If you suffer from misaligned or crooked teeth, your dentist may recommend braces for you at some point. While crooked teeth can be a real problem, poor oral health can have a tremendous effect on your self-esteem and confidence as well. Modern braces are much less conspicuous than some of the older dental products, but they can still cause people to feel self-conscious. In this blog, we’ll look at seven important things to know about dental braces. Gentle Care Dentists in Arlington is proud to be a leading provider of orthodontic treatments across Virginia. Whether you’re interested in learning more about braces, retainers, or night guards, our friendly dental staff would love to answer any questions you may have. Schedule your dental appointment online today!

#1: You Can Have Braces At Any Age

While dental braces are often associated with teenagers, there is no age limit for this type of corrective treatment. As long as your teeth and gums are reasonably strong, you can use braces to correct misaligned teeth at any age. It’s important to note that braces are not a great option for patients with weak gums or poor dental health. This is because dental braces place a lot of extra pressure on the gums, and if your oral health isn’t up to par, they can cause more damage than good.

#2: Your Bite May Also Need To Be Corrected

When you visit your local dentist, they’ll check your mouth, teeth, and gums to make sure everything is healthy. They may ask you to bite down while they examine your teeth, so they can get a thorough understanding of how your mouth functions. When you bite down, the rows of your teeth should meet, and there should be no discomfort or grinding. If you do have issues with your bite, it’s important to to treat it right away. By ignoring the issue, your bite could lead to TMJ-related headaches (temporomandibular joint disorder) and problems with chewing and even speaking.

#3: Two Years is the Average Treatment Period

If your dentist decides that braces are the best option for you, it’s important to realize that this corrective dental treatment takes time. In fact, the average dental treatment is around two years, but your own prognosis will depend on how much work needs to be done on your teeth. At Gentle Care Dentists, we’ve helped hundreds of teens and adults correct their smile through our professional orthodontic services. If you or a loved one is in need of braces or clear braces, contact our friendly orthodontic staff today!

#4 Most Consultations are Free

Most people get referred to an orthodontist from their dentist or from a family member. If you need help finding an orthodontist in your area, conduct a quick online search for the nearest facility. A wonderful thing for new patients is that most orthodontists do not charge for a consultation with them. This means you can get several different opinions from practicing professionals before you need to make a sound decision. During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will likely discuss your oral health history with you before taking an oral examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth.

#5: Just Because You’re Getting Braces Doesn’t Mean You Stop Brushing

As you may already know, braces can be a pretty big expense. If you’re going to spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year on braces, it doesn’t mean you stop taking care of your oral health altogether. When you have braces, you will still need to brush your teeth several times a day, ideally after each meal. You should also take the time to properly floss. While flossing isn’t easy with braces, there are a variety of “floss threader” products available on the market to help. Your orthodontist can also show you how to brush and floss properly when you get your braces on.

#6: Braces May Feel Uncomfortable For A Little While

While the application of braces isn’t necessarily painful, you may feel somewhat uncomfortable for a few days following the procedure. Your teeth may feel sore, and the brackets will likely rub the inside of your mouth, which may irritate your cheeks, gums, and lips. Luckily, these feelings don’t normally last long, and soon enough you won’t even notice that you’re wearing them. If you’re looking for simple ways to soothe mouth sores, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater multiple times a day. Chew your food very slowly and carefully, and brush your teeth after each meal.

#7: You May Need To Wear A Retainer Afterwards

After you’ve worn your braces for the recommended amount of time, your orthodontist will probably suggest you wear a retainer. They will make a mold of your mouth to produce a perfect-fitting retainer that you will likely need to wear at night.

Gentle Care Dentists in Arlington

If you live near Arlington and you’re looking for a family dental and orthopedic expert, contact the professionals at Gentle Care Dentists. When you visit our dental facility, you can rest assured you’re receiving dental care from licensed and experienced professionals. We’re passionate about helping people improve their smile and confidence, which is why we offer an array of dental solutions to meet your needs. From a simple filling to wisdom teeth removal and braces, we can handle all of your dental care needs! Schedule an appointment to improve your smile today!