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Braces 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

With nearly 5 million Americans receiving treatment at any given time, braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments available. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment with traditional braces, here is a quick guide on everything you need to know to get started.

With nearly 5 million Americans receiving treatment at any given time, braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments available. 

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment with traditional braces, here is a quick guide on everything you need to know to get started. 

What Are Dental Braces For?
One of the key benefits of wearing braces is to help correct the patient’s bite by realigning their smile’s natural position. Both traditional and lingual braces (braces behind the teeth) work by slowly moving teeth into their ideal positions over time. 

When Should You Start Wearing Braces?
You should schedule a consultation with your local orthodontist to get a comprehensive understanding of your dental needs. If required, they will recommend a suitable treatment plan for your smile. Many patients receive treatment beginning in their early teen years, however, depending on the severity of the patient’s dental needs, treatment may begin earlier or later. 

The Benefits of Braces 
Improving self-esteem and gaining confidence from a better smile is one of the main reasons people opt to get braces. 

However, beyond pure cosmetic reasons, braces also help to correct a multitude of other health issues like:

  • Improvement of speech impairment
  • Reduced cavities and gum disease
  • Decrease issues of teeth grinding
  • Minimization of injury from overbites or protruding teeth
  • Overall enhancement of oral health
  • And more…

Additionally, compared to the past, there are now a wide variety of dental braces available to choose from. If you’re worried about the way metal braces look, depending on the complexity of your condition some orthodontists can offer other options like ceramic braces or Invisalign.

The Cons of Braces 
Like most medical treatments, braces require some slight adjustments to your normal ways of life, these include:

Adjusting Your Diet
Depending on the type of treatment that you choose, your orthodontist will recommend to avoid certain types of foods (typically sticky and hard food) to avoid breaking or ruining your braces during treatment. 

This requires quite some commitment, but it is definitely worth it in the end. 

Keeping Up with Your Dental Routine
Having braces may make it a little more challenging to upkeep your dental routine but it is critical that you do, to avoid tooth decay issues down the road.

Brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly after every meal to avoid trapped food in the wires, brackets, or gaps is one essential step we recommend to all of our patients. 

Follow our tips here!

Have other questions about braces?
At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, we offer a wide range of dental braces to suit your needs. 

Learn more about how we can help you on your journey to correct your smile – give us a call at 703.753.4777 or request a complimentary consultation online.

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