Your Top 10 FAQs About Orthodontics

Orthodontics FAQ

Answers to 10 Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

Did you know that approximately four million Americans are wearing braces at any one time? And it’s not just kids who are getting orthodontics these days.

Something else you might not realize is that orthodontic treatment options extend far beyond traditional braces. There is a wide range of techniques that your Omaha dentist can use.

The goal? To help you achieve a comfortable bite and a beautiful, healthy set of teeth.

Let’s learn more about the benefits of orthodontics. Here are the answers to our top 10 frequently asked questions about orthodontics.

1. Are braces’ sole purpose to straighten teeth?

No, it’s not.

It’s a common misconception that orthodontics is just about achieving a Hollywood smile. Dental braces are actually very important in helping to correct a wide range of oral health issues, including malocclusion, or bite problems. Examples include:

  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Open bite
  • Crowding

These issues can make daily activities such as eating and talking hard for people. Braces can help to gradually correct them. By bringing the teeth and jaws into their ideal alignment, patients can experience much better oral health and eliminate bite-related discomfort.

Also, straight teeth are much easier to keep clean and are less prone to cavities.

2. Can I get braces if I have periodontitis?

If you’re suffering from periodontitis, you have serious gum inflammation

The first priority is clearing up this chronic inflammation. Placing braces while you have active periodontitis is dangerous for your teeth. But once the condition is under control and your gums are healthy, there is no reason not to get braces!

One of the cool benefits of orthodontics is they can help you stop oral hygiene issues, including periodontitis, from recurring.

3. How can braces affect your facial structure?

Bite problems can impact the structure of your face. By correcting these issues through braces, you will notice an improvement in the appearance of your jawline and cheekbones. When your jaw is positioned correctly and your bite fits ideally, your face appears more symmetrical.

4. How common is it to have naturally straight teeth?

It’s not very common to have naturally straight teeth. There are a fortunate few who are born this way. But whether it’s from diet, genetics, or behavior, such as thumb-sucking, many of us suffer from crooked teeth.

Does it seem like celebrities were just born with those dazzling pearly whites? Don’t be fooled—they worked hard to get those gorgeous teeth. If you’re ready to weigh your orthodontic options, talk to your Omaha dentist about your smile goals today.

5. How long will it take braces to straighten my teeth?

The answer depends on a number of factors. These include:

  • Type of malocclusion
  • Severity of misalignment
  • Type of braces chosen
  • Your at-home compliance

If you have minimal issues with your teeth, you may only need to wear braces for 9 to 12 months. However, if you have more complex issues to correct, it could take up to two years. This is true whether you choose traditional braces or clear aligners.

Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to give you an estimate based on your personal circumstances. 

6. Can I get braces as an adult?

Yes, absolutely!

In the past, patients often associated braces with teenagers. Now around 25% of  orthodontic patients are adults!

It is your oral health that matters when it comes to having braces, not your age. If your teeth and their surrounding tissues are in reasonable condition, you should be a candidate for braces.

Don’t want to be the “kid” at work with metal braces? Consider clear aligners: They are practically invisible, easier to maintain at home, and achieve the same results as traditional braces.

7. Is 60+ too old to have my teeth straightened?

More and more older adults are curious if they can still benefit from straightening their teeth. The good news is that many can!

The crucial thing is that your teeth and tissues, meaning gum tissue and bone levels, are in reasonably good condition. Think about how braces work: They apply gentle but constant pressure to your teeth. Your body needs to be able to heal properly to keep your teeth in their new position.

Talk to your dentist about whether this is achievable for you.

8. Are perfect teeth possible with braces?

This depends on your definition of perfect teeth.

If perfect teeth to you mean straight teeth, then the answer is yes! In most cases, orthodontics help people achieve a perfectly straight smile. What orthodontics can’t fix are cosmetic issues, such as discoloration. But these could absolutely be addressed after your orthodontic treatment is completed.

And remember, the best teeth are healthy teeth. That involves a good daily oral care routine and regular professional cleanings and evaluations.

9. What are the benefits of straight teeth?

Having perfectly straight teeth is about a lot more than aesthetics. Some of the benefits include:

  • Easier home care
  • Fewer cavities
  • Less wear and tear
  • Improved speech
  • Less temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain

Straightening crooked teeth really is an investment in your long-term health and well-being. Your teeth are a crucial part of your digestive system. Straight teeth and a strong bite help you avoid many dental and general health problems. 

10. When did people start using braces?

People’s desire for straight teeth is nothing new! Even Hippocrates, who lived in the fourth century B.C., wrote about how to straighten teeth. 

In modern times, the first true braces were developed in the 1800s by Christophe-Francois Delabarre. This was known as the wire crib and is the basis for the metal braces we know today.

Choose The Tooth Doc for your orthodontic needs.

There are so many benefits to orthodontics! Not only can you boost your confidence, but you can also improve your oral health. Your teeth will be easier to keep clean, and you’ll find it more comfortable to eat.

By choosing The Tooth Doc as your orthodontist in Omaha, Nebraska, you’re putting yourself in safe hands. Dr. Leslie Ellingson specializes in orthodontics, including clear aligners, and helps patients of all ages achieve the healthy smiles of their dreams! Contact us today to schedule your evaluation.