Feeling good about yourself can be difficult enough without having to worry about your teeth. A toothache can make for some very uncomfortable pain but the negative impact that having crooked or crowded teeth is capable of having can cause a very different kind of pain that can have a lasting, detrimental effect. Those who live in developed nations that have access to orthodontic care do not have to deal with being self-conscious about their smiles because there are thousands of qualified orthodontists who are more than capable of helping. The field of orthodontistry specifically concerns itself with the alignment of teeth and malocclusions. Malocclusions are classified based on the way that one’s teeth and their upper and lower jaw come together. There are over and under bites and all kinds of different ways that teeth do not come together properly that can make for an unappealing smile and/or one that causes some inconvenient health concerns later in life.
Orthodontists do not exist just to make people’s smiles beautiful, but this is often their secondary aim when they identify a specific malocclusion(s) that needs to be dealt with. One’s teeth may not wear evenly over time when their jaws do not come together properly and this can be badly exacerbated if they grind their teeth while they sleep. TMJ and tension headaches are caused by having a misaligned upper and lower jaw and often require orthodontic treatment later in life if the discomfort and pain is severe. Even in cases where these kinds of afflictions are not a concern, generally speaking, crowded and/or crooked teeth are more difficult for those who posses them to maintain. So, those who have teeth that could use orthodontic alignment go without it, they are much more susceptible to develop dental and gum disease than someone with naturally straight teeth or ones that have been corrected. Having straight teeth is not just good for looks, but it is also good for one’s overall health.
Braces are commonly applied early in one’s live before their smiles take shape. One’s childhood or adolescence is the best time for them to have braces because they their teeth and the bones in the mouths and jaw are not fully developed and can be influenced. It is possible that one’s teeth may form fairly straight but they may have a serious under or overbite that could cause some issues for them later in their lives if not dealt with properly. An orthodontist or dentist can identify these developing issues and deal with them proactively so the patient’s teeth and bites never form in a way that could cause problems later in their lives. Braces for kids are usually applied using stainless steel brackets and wiring but adults who get them usually opt for materials designed to be more discreet. It is common for kids to have braces so they are not subjected to social consequences as a result but it is a different story with adults who decide to do something about their smiles.
The brackets used for braces have evolved since their inception in the early 1930s but they were not able to be used to their full potential until dental adhesive was properly formulated and put into practice during the 70s. Before the adhesive was introduced as a way to bind brackets to teeth, orthodontists used to have fashion metal bands around their patient’s teeth in order to create enough surface area to work with in order to move teeth in whatever direction they needed to go. The self-litigating bracket was probably the best functional improvement that took place over the evolution of the bracket’s overall design, but once brackets began being built out of plastic and ceramic using this design their cosmetic appeal increased. Adult braces usually refer to the kind of braces where some effort is taken to make their appearance less conspicuous.
Most orthodontists offer alternatives for adults who are looking into getting braces but are hesitant because they are not comfortable with the idea of walking around with the same, shiny metal ones in their mouths that most people are accustomed to seeing on children and teenagers. Brackets made out of ceramic or transparent plastic often make their appearance less noticeable to a point where an adult believes that will cause a decreased amount of distraction in their daily dealing with others with whom they interact. Orthodontists who care about their patients are intimately familiar with the concerns that their patients have, especially their adult patients and for this and other reasons they provide alternatives to braces that make many adults feel a lot better about the idea of correcting their smiles.