Braces help guide teeth into a better position, often while they're still growing.
Wearing them can be a pain, but just think of that Hollywood smile!
While you're waiting for your teeth to straighten up, here's some tips to make your life with braces as easy as possible.
Braces that fix badly squint teeth can help people eat better
They can help avoid jaw problems in later life
Adults can wear braces too, but they take longer to straighten things out.
Why get braces?
First, if your teeth are really crooked, you might not be able to eat properly. Over time, badly spaced or crooked teeth can damage how your jaw works and cause headaches.
The second reason is cosmetic - many people think straight teeth look better. In reality, very few people grow teeth that are completely straight.
If it's only a matter of changing how you look, you'll have to pay to get braces.
Do they have to be 'rail tracks'?
Clear plastic or ceramic braces can be used. They're a lot less noticeable but might not be available from your NHS dentist and can be expensive to pay for.
How do I look after my braces?
It's important to look after your braces and to wear them exactly as instructed by your dentist. this includes any head gear you're given to wear at night.
Otherwise, the treatment might not work.
You'll need to visit the dentist about every six weeks to have them adjusted. Once they're removed, you'll probably need to wear a 'retainer' for a while until the teeth settle down.
While you have braces:
- brush at least twice a day - after every meal if you can
- clean the braces themselves twice a day
- avoid hard foods like toffees, apples and nuts that can bend braces
- see your dentist if the braces themselves or any elastics get loose, slip or break.
Can I play sport?
If you play active sports where there's a chance you could get whacked in the mouth, wear a gum shield.
Braces and kissing?
No reason why you shouldn't!