Are crooked teeth causing you to hide your smile? If so, it is time to make a change and start loving your smile! At our practice, we are happy to provide braces in Palatine, Illinois, as a way for you to achieve the healthier and more attractive smile you want!
If you are interested in learning more about braces, we invite you to get to know our orthodontic team by clicking here, and by looking through the information below. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 847-485-8767.
What are Braces?
Dental braces have been used for many years as a way to correct misaligned bites and straighten crooked teeth. With a system of wires and brackets, your orthodontist can gradually move your teeth and jaw into their proper positions. The brackets are cemented onto the front surface of each tooth, and the wire is held in place with rubber bands.
When to Get Braces
While most braces patients begin their treatment between the ages of 10 and 14, there is no set age limit as to when you should get braces. Braces and other orthodontic treatments are great for younger patients because their jaws and facial structures are still developing, which makes it easier to move teeth and misaligned jaws into their correct positions; however, this does not mean that braces are limited only to younger patients. Older teenagers and adults can also benefit from braces and achieving a straighter smile.
Treatment time for braces varies by patient, and it can be dependent on several factors. On average, a braces treatment lasts between 12 and 24 months. If your case is more complex, your treatment may last longer than 24 months. Proper braces care and oral hygiene can also play a factor in how long your treatment lasts. If you maintain proper oral hygiene, care for your braces, wear your rubber bands as directed by your orthodontist, and follow any other instructions, your treatment could end up being shorter!
Benefits of a Straighter Smile
Some people choose to get a straighter smile because they are tired of hiding their crooked teeth and being embarrassed about showing off their smile. However, there are more benefits to having a straighter smile than just a more attractive appearance. It is easier to clean straighter teeth, which helps you reduce the likelihood of developing dental cavities or gum disease. If you receive braces to correct a misaligned bite, having an aligned jaw can make it easier for you to chew and speak; it can also reduce any jaw pain that is associated with facial structural issues.
Caring for Your Braces
When you have braces, it is important to keep up proper oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing your teeth, and regularly visiting the dentist. By maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, you can help prevent your teeth or braces from becoming damaged, which could speed up your treatment process. Properly caring for your braces includes:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth: while brushing your teeth is relatively the same with braces as it is without, flossing may take some adjustment. In order to floss properly with braces, you will need to insert the floss between the wire and your tooth. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly floss when you have your braces placed.
- Wearing mouth guards: if you participate in a sport or other physical activity, it is important that you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces and teeth. If your braces get bumped with enough force, one or more brackets can become loose or broken. Wearing a mouth guard adds a protective layer between your braces and anything that can damage them. It is important that you wear your mouth guard during both practices and games.
- Eating healthy: because it can be a little harder to brush and floss your teeth with braces, it is essential that you maintain a diet that is low in acidic or sugary foods and drinks. Sugar feeds harmful bacteria in your mouth, and acidic foods and drinks can eat away at your enamel. By limiting both, you can reduce your chances of developing cavities or other dental issues.
Foods to Avoid
During your braces treatment, your orthodontist will give you a list of foods you can and cannot eat. By avoiding certain foods, you reduce your chances of breaking a bracket, which could lengthen your treatment time. While your orthodontist will provide you with a list of foods to avoid, you may also want to avoid the following foods:
- Hard candy, such as mints and peanut brittle
- Hard cookies or crackers
- Chewy candies, such as taffy and Swedish Fish
When you have braces, it may seem like you have to avoid just about every good food there is to eat! While many candies and sugary treats are out, you can still enjoy most foods by simply cutting them up into smaller, bite-size pieces, including:
- Corn on the cob
- Sub sandwiches
- Raw vegetables and fruits, such as carrots and apples
- Hard bread and rolls, including French bread
If you would like to know more about braces and how they can improve your smile, we invite you to contact us today! Our team is ready and willing to help in any way. We look forward to helping you achieve your straighter smile!