearing Braces Painful?
When braces are first applied, they are not painful, so no reason to be anxious when you book your appointment. However, there can be slight discomfort when the placement of the wire is in the brackets. This feeling will only last from a couple of days up to a week. By this time, you will get used to the change.
How Long Will You Need to Wear Them?
Patients usually wear braces from one to three years to get the full benefits of wearing braces. Adults may have to wear braces longer than children do.
Top tip: During this time, it is beneficial to maintain good hygiene. Brushing regularly will ensure cleanliness. Try to clean between the difficult spaces where your braces are to minimise stains and protect your teeth. This will ensure that when it is time to remove them, your teeth will not have any stains left from food.
Alternative Options to Braces
If the traditional brace is not for you, we offer three alternative solutions: Lingual Braces, Invisalign Braces and Quick Straight Teeth. Lingual braces are hidden behind your teeth and are completely transparent. Invisalign is a popular option, which serves as a clear and removable aligner. Quick Straight Teeth is all in the name; it helps you achieve a straight and even smile. You can find more information on our clear aligners page.