It might surprise you to learn that orthodontics dates all the way back to the 4th century B.C., when Hippocrates, the Greek "Father of Medicine," wrote about straightening teeth with metal bands. In essence, he predicted what we now call braces, but it took over two thousand years for us to implement the technology. Now braces are a common, if not always positive, part of many people's childhood, and many adults are even choosing to talk to their dentist about using braces to correct common issues such as a slight over- or underbite. |
Who Needs Them?
According to a recent survey, orthodontists estimate that nearly 50 percent of children need wires and brackets to fix real, functional problems. But only a small fraction of children actually get them from a dentist. Why? In addition to the financial costs, traditional metal models are also extremely uncomfortable and unsightly. Many of the children who use them are teased, and even bullied, at school.
Kids Can Be Cruel
"Brace face," "metal mouth," and "tinsel teeth" are just a few of the epithets kids with braces are called on a regular basis. This constant teasing can cause children to become more self-conscious, which can make it harder for them to make friends. Even formerly outgoing kids may grow shyer and spend more time on their own because they are embarrassed by their metallic grins. That is not to say that patients who really need braces shouldn't get them. But parents should be sensitive to the emotional impact these dental additions may have. Fortunately, there is a way to avoid this issue altogether.
What Are Clear Braces?
A huge leap forward in dental technology, clear versions of braces rely on a series of custom-made aligners that look a lot like transparent mouth guards, only much thinner and less noticeable. Made of BPA-free plastic, these aligners help patients avoid unattractive and uncomfortable metal wires and brackets. Clear models can also be removed when you eat or brush your teeth, thereby reducing your risk of cavities, which are quite common among patients with traditional metal models.
How Do They Work?
Each aligner is a bit different from the one that came before it. The plastic mouthguard will gradually begin to shift your teeth into the correct position. When your teeth get there, often within two weeks, another set of aligners will be provided by your dentist or orthodontist. This allows patients to avoid those awkward and uncomfortable visits for tightening wires. Not every orthodontic issue can be corrected by these nearly invisible plastic aligners, so you must check with your dentist to find out if you are a candidate for clear braces. Just as with traditional metal models, this relatively new system can be used to correct a number of dental issues, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, spacing, and crowding issues.
When considering braces and looking for a dentist, Huntsville, AL residents should contact http://www.pullencomprehensivedentistry.com/.
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