Perfect smile for a perfect set of teeth

Brace Yourself

Nobody likes to wear braces. But if you have problems like crooked or crowded teeth, overbites or underbites, and incorrect jaw positions, then undoubtedly braces are a saviour. Teeth, when bound with wire are cumbersome, but simple knowledge about braces and a better version of it, also called as ‘aligners’, can be of great help.

“When your top and bottom teeth do not fit together properly, this is called a malocclusion or a bad bite. Problems like missing, crooked, crowded or protruding teeth can contribute to a bad bite,” says orthodontist Dr Amit Sachdeva, director, Axiss Dental Private Limited. “If left untreated, these problems can result in tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and earaches. Therefore, a person is advised to wear braces,” he says.

Clear and metallic, these are the two types of braces which dentists generally suggest to their patient. So, which is the good one of these two? 

“Since the treatment time for braces normally ranges from 12-18 months, a lot of patients don’t feel like wearing metallic braces for such a long time. Kids below the age of 14 are suggested to go for metallic braces whereas higher age-group individuals prefer clear braces, as this inhibits them from hiding their smile during the long period of the treatment,” says Amit.

He points out, “Though in the Indian environment due to the spices and other ingredients the clear braces tend to discolour, but the situation is still manageable.  Functionally, both metal and clear braces are the same.”

So, if patients are apprehensive of the braces, doctors suggest aligners which can straighten patient’s teeth without wires. “The success of the aligner treatment is completely dependent on the co-operation of the patient. If you are prone to forgetfulness or not too good at following instructions, this may not be the right course of treatment for you,” cautions Dr Kartik Dholakia, who runs a private orthodontic clinic.

“With aligners it is easy to maintain good oral hygiene because you can brush and floss normally. It is good for minor crowding and spacing issues. Also the frequencies of visits are lesser with aligners.  But during initial days, removing the aligner seems to be a tedious job. But, it’s a minor issue which patients get accustomed to after about a week of wearing it,” he saysSeventeen-year old Nikita Sharma of Ryan International School, who has preferred aligners over braces says, “I suffered from malocclusion since my early teenage days.

The only alternative to treat irregular teeth was wearing the metallic braces. Since I was an active member of the extra-curricular activities, debates and sports in school, I was always on the forefront. The metallic braces were painful, distracting and made me so conscious of myself that I started to opt out of the debates because of the way braces made me look.”

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