Common Questions about Orthodontics

  • Posted on: Dec 21 2016

Why are dental braces necessary? 

While braces are in very common use, many people considering orthodontics for themselves or their children have questions concerning why, when and for how long braces may be necessary. The best place to discuss these issues, of course, is with a trusted dentist who not only practices, but is an expert in, the field of orthodontics.

Why are dental braces prescribed for certain patients?

Once children have gotten their permanent teeth, the dentist will be able to diagnose whether or not the child has a proper bite or suffers from malocclusion. Patients whose teeth are too crowded, improperly spaced, or who have an overbite, underbite, crossbite, openbite, or overjet most often require dental braces.

What conditions do dental braces improve?

Having a proper bite is important in terms of dental and general health as well as in terms of aesthetics. In addition to giving you a more attractive smile, wearing braces to correct your bite can improve your ability to chew and even speak. You can also prevent or eliminate jaw or TMJ pain, sleep apnea, and grinding or clenching of the teeth.

Is the need for dental braces hereditary?

Frequently, the tendency to malocclusion is inherited. Many times parents who have crowded or crooked teeth or other bite problems have offspring with similar problems. Irregularities of bite may also result from congenital abnormalities such as cleft palate or other inborn defects in development of the mouth or jaw.

What are other reasons for malocclusion?

Beyond genetic reasons for malocclusion, patients may require braces as a result of dental injuries, or habits such as thumb-sucking, fingernail biting, prolonged use of a pacifier.

What is the correct age to get braces?

Typically, an optimal age for children to get braces is 10 to 14 years when the mouth is still growing and the teeth are easier to “train.” Early intervention can help to prevent gum disease, tooth decay and plaque buildup to promote dental and general health later in life. Although early intervention is usually optimal, adults can and do successfully receive orthodontic care, both for cosmetic reasons and reasons of health.

How long do patients have to wear braces to experience their full benefit?

There is no single answer to this question because individual variables are involved. Orthodontics has become much more efficient during the last 50 years, and the length of necessary treatment time has become much shorter. Some patients may only require dental braces for a few months and others may require as much as 2 and a half years of treatment. Most commonly, patients need to wear their braces for about 1 year.

Posted in: Dental Braces