Braces: advantages and disadvantages

Appareil dentaire : les avantages et les inconvénients

Braces help to restore balance and allow proper chewing. If the gap between the incisors is too wide, chewing requires too much effort from the patient, who must move his lower jaw forward to cut the food.

Here is a guide that will help you understand the main advantages and disadvantages of braces. 

Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a technique that consists of aligning the teeth and optimizing their occlusion, i.e. the way they overlap, to correct or prevent disorders or anomalies. Tooth decay, tongue misalignment, and swallowing problems are the consequences of a bad position of the teeth or jaws. Indeed, a disorder not corrected during childhood can take years to have repercussions on health, eventually causing tooth loosening or painful cranio-mandibular dysfunctions. It is therefore not only a question of aesthetics, even if this dimension is very important in orthodontic treatment to restore the harmony of the face. By means of removable or non-removable appliances, the specialist will exert light pressure and traction on the teeth continuously for a long period of time, allowing them to move until the desired correction is obtained.

What are braces ?

Braces allow people of all ages to have their teeth aligned. Contrary to popular belief, many adults seek orthodontic treatment. This is why there are more and more braces available over the years.

The advantages of braces    

1. Allows you to have a good oral hygiene

Braces will allow you to realign your teeth, which will improve the health of your gums and teeth. In fact, braces will make it easier to brush your teeth, clean your teeth and floss when your teeth are aligned. Braces will help you maintain excellent oral hygiene and prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.   

2. Support your digestion


It will be difficult to chew your food properly if your teeth are misaligned. As a result, your stomach will take a little longer to digest food. The braces will align your teeth correctly, which will allow you to chew your food better and improve your digestion. Thanks to its use, you will be able to chew your food better, digestion is thus improved and facilitated.

3. Avoid dental erosion


If your teeth are misaligned, it can lead to tooth erosion and bone loss. This happens when bacteria start to eat away at the bones. Braces help align your teeth and prevent tooth erosion. 

4. Increase your self-confidence


Braces are beneficial to your health. It will also help boost your confidence. If you have crooked teeth, you may not want to show your smile. This can make you feel insecure and anxious. It will also bring your teeth into a better position, making your jaws and lips more proportionate to your face.

The disadvantages of braces

1- Temporary pain and discomfort

These temporary pains and discomforts are more or less felt depending on your dental sensitivity. You will notice slight irritations, the impression of not having enough room in your mouth for your tongue, an excessive increase in your saliva production, teeth that are more sensitive than normal, difficulties in eating or articulating in general. This is why certain solutions are recommended, such as taking painkillers or consulting a speech therapist.

2- Each type of braces has its own specificities


  • Transparent braces: the elastics that surround the brackets and hold the wire in place are likely to turn yellow when in contact with food coloring. This is why it is important to brush your teeth after every snack.
  • Lingual orthodontic treatment: you should prefer foods that are easy to chew to avoid hurting yourself. It is therefore recommended to eat mashed potatoes or soup.
  • Invisible aligners: they can be removed to eat or clean your teeth. However, you must wear them at least 22 hours a day. Some patients remove them far too often.
  • Removable aligners: they have the disadvantage of being less resistant than brackets. Indeed, they require regular cleaning.

  3- The variable duration of orthodontic treatment

It varies according to the problem to be corrected. For a small problem, it can last 6 months, but in general it lasts at least 2 years and the adaptation is sometimes long. The tongue can be injured by the continuous contact with the appliance. Speech and eating can also be disturbed.

4- A necessary adaptation time


There is an adaptation time to get used to your braces. Initially, an adaptation time is necessary to get used to your braces. Some pain may appear at the beginning, which is quickly relieved by taking painkillers. 

The disadvantages of braces

1- Temporary pain and discomfort

These temporary pains and discomforts are more or less felt depending on your dental sensitivity. You will notice slight irritations, the impression of not having enough room in your mouth for your tongue, an excessive increase in your saliva production, teeth that are more sensitive than normal, difficulties in eating or articulating in general. This is why certain solutions are recommended, such as taking painkillers or consulting a speech therapist.

2- Each type of braces has its own specificities


Transparent braces: the elastics that surround the brackets and hold the wire in place are likely to turn yellow when in contact with food coloring. This is why it is important to brush your teeth after every snack.
Lingual orthodontic treatment: you should prefer foods that are easy to chew to avoid hurting yourself. It is therefore recommended to eat mashed potatoes or soup.
Invisible aligners: they can be removed to eat or clean your teeth. However, you must wear them at least 22 hours a day. Some patients remove them far too often.
Removable aligners: they have the disadvantage of being less resistant than brackets. Indeed, they require regular cleaning.

3-The variable duration of orthodontic treatment

It varies according to the problem to be corrected. For a small problem, it can last 6 months, but in general it lasts at least 2 years and the adaptation is sometimes long. The tongue can be injured by the continuous contact with the appliance. Speech and eating can also be disturbed.

4- A necessary adaptation time


There is an adaptation time to get used to your braces. Initially, an adaptation time is necessary to get used to your braces. Some pain may appear at the beginning, which is quickly relieved by taking painkillers.

Problems with reimbursement for braces

Even if you are insured under the general health insurance plan, you are not entitled to any reimbursement for adult braces as part of orthodontic treatment. The only exception is if you have had jaw surgery that resulted in the placement of orthodontic braces. Coverage of the cost of adult orthodontic braces is subject to prior approval by the Health Insurance. This request must be sent to the CPAM by the surgeon.

Tips to reduce the pain with braces

Take an analgesic : paracetamol

The use of paracetamol is generally effective to fight against the pain linked to the wearing of braces. It allows to reduce the pain without acting on the inflammation. For an adult, the dosage is 1 g of paracetamol per dose, i.e. 1 to 3 times a day maximum. Your dentist can advise you.

Mouthwash


In addition to taking painkillers, mouthwashes can help reduce dental pain. Some of them contain anaesthetic substances that will calm your toothache.

Apply cold to the mouth


Taking paracetamol is not always enough. Cold will therefore help to reduce the pain associated with wearing braces.

Here are all the techniques you can use:

  •   Use an ice pack or frozen product: you can apply them against your jaw to ease the pain related to inflammation.
  • Drink something cold: ice water or fruit juice will soothe your gums and teeth if you are not too sensitive.
  • Eat cold food: cold soups, fruit salads, ice creams will also help to soothe your sensitivity.

 
Favour soft foods


It is particularly advisable to choose soft foods when you have just started orthodontic treatment. Chewing much firmer foods will put pressure on your aching teeth. Likewise, particularly spicy and acidic foods will irritate the gums and cause additional sensitivity. Braces and pain are usually linked to the beginning of orthodontic treatment. These tips will help you get through the early pain.

Easy care for your braces

Cleaning your braces is very easy. Simply clean them the same way you would clean your dentures. Instead, you use a soft bristle brush designed for cleaning dentures and wet it to brush all the surfaces of the denture. You should then rinse it with water after each meal. You can purchase specialized denture cleaners to soak your dentures. However, this does not replace brushing: you must brush your dentures to remove plaque.

You can use a Y-Brush sonic toothbrush to brush your teeth. It's a toothbrush with soft, fine bristles that allow you to brush everywhere, even under braces, retainers and braces.

We hope this guide has helped you understand what orthodontics and braces are. We also hope that you have understood the advantages and disadvantages of braces. The big disadvantages include: Problems with reimbursement for braces. The big advantages are that it is easy to apply tips to reduce the pain of braces and to maintain your braces.

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