Materials supported by American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)
What are my options if I don't want braces that show?
Will my child's teeth alignment change later?
Research studies have shown that as people age, their teeth may shift. This variable pattern of gradual shifting, called maturational change, probably slows down after the early 20s, but still continues to a degree throughout life for most people. Even children whose teeth developed into ideal alignment and bite without treatment may develop orthodontic problems as adults. The most common maturational change is crowding of the lower incisor (front) teeth. Wearing retainers as instructed after orthodontic treatment will stabilize the correction. Beyond the period of full-retainer wear, nighttime retainer wear can prevent maturational shifting of teeth.
For Growing Children
Why are retainers needed after orthodontic treatment?
After braces are removed, the teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers provide that stabilization. They are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adopt to the treatment changes. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements last for a lifetime.
Can I play sports while wearing braces?
Yes. Wearing a protective mouthguard is advised while playing any contact sports. Your orthodontist can recommend a specific mouthguard.
Will my braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
Playing wind or bass instruments, such as the trumpet, will clearly require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments.
Other General Questions
What about the Wisdom teeth (third molars) - should they be removed?
In about three out of four cases where teeth have not been removed during orthodontic treatment, there are good reasons to have the wisdom teeth removed, usually when a person reaches his or her mid- to late-teen years. Careful studies have shown, however, that wisdom teeth do not cause or contribute to the progressive crowding of lower incisor teeth that can develop in the late teen years and beyond. Your Orthodontist can determine what is right for you.
I am pregnant and want to begin orthodontic treatment. Is this OK?
Discuss this question with your medical practitioner/physician and orthodontist before you start any orthodontic treatment, as pregnancy brings on bodily changes that may affect the mouth. Soft tissues such as gums become much more susceptible to infection.
But do note that when you are pregnant, it is important it is to take special care of your body including your teeth and gums. That is because hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy can increase your chances of developing gum disease.
So while you are pregnant, make sure you practice good oral hygiene, which means brushing and flossing everyday. By combining this routine with a healthy, balanced diet and regular dental visits, you will not only help avoid dental problems of your own, you will also contribute to the healthy development of your baby.