A smile is universal in every language. It's one of the first physical features you notice about another person. But sometimes, people are not super confident in their smile if they have a mouth full of crooked teeth. If that sounds like you, take this Do I Need Braces quiz to find out if braces could be the answer.
Q: What are braces for and how do they work?
A: According to the Mayo Clinic, braces are intended to correctly align teeth and jaws. This produces an even bite while also creating a properly formed smile. Orthodontics, notes Harvard Medical School, relies on forcing teeth to change position by implementing pressure through the use of wire-based apparatuses.
Q: Am I too old for braces?
A: Braces aren't strictly for teenagers anymore. More and more adults are turning to braces for a variety of reasons. Improving your smile can have a big impact on self-esteem, and advances in technology have made braces much less bulky.
Q: What sort of issues can braces correct?
A: Braces are used to address several different problems in the mouth. They can repair crooked teeth, overbites, underbites and crossbites. Braces will also solve issues with spacing and tooth crowding.
Q: What are some signs that indicate I should consult with an orthodontist about braces?
A: To determine if you or your child should see an orthodontist, pay attention to the way your teeth and jaws function, and be on the lookout for certain issues listed by Delta Dental.
- Jaws and teeth disproportionately aligned with the face
- Jaws shifting, sometimes with noise
- Tooth crowding
- Problems with biting or chewing
- Crooked or oddly aligned teeth
Q: Are there different types of braces?
A: Braces aren't the same for everyone — depending on your needs, your orthodontist will recommend a specific variety. Some of the options for braces are listed by Nemours. The most common variety is still metal braces that use brackets, wires and elastics. Other options include removable retainers and lingual braces, which are placed behind teeth. You can choose white ceramic or clear braces if you prefer to be discreet.
Q: Once I have braces, how do I go about cleaning my teeth?
A: Proper oral care is even more important once you have braces, so continue a regular routine of brushing and flossing. An interdental brush can help clean parts of your teeth now impeded by brackets, and a floss threader that uses waxed thread can be used to safely avoid wires. Diet can also play an important role in oral hygiene. Avoid foods high in sugar, and items such as nuts, caramel and popcorn that might easily become stuck in brackets or wires.
Q: Once my braces come off, what's the best way to keep my new smile clean and healthy?
A: Regular oral care is the best way to avoid any issues with your teeth. Brushing twice a day with a quality toothbrush is a great place to start. The Colgate 360° Enamel Health Whitening Toothbrush has polishing spiral bristles that help to whiten teeth by removing surface stains from the enamel. The polishing cups hold toothpaste as you brush, while the cheek and tongue cleaner removes bacteria. Complement brushing with regular flossing to remove food particles that a brush can't always reach. Remember to schedule regular cleanings with your dentist or dental hygienist.
People can have braces at any age for many reasons, and not all braces are the same. If this Do I Need Braces quiz left you questioning whether you might need some extra help getting the perfect smile, consider calling an orthodontist or asking your dentist to recommend one.