Braces, wires, rubber bands, even headgear. How many of us suffered through these rites of passage at some point in our lives?
Even though straight teeth usually require hideous measures like these, you probably wouldn’t take back the fact that you got them. Because now you have an aligned, balanced smile that you can be proud of!
There’s a lot you probably don’t know about the process of straightening teeth. Here are 10 interesting facts about orthodontics that you might not have heard before.
1. Invisalign Is Actually NOT More Expensive
Many people think that because invisible teeth aligners are clear, not ugly, and pretty simply, they must be terribly expensive. On the contrary, they tend to have similar costs to metal braces.
The overall cost difference is hard to compare because it totally depends on what your teeth require. If you want to straighten your teeth, it’s worth looking into both options based on your specific case. Invisalign is not necessarily more expensive!
Find out more about Invisalign. There are plenty of myths surrounding it for you to debunk.
2. Teeth Straightening Isn’t Just For Looks
Most people probably want straight teeth in order to look better. Straight, even, white teeth are fashionable and beautiful!
But did you know that teeth straightening isn’t just good for looks? Straight teeth actually improve the functionality of your mouth.
Your bite is totally thrown off when your teeth are out of whack. Braces, rubber bands, and other devices help improve your bite.
Straight teeth can also improve your oral health. There’s nothing harder than trying to properly brush and floss crooked, misaligned teeth!
3. Sometimes, People Get Their Jaws Broken on Purpose
Does this sound crazy to you? It’s actually a pretty common practice!
Many people have jaw irregularities that can’t go away on their own. These irregularities cause bite and alignment problems.
Sometimes, to treat this, oral surgeons do jaw surgery. This requires breaking your jaw (under anesthesia, of course) then realigning it to correct the problems. Jaw surgery can help people in many different ways, for example:
- Improve biting and chewing
- Correct speech and swallowing problems
- Correct facial asymmetry (including from birth defects)
- Obstructive sleep apnea relief
- TMJ pain relief
4. Average Braces Time Is Less Than Three Years
Considering all of the crazy oral issues people can have, it may be unbelievable to think that the average time people wear braces is less than three years.
In fact, adults average 18 months to three years. 18 months with braces isn’t bad at all!
So if you’re imaging a lifetime of braces pictures, stop. It’s actually a very doable timeline, especially if you don’t have major problems.
5. Most Orthodonture Happens Pre-18
Yes, adults get braces, Invisalign, and retainers. These are actually becoming more popular as teeth straightening becomes more accessible and affordable.
But did you know that with most orthodontics patients, it all happens before they’re 18 years old? In fact, dentists and orthodontists suggest that orthodonture begin at seven years old!
Of all the people in the U.S. right now with braces, about 75% of them are minors. This is good news because it means patients can spend more of their lives enjoying their aligned, healthy smiles.
6. Straight Teeth Improve Oral Health
We already talked about the fact that straight teeth aren’t just for looks. But it goes farther than that.
Straight teeth can improve your oral health itself! That means straight teeth can help prevent diseases. If that’s not a good reason to look into teeth straightening, who knows what is!
Tooth decay and gum disease are two of the biggest culprits of bad oral health. Crooked, overlapping teeth promote plaque buildup, which leads to tooth decay. Your teeth can literally be decaying because they’re not straight!
Plaque and bacteria buildup also lead to gum disease, which no one wants. It’s painful, unsightly, and hard to reverse. You can get ahead of it with straight teeth, and a great place to start is with a teeth impression kit.
7. You Can’t “Lock Braces” While Kissing
We’ve all heard the braces horror stories, right? One of them is about a middle couple who “lock braces” while kissing. While amusing, that’s simply not possible.
Metal braces don’t have any mechanisms that could lead to “locking” with another set of braces. The brackets are closed and secure, the wires are straight and enclosed.
You may be able to hit braces while kissing. That would be awkward and maybe even painful, but they don’t lock together.
8. Orthodontists Are Also Dentists
Ever worried that your orthodontist just knows about teeth straightening things like braces and retainers but doesn’t know a lot about teeth themselves? That’s very far from true!
In fact, orthodontists graduate from dental school, just like dentists. They take the same classes, pass the same tests, and complete the same amount of hands-on experience. They could open a dental practice at that point.
But then, on top of all of that, they attend two to three extra years of specialized schooling to be orthodontists. So no need to be afraid that your orthodontist doesn’t know teeth. They certainly do!
9. Metal Braces Are Common, But Not the Only Way
When you think of teeth straightening, you probably think of metal braces. While they are the most common form of teeth straightening, they’re far from the only way.
Ceramic braces are also an option. They work the same as metal braces, except they’re clear so they blend into your teeth.
Invisible aligners are another option. They work like retainers and they’re also clear. You receive new ones every so often that continue to move your teeth, instead of metal brackets that get tightened every few weeks.
10. Teeth Straightening Isn’t Permanent
Did you know that teeth straightening is not actually permanent? Even after 10 years of metal braces, your teeth can go back to how they were.
Teeth have roots, just like trees. Oftentimes, teeth straightening devices move the visible part of the tooth so it’s aligned with your others. That doesn’t necessarily mean its root moved at all. That’s why it’s so easy for it to move back.
This is why retainers are so important! Too many people spend money on orthodonture then don’t bother to wear their night retainers. That’s a recipe for moving teeth!
These Facts About Straightening Teeth Are True!
These 10 facts about straightening teeth are true! If you’re looking into getting your teeth straightened, carefully consider these facts during your process. They could help you end up with (and keep!) optimal results.
Check out our other articles about men’s and women’s health. The more you know, the better!