Braces: Why Do People Have Them?

by Charlene G. Samoy (This article was first published at South Common Dentist)

In the past, having braces is a reason for an individual not to smile. It was a reason for embarrassment. People, as much as possible, don’t wear them. At present, wearing braces not only becomes a dental procedure. It is also a fashion statement.

This is due to celebrities who started grinning with their braces. These celebrities are Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, even Princes William and Harvey. When these well-known personalities start flashing their metal teeth brackets, people emulated them. Soon, the not-so-popular braces become a world-wide trend. Especially in Asia, girls wear braces even though dentists don’t recommend them to have one. Fake braces are also available in the fashion markets.

Before you consider having braces, consider your motive. Check with your dentist first. Ask, “Do I need to have braces now?”

Dentists recommend the use of braces for their patients who have irregularly-aligned teeth. This is also the solution for crowded teeth. These facial conditions will get worse and may also affect eating habits. Also, pain is associated with these abnormal teeth alignment.

Before giving you a recommendation for braces, a teeth specialist, called an orthodontist will examine your teeth under x-rays. You also will have to undergo a thorough mouth examination.

For those who have misaligned teeth, biting becomes a major problem. This can be due to improper alignment of the jaws. Dentists call them overbite or underbite. Overbite happens when your upper jaw seems to move more forward than the lower jaw. The reverse happens for the underbite. These conditions will become more normal after you have your braces.

Other possible reasons for having braces are aging and difficulty chewing. Some have properly-aligned teeth but their age hinders them from chewing on some foods because this cause pain and discomfort. Putting on braces gives additional support to their teeth. Those who are not elderly, but still wants to have easier eating experiences also ask for braces. Eating does not become a pleasant experience for them because getting the food into the mouth is hard. Putting on braces can both make eating easier and your digestive system can process the food more effectively, too.

Dentists put these braces commonly to children, ranging from 10 to 14 years old. This is when their teeth are still in the formation process. Adults also ask for brace placement. Although these may result to more pain compared to that of the children’s.

There are different kinds of braces. The most common are made of ceramic, metal, or plastic. There are others who prefer to use lingual or concealed braces. These are hidden at the back of each tooth. All braces make use of wires that connect each tooth. Dentists will tighten them every session, probably weekly or monthly. Some use retainers after they use braces.

Those with newly-attached braces will feel pain on the first few days. This is normal. The pain will fade as you get used to the tightness of your teeth. There are some food you must avoid eating while having your braces on. You must avoid eating sweets and hard foods. Sweet foods will encourage more bacterial growth that will hinder the better alignment of your teeth. Hard foods will result to pain and uncomfortable feelings while you chew on them.

You need to properly care for your braces. Your dentists will give you proper cleaning and maintenance procedures to ensure that your braces stay intact and effective. Wearing braces will take from one to two years.

If you think you need braces for fashion purpose, better to still check with your dentists. Braces have substances and chemicals that might make your teeth condition worse. Those fashion and fake braces comes with different designs and colors. These are what makes them attractive to teenagers. Don’t let these attractiveness tempt you. Ask your dentist’s recommendation whenever possible.

On the other hand, those who just want perfectly-aligned teeth and considers wearing braces as the best option, you are in the right track. Prepare yourself to become more responsible with your regular dental appointments, caring for your braces, and changing some of your food intake.

With your braces on, you’re telling the world that you’re not only fashionable, you’re also health-conscious.


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