5 Things to know before getting braces

As a multidisciplinary practice, we often get have patients who want to straighten their teeth once their other dental issues are treated and their condition is stable.

As such, we work closely with the orthodontists (braces specialists) in our practice as it is always good to have straight, well-aligned teeth.

If brushing your teeth is not easy now because your teeth are crooked and trap a lot of plaque, things will only get worse as you grow older. In our old age, many of us lose our dexterity. Clean-ing crooked teeth then gets even more impossible!

So really, do plan for the future. It seems so far away when we still do headstands during yoga class, but soon enough my friend, the time will come when we find tying our shoelaces difficult!

So here are some common questions that many patients ask:

1. You are never too old to wear braces!

Well, that is almost always true. Age really doesn’t matter when you are moving teeth. Teeth can be moved healthily and safely regardless of age. It is only important to orthodontists that we are moving healthy teeth around. If you have active gum disease and you start braces, you could lose bone around the teeth and the teeth could loosen. Not a clever move!

2. You need to have healthy gums before wearing braces

You really need to have healthy gums and teeth before you get those braces on! There is a lot of inflammation in gum disease that makes the bone very soft. So when braces exert forces on the bone, the bone is unable to take the extra pressure and bone loss around the teeth occurs, causing it to shake and in severe cases, even fall out! The bottom line is, get a gum check be-fore starting braces and your dentist can coordinate with your orthodontist when you are ready for braces.

3. You need to have good oral hygiene while wearing braces

Good oral hygiene is needed to remove plaque and bacteria. If they accumulate on the brackets and teeth, the bacteria could cause gum disease to become uncontrolled again and your teeth could become loose while the gum disease worsens. Also, if you don’t brush, the bacteria get trapped on your teeth by the braces and when the braces are removed… Voila! You get teeth that are patchy and mottled from initial decay. Gross and not cool.

4. Braces do not need to be ugly

There are many different types of braces nowadays. You don’t need to look like a teenage metal mouth any longer! There are ceramic braces, which have natural-looking tooth-coloured brack-ets or for best aesthetics, go for Invisalign, a set of clear transparent aligners that help move teeth slowly but surely into its new position.

5. Braces are not that painful

Some people worry about the pain, and to be honest, the teeth do feel sore for a few days after tightening. But it eases up very soon.

So go ahead and take that leap to do braces if you have been dawdling about it. Or at least just visit an orthodontist for a consultation and ask all the questions you want. Age is not a factor when deciding if you should go ahead to straighten those crooked front teeth. Just make sure that your gums and teeth are healthy before you start!


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