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Do Braces Weaken Teeth?
Orthodontic care is designed to promote healthier teeth while also making you feel confident about your smile. However, myths about braces still exist, and you may have concerns about how your treatment might affect your teeth.
Right now, you are likely wondering if braces are better or just leave it alone since treating crooked or misaligned teeth requires a serious commitment. While your orthodontist is the best person to help you answer this question, it helps to know this information about why braces do not weaken your teeth.
Tooth Damage Caused by an Improper Bite
Right now, you may be worried if braces have bad effects, but you should be more concerned about what an improper bite does to your teeth and mouth. A misaligned bite puts a strain on your jaw that can lead to symptoms such as tooth grinding and clenching at night that actually wears down your teeth.
People with severe over or under bites may also notice that their teeth sometimes hit together with the wrong way. When this happens, you may find that your teeth begin to chip or develop cracks along the outside enamel.
Every crack that develops in your tooth creates a place where bacteria can build up and lead to a cavity. Your improper bite may also cause the biting surfaces of your teeth to fit together too hard as you eat, which is a common reason for fillings and other dental restorations to fail. Braces actually correct your misaligned bite so that you are less likely to experience these kinds of tooth damage.
How Crooked Teeth Become Weakened
People with crooked or improperly spaced teeth are also at greater risk for tooth decay and enamel erosion. For instance, someone with spaces that are too large between their teeth may find that food gets stuck in these areas. If the food is unable to be removed right away, it instantly begins to break down and form acids that weaken the enamel.
Teeth that are spaced too closely together are also a common cause of cavities since you may not be able to clean these areas properly, and you may notice stains in these areas where your toothbrush is not able to reach. With braces, however, you can move the teeth into the ideal positions for creating the right amount of space between each one. This way, you can stop food from getting stuck in the crevices and maintain your oral hygiene.
Common Side Effects to Expect with Braces
One of the reasons why people wonder if will they make teeth unstable is that some movement occurs when you wear braces. Orthodontic treatment straightens teeth by applying a small amount of pressure on your teeth that does cause the soft tissues in your mouth to loosen up and move. However, this movement is not the same as instability.
The truth is that teeth are constantly moving so slightly in response to the forces that occur in our mouth. All braces do is help push them into their desired places and hold them there so that they stabilize. The true risk for weakened teeth is damage from severe root infections or gum disease that destroys the jaw bone, and this is less likely to happen once orthodontic treatment improves your bite and closes tooth gaps.
As part of your aftercare, you may be provided with a retainer, which can help to further reassure you about your concern if will they make teeth unstable. Wearing your retainer as it is prescribed helps your teeth stay in their correct positions. Don’t worry; however, most people do not have to wear a retainer 24 hours a day for the rest of their lives. Instead, you can expect to gradually wear the retainer for fewer hours during the day as your teeth stabilize.
Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy during Your Treatment
When you ask your orthodontist do braces have bad effects, they’ll likely explain to you that most people’s teeth stay healthy and strong. However, you have to do your part to minimize damage during your treatment. For instance, you will need to learn how to brush and floss your teeth properly if you wear traditional metal braces since food can get trapped in the wires and lead to decay. Most of the time, this is preventable with daily tooth brushing and regular professional dental cleanings. You may also find that the stronger interest you have in keeping your teeth clean with braces helps you build habits that improve your oral hygiene for life.
For people who choose clear plastic aligners such as Invisalign, proper tooth care consists of making sure to remove the trays when you eat or drink so that food does not get stuck inside. Naturally, you will still need to brush and floss your teeth regularly, but this may not involve the need to manipulate around brackets and wires. With both methods, going to your scheduled appointments helps you further avoid any problems with your teeth since any potential issue that is detected early is easier to correct.
How to Know If Braces Can Help Improve Your Smile
The only real way to figure out the answer to the question, “Are braces better or just leave it alone?”, is to have a professional exam to determine the extent of your orthodontic issues. For instance, you may just think that you have two front teeth that are slightly crooked when you actually have a misaligned bite that could lead to further problems with tooth damage down the road if you do not correct it now.
During your initial consultation, you can also find out about all of your options for treatment. While not everyone is a candidate for plastic aligner trays, you may prefer this type of braces if you are still concerned about the side effects of wearing braces. While orthodontic treatment does require some sacrifices such as needing to attend appointments on a regular schedule, the one thing that you don’t have to give up is your smile. In fact, you will quickly discover that the only real side effect of braces you’ll notice is the growing confidence when you need to flash your smile at the people you meet.
Schedule an Appointment
In Illinois, you visit Childers Orthodontics to have an examination to determine if you need to straighten your teeth. Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers his services to adults, teenagers, and children in three locations that include:
After an evaluation of your mouth, our orthodontist can determine if you need to wear one of these types of devices:
Patients at Childers Orthodontics can also request the AcceleDent Aura system to reduce the amount of time required for their orthodontic treatment. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (618) 438-2815.
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Do Braces Weaken Teeth?
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.