In the past many people have associated braces with young children, teenagers or clumsy characters on the television, and a lot of adults have often felt embarrassed about getting braces for themselves. But we’re here to put a stop to that because there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about! Otherwise why would 60% of our very own patient base at Orthodontics For You be adults? Not only that, but research has found that the number of adults all over the UK seeking orthodontic treatment (ie braces) is on the rise. So clearly times have changed and, with progress being made in the field of orthodontics, modernised treatment solutions and finance options ready and waiting, it’s never been easier to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
It’s no secret that braces can fix crooked teeth to give you the ultimate Hollywood smile, helping patients to feel so much more confident about their overall appearance. But braces aren’t just about aesthetics, you know? In fact, braces also improve the alignment and function of your jaw helping to improve digestion, speech and to fight off those daunting dental diseases!
Let’s unravel the facts…
What problems are caused from a misaligned jaw?
Many people are so used to living with the discomfort that comes from a misaligned jaw that they don’t even understand why they feel the pain in the first place, or how easy it is to put an end to it altogether. The symptoms associated with a misalignment can greatly affect an otherwise healthy person; from chronic headaches or migraines to difficulty sleeping and abnormal tooth wear, these are all common symptoms of a misaligned jaw that has been left untreated. But the list doesn’t stop there…
Gum disease, tooth decay and other nasty dental diseases
Crooked teeth and a misaligned jaw mean that you’re more likely to suffer from dental diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease because it is harder to get into the gaps between the teeth to brush them properly (after all, you can’t clean what you can’t reach).
Digestion, aches and pains
An overbite or underbite (when your upper and lower molars don’t line up) can cause poor digestion as when the teeth are not aligned correctly, patients struggle to chew their food properly and often end up swallowing larger bites in one go, causing discomfort while eating.
Overbites and underbites have also been related to headaches and face pain, neck and shoulder ache, and TMJ syndrome (irritation of the temporomandibular joints that connect your jaw to your skull).
Speech impediments are also common in patients with a misaligned jaw. This is because it becomes difficult to open the mouth wide enough when speaking, causing difficulty with pronunciation.
Many people have often falsely assumed that getting braces is just about straightening crooked teeth to reveal a beautiful smile and, while braces certainly ace that part of their job, there is so much more that they can help with. If you’re unsure about whether you have a dental misalignment, or what that misalignment might be, you might want to read our blog on the 7 common teeth alignment issues.
So how can braces improve the alignment and functionality of your jaw?
Good question! Here at orthodontics for you we offer two types of braces, fixed and clear aligners.
Fixed braces (metal, ceramic, SureSmile or hidden lingual) involve fixing brackets to the patient’s teeth using bonding ‘glue.’ The orthodontist will then place a thin archwire through the brackets before fitting small elastic bands on either side. The brackets, wire and bands work together, gently applying pressure to the teeth in order to move them into the new, desired position. As the braces straighten the teeth, they also improve the alignment of the patient’s jaw, changing the overall shape and functionality of the jaw too.
Clear aligners are a series of transparent aligners (similar to retainers) that are designed to move the teeth through gentle pressure as they ‘hug’ each individual tooth simultaneously. That pressure is transferred through to the roots within the jaw, and your jawbone responds to forces by essentially moving the sockets – and your teeth go along for the ride.
There are now a wide variety of brace types on the market today, but if you’re finding the dental jargon a little overwhelming and are unsure of how to kickstart your journey to a new smile, we recommend registering for a FREE consultation with Orthodontics For You. We’ll assess your teeth and the alignment of your jaw, explain the various brace types that could work well for you and answer any burning questions you might have on all thing’s orthodontics – just click here to get started.
Depending on the severity of your dental misalignment and the brace type you choose, the total duration of treatment (the length of time you’re required to wear your brace) will vary – you may only need to wear your braces for a few months, but it could take a lot longer. That’s why we invite all prospective patients to a complimentary consultation so we can assess their teeth and jaw before finding an orthodontic solution as individual and as unique as they are.
Whilst many of us may find ourselves under the influence of social media bloggers, vloggers and public figures, so many of us are still haunted by the large, chunky ‘train track’ style braces we remember from our childhood days. But rest assured, braces have evolved and there are now so many more different treatment options available to suit adults wanting a subtle, discreet brace that fits effortlessly into their busy lifestyles.
If you are concerned about the alignment of your jaw or feel your teeth are causing you problems, braces might just be the perfect solution for you; not only do they straighten teeth to give that winning Hollywood smile, but braces also help to improve a patients overall oral health, speech and digestion – what’s not to love? And remember, you don’t have to wear bulky headgear for a brand new smile and healthy teeth and gums!