Living a healthy lifestyle means balancing all of the needs your body has. Given how busy our days are, it can be a challenge to manage all of our different needs and as a result some thing get pushed to the wayside. Two common examples in the US are diet and exercise.
Along with being healthy, one particular aspect of our health that many of us struggle with is dental hygiene. This can include everything from brushing our teeth regularly to seeing dentists for occasional checkups. More often then not, we do not do anything at all unless there is an emergency.
One of the few parts of dental work that many people end up getting are braces. A sign of maturing and getting older, braces are a common sight among kids and teens. In addition, they are becoming more common with adults as people feel a greater need to have a perfect smile.
While common enough, getting braces put in is still a big deal, effecting how you will live your life while you have them in. With that in mind, lets carefully examine what braces are and what benefits they can provide you. In addition, we will review the pros and cons associated with having braces.
What Exactly Are Braces?
Braces are also known as dental braces, orthodontic cases, and cases. Having been around in one form or another for more then 2600 years, braces are a form of corrective orthodontics designed to align and straighten teeth. The objective is to position them better in regards to how people bite. Because of this, braces can often be used to correct cross bites, deep bites, open bites, moth bites, overbites, malocclusions, and under bites. Crooked and flawed teeth can also be better aligned with braces.
In general, braces fall into either fixing cosmetic or structural defects in the jaw. That is one of the reasons they are so numerous. Because they can solve a wide range of problems, it is not uncommon to have two people with braces for entirely different reasons. That being said, braces can reshape the jaw and face, causing unexpected changes down the line. Lets take a moment to review the pros and cons associated with braces.
The Pros Of Braces
As hinted at above, braces can fix a wide variety of cosmetic and structural problems with teeth and jaws. In addition, getting braces now means having less expensive dental work later in life. Finally, braces come in so many shapes and sizes that it has never been easier to find braces that work for your busy lifestyle.
1. Straight Teeth
Straight teeth have a number of advantages. At its most basic, having straight teeth means having a better smile. Individuals judge one another with momentary glances, often centered on our face. Having messed up or unaligned teeth can set people up to have a negative predisposition towards us, even if we are otherwise fantastic. By fixing the teeth and straightening them, there is a reduced risk of being judged unfairly.
2. Less Dental Work Later In Life
The earlier you find and fix problems, the less expensive it will be. Whether you are working on your roof or working on your teeth, putting off the inevitable will only cost you more money and make the process take longer. In addition, fixing problems with your teeth now through the use of braces will decrease the chance of other things happening later in life. By setting yourself up to succeed now, you save yourself big in the future.
3. Wide Variety of Braces Out There
Imagine what braces look like for a minute. If you imagine heavy duty metal braces or even headgear, then you are outdated. In the past half century, braces have come an incredibly long way. Significantly less intrusive then they once were, braces have never before been more easily installed, corrected, and taken out. Along with perfecting traditional braces, a range of other braces have come out adding variety and versatility to what was previously a limited range of options.
Traditional Braces: Traditional braces are made of metal and are the cheapest option out there. Requiring a visit to put them in, and subsequent visits to tighten, traditional braces are what people mostly see others wearing. There are also color brands available for traditional braces, taking away from the look of having a metal mouth and instead adding a unique color that allows people and kids alike to have some sense of ownership over their corrective dental work.
Ceramic Braces: Also known as Clear Brace, ceramic braces are significantly less noticeable then traditional braces. Along with having ceramic fittings, these braces can mimic the color of your teeth, blending seamlessly into your smile. Now you can talk and interact without any fear that people will notice that you have braces.
Lingual Braces: Unlike every other kind of braces out there, lingual braces are completely invisible to other people. This is because they are the only braces placed on the other side of your teeth, facing your mouth. If you are self-conscious about wearing braces and you want to completely hide them, then consider lingual braces.
Invisilign: Invisilign is the ultimate option for adults who want braces but do not want anyone to notice. An insert that fits around your teeth, Invisilign in not noticeable to the naked eye, and does not restrict food or beverage intake. As a result, they are among the most popular choices for adults.
The Cons of Braces
While the pros of braces focus mainly around restoring your teeth, making them straight, and improving your smile with a host of brace types, the cons of braces focus instead on how intrusive they can be in your life. Having braces means putting the time aside to go to a dentist, dealing with the stigma of wearing braces in public, facing the challenges of keeping them clean, and dealing with having to eat and drink differently.
1. Less Intrusive Braces May Not Be Covered By Your Insurance
Having a wide selection of braces to choose from is great. The trouble however is that not all kinds of braces are covered by your insurance. That means that if you want a particular kind of braces that is not covered, then you will have to pay out of pocket. If you cannot afford it, then you may be stuck with braces you do not want to use and the potential of not getting braces at all. If you are concerned about price, then the traditional metal braces will be the least expensive. The ceramic braces and the Invisilign braces are both on the more expensive end.
2. There Is A Stigma Of Wearing Braces Later In Life
This may be the biggest reason why adults do not get braces. There is a stigma attached with their use. It is assumed that braces are only for kids and teens and that having braces later in life means that there is something wrong with you. While there is nothing at all wrong with correcting whatever problems you may have, the stigma is hard to shake. Even with the most discreet braces out there, it may take some time for you to get used to wearing them in public.
3. Can Be Noticeable, Especially With Traditional Braces
No matter your age, having braces not be noticeable is important as many people feel self conscious about them. Considering the reasons listed in #2, it is not hard to see why. Some braces hold up better then others at remaining unnoticeable. Ceramic braces, while easily fitting into your smile, can sometimes stain easily, bringing extra attention to your mouth.
4. Can Be A Challenge To Clean
Braces can be a challenge to clean. Invisilign is probably the easiest to clean, followed by ceramic and traditional braces. Both of these will require time and attention as well as a slight altering to your daily routine in order to make sure that your mouth and braces are in good condition. Lingual braces however, which are on the other side of your teeth, can be especially challenging to clean and may require either special tools or more dental visits.
5. Initial Discomfort
Getting braces means having to deal with the initial discomfort of getting them in, as well as the time it takes to get used to them. All braces have this transition period, and lingual braces are usually considered the least comfortable early on due to the metal facing towards your mouth as opposed to away.
6. Need To Go In For Adjustments
For braces to function as intended, they must occasionally be tightened by a dentist. This means planning the visit, showing up, and having work occasionally done. It should be noted that lingual braces take longer to adjust. In addition, Invisilign usually takes the longest to achieve results, resulting in more dental visits.
7. Can Make Eating And Drinking More Difficult
Being front and center in your mouth, having braces will make eating and drinking more of a challenge. It may take some time to get used to. While Invisilgn makes this process easier, it is not available for kids or teens.
Where Does That Leave Us?
Braces provide a necessary cosmetic and structural change to your mouth, resulting in a healthier smile, improved confidence, and setting you on the road for less problems in the future. That being said, braces can also be a major hassle. From getting over the initial discomfort to dealing with the cost and upkeep, having braces will certainly be an experience.