Why Braces Are More Than Just About Aesthetics


“You need braces” are words you probably don’t want to hear from your dentist ever. Just the thought of being stuck with a metal mouth for years and not to mention the financial investment it requires is probably making your head spin. Unfortunately, too many people view orthodontics as a luxury and not a necessity because they think that having a braces is more about the aesthetics of a beautiful smile than any real health issue. They couldn’t be more wrong though. Crooked teeth and misaligned jaws impact your health in a number of ways and should never be ignored. While braces will give you a straighter, more beautiful smile, they are more than just about aesthetics. Here a few reasons why you should consider investing in your smile.

Better dental checkup

Do you dread going to the dentist for your cleanings because it is never a positive experience? If you always have plaque buildup and get a lot of cavities, then maybe your crooked teeth are to blame. Even with regular brushing and flossing, if your teeth are crowded on top of each other, it makes it very difficult to get into all the crevices and clean properly. Ignoring this problem will only lead to more serious problems down the road. Tooth decay and gum disease can lead to tooth loss. You only get one set of adult teeth and we are all living so much longer. Keep your natural teeth as long as you can.

Better quality of life

Having your smile corrected with braces not only improves your oral health, but your overall health as well. Misaligned teeth can lead to problems eating and speaking. These are daily functions you take for granted. What sort of quality of life do you have if you are constantly in pain when you chew or find yourself struggling to speak clearly?

Poor oral health is also linked to an increase in headaches, earaches, jaw pain and even digestion problems. And research has found a strong connection between gum disease and chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Do you really want to put yourself at risk like this?

Better outlook on life

Whiles aesthetics should never be the primary reason you get braces, having a straighter, healthier smile can make you feel better about yourself. No matter how much we try to deny it, we are all a little image conscious. We always want to make a good impression wherever we go. If we are feeling self-conscious about something though, we tend to want to hide away from the world. It is hard to be our best self, if we are always trying to hide the condition of our mouth to the world, right?

Scoff if you want, but a more beautiful smile is not about pleasing others. It is about making you feel good about yourself again. A boost of self-confidence can change how you interact with the world around you and how you view your future. You will see life in a more positive way and you won’t be afraid to go after what you want in life. Think about your next big presentation at work. Wouldn’t be great to not have to spend the full 40 minutes trying to hide your teeth as best you can? A smile can really engage an audience and make a big difference in the effect of your sales pitch.

Now that you understand the importance of a straighter smile and why it is about so much more than just aesthetics, here is what you need to know about wearing braces. First thing first is you are never too old to get braces. As long as you don’t have any missing teeth and they are all healthy enough, you can wear them even when you are in your 70s and 80s. If you do have loose or missing teeth or gum disease, you will have to address these issues first before proceeding to braces.

Today, there are so many options for orthodontic care. You have the traditional metal braces, of course, but you also can choose Invisalign which are clear plastic aligners, as well as ceramic braces. Braces can also be fastened to either the front or back of your teeth as well. It is best to go over all the options with your orthodontist and discuss which treatment would work best for your particular situation. There are pros and cons to each so weigh them carefully.

Depending on which type you choose, the length of treatment varies. Metal braces usually have to be worn for up to 3 years. For adults, if you go with Invisalign your treatment may only last for a year or a year and a half. Once you start your treatment, you will have to go for follow-up visits every 4 to 6 weeks to check your progress and to tighten the braces or switch out the rubber bands. If you are wearing Invisalign clear plastic aligners then you will need to come back every 2 weeks for a new set of aligners and for a checkup every 4 to 6 weeks. You will also need to visit your regular dentist for cleanings every 6 months even during treatment.

Braces are not painful to wear, but you might experience some discomfort when they are first put on and whenever the orthodontist tightens them. Sometimes the wires used with traditional braces can irritate the inside of your cheek if they become loose. Make sure you make an appointment to have that corrected as soon as possible. With metal braces, you will also be advised to not eat certain foods like gum, popcorn and hard candy which can get stuck in the braces. Invisalign aligners can be removed when you eat so that is not an issue there.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which treatment option you choose as long as you don’t ignore your dental problems. Save yourself from future pain and embarrassment and protect your smile today. Call an orthodontist in Philadelphia to schedule a consultation.