Every parent knows that having straight teeth is extremely important. Teeth that don’t line up properly can upset the way we talk, chew food, and smile.
Left untreated, crooked teeth and misaligned bites can lead to sore jaw muscles, cracked teeth, headaches, and even tooth decay.
A common answer for misaligned jaws and crooked teeth is braces. However, when most people think of braces, they think of adolescents with mouths full of metal and cumbersome head gear… but braces aren’t just for kids anymore!
The fact is roughly ONE MILLION North Americans over the age of 18 have braces.
Many adults choose to get orthodontic treatment in later life to correct dental problems that either weren’t caught or weren’t taken care of in childhood. Things like overbites and under bites for example.
Other adults simply want braces to fix crooked teeth and beautify their smiles.
Depending on YOUR dental health profile and what you want to achieve, braces may be for you, but to make sure, your first step is to find an experienced Camarillo Orthodontist you can trust. That’s where this article comes in. I’m about to tell you everything you need to know to make the most informed, confident decision you can about your dental health!
First, you should find an Orthodontist that will see you for a free consultation to take a look at your teeth and the alignment of your bite. They should also be willing to speak with you one-on-one about any dental health issues or changes you’d like to see with your smile.
The orthodontist will thoroughly assess your specific questions or needs and decide on a plan to give you the best results possible.
The first mistake people make when choosing an Orthodontist is they don’t ask the right questions. They go in blindly and leave it up to the orthodontist to ask all the questions. Here are some you need to ask before choosing an orthodontic doctor:
- How long have you been in Camarillo practicing Orthodontics?
- Do you belong to the American Academy of Orthodontics?
- Can you give me a general idea of how many patients you’ve treated?
- How do you handle orthodontic emergencies that occur outside of business hours?
- What types of financing are available? Do you have a payment plan option available?
- Do you offer a variety of braces? If so, which ones?
Trust your instincts, and again, please don’t feel intimidated or afraid to come to your Orthodontist consultation prepared.
The second mistake lots of people make is they don’t do any research on the different types of braces in advance.
Braces are a huge obligation, and I recommend you inform yourself on the different types of braces available and what you can expect from each.
Traditionally, braces have three main components:
- Brackets that are attached to each tooth.
- Bonding material that holds each bracket to each tooth.
- Arch wire, a thin wire that runs from bracket to bracket and holds the whole system together.
Today, there are generally three types of braces available.
- Metal braces are made of stainless steel and are the most common kind of braces. Stainless steel is an incredibly sturdy material and is excellent for straightening the teeth or realigning the bite.
- Ceramic braces are made of ceramic. This means that they are almost transparent in color and much less obvious-looking than metal braces, and for many patients, this is very attractive.
- Invisible braces are clear plastic removable slides that are the most discreet looking form of braces. These are what Tom Cruise & other celebrities wear.
Invisible braces (or “aligners”) aren’t braces in the conventional sense of wires and brackets. Instead, they are a series of invisible slides that can be taken off for eating and teeth cleaning.
Nowadays, patients even have the option of choosing braces that attach to the back of the teeth, making them completely unnoticeable to people you come into contact with.
Still another option is to use clear brackets, which reduces the “train track” look of metal braces.
Depending on your preferences and your lifestyle, a Camarillo Orthodontist will talk to you about each of type of braces and help you decide which is the best one for you.
A third mistake people make is they don’t have their teeth cleaned before they get their braces on. A couple of weeks prior to having your braces applied, you should get your teeth professionally cleaned by a good Dentist to remove any plaque on your teeth.
On the day of the procedure, you should brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. This creates a nice clean surface to work with!
The fourth big mistake people make is they think their life is going to completely change after they get their braces put on. This is simply not true.
It’s a common mistaken belief that when you get braces, you’re very limited in what you can eat.
The truth is you can eat just about anything you want to.
Of course there are a few exceptions, like apples (cut it into pieces instead of biting into it), chewing gum (dental work-friendly sugarless gum is ok), and chewy candies like caramel, gummy bears, and the lot.
The trouble with sticky foods is that they can clog up the wires that hold your braces in place and can possibly pull the brackets out of place.
Also keep in mind is that if you have metal or ceramic braces, food can get stuck between the arch wire and brackets, making it vital to keep a meticulous cleaning routine.
Use either an electric toothbrush or an “orthodontic cut” toothbrush, where the bristles narrow in the shape of a “V”.
Orthodontic toothbrushes make it easier to clean hard to reach places like in between the wires and brackets. Although they may cost you a bit more than a regular, everyday toothbrush, they more than worth the price. Believe me, your mouth will thank you.
The fifth and final big mistake people make when choosing a Camarillo Orthodontist is not shopping around.
Most people agree; shopping around is what you should do when you make a purchase. If you were thinking of buying a new house, would you buy the first one you saw? Probably not.
Well, the same is true when choosing an Orthodontist.
Like a home, your teeth are something you “live with” every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week… and before you commit to a specific Camarillo Orthodontist, you should do some research and “shop around”.
A good Orthodontist is willing to give a free consultation to speak with you individually about your concerns and give you good advice for maintaining healthy teeth.
When you meet with a Camarillo Orthodontist, note the surroundings: Do you feel at ease asking them questions, or do you feel rushed? How clean is the environment? What is the staff like? Are they easy-going or rushed?
It’s also a good idea to ask for referrals of two or three past patients to find out what their experience was like.
Were they pleased with the experience? Did they have any difficulties with this Orthodontist? If they did, how did the doctor react?
Find all of this out, then when you feel comfortable, go for it! Set an appointment. DON’T PROCRASTINATE!
Keep in mind that it’s important to choose a qualified, experienced orthodontist in Camarillo who has the knowledge, skills, and facility that will best meet your needs.