Most people are familiar with braces and what their core purpose is: to straighten the teeth, stimulate proper tooth growth, and prevent complications in tooth development later down the road. Despite the common knowledge of braces, there are many questions about braces people have that sometimes go unanswered. Here are the top 5 questions about braces many people have before undergoing this dental treatment:
Question: Will braces hurt?
Answer: This is a question with two answers. Does the installation of braces hurt? No. Your dentist ensures that you will feel no pain during the procedure. Do braces hurt after the installation process? Yes, but only for several days. Your teeth (and inner mouth) will not be familiar with the new device in your mouth, and you may feel sore for some time. However, your mouth will adjust accordingly, and soon your braces will feel painless and natural in your mouth.
Question: How long do I have to wear braces?
Answer: The answer depends on the state of your teeth and how misaligned they are. In some cases, your teeth may only require braces for 6 months. At the other end of the spectrum, you may need braces for 3 years. Consult with an experienced dentist to find out how long you will need to wear braces.
Question: Can I chew gum with braces?
Answer: This may come as a surprise to you, but you can actually chew sugarless gum when you wear braces! Why? Think of chewing sugarless gum (not sugary gum, avoid this at all costs) as a way to “massage” your irritated gums and mouth tissue by the metal from the braces.
Question: Can I wear a retainer instead?
Answer: Retainers function somewhat differently than braces. Retainers “hold” your teeth’s position in place while the gums, mouth tissue, and muscle adjusts to the desired position. Compare this to braces, which are designed to move and shift the position and alignment of the teeth. Thus, if your teeth need to be straightened and positioned differently in your mouth, a retainer will not help you, and therefore you should get braces.
Question: Can you be too old to wear braces?
Answer: Absolutely not! While commonly seen in children, braces can be installed in adults as well. There is no age limits on braces, and it is never too late to straighten your teeth. In fact, braces can help adults resolve a host of dental issues. An experienced dentist like Dr. Bosse can inspect both children and adult mouths alike and can treat them appropriately.
Have more questions about braces? At Greenspoint Dental, we are here to help you make the best decisions concerning your oral health. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our offices in Houston, Texas today.