Consultant Orthodontist at Rumailah Hospital, Dr Abdulmueen Al Qahtani.
DOHA: Braces improve dental health, while use gentle pressure to straighten teeth and correct a person’s bite, says an expert.
Braces are not just for making your smile look better, according to Consultant Orthodontist at Rumailah Hospital, Dr Abdulmueen Al Qahtani.
“Braces can correct crooked or crowded teeth, overbites and under-bites, incorrect jaw position or jaw joint disorders,” says Dr Al Qahtani. “If left untreated, these problems can result in tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and earaches, as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems.”
Dr Al Qahtani said the optimum time to start wearing braces is between the ages of nine and 11 because except for the wisdom teeth most permanent teeth have developed by the time a child reaches this age.
“At this age, children usually reach the final shape of their bites and that is why this is considered the right time to proceed with orthodontic treatment,” he said. “Orthodontic treatment gives faster results at this age.” He said adults can also benefit from orthodontic intervention – both for cosmetic and medical reasons. However, since adults are no longer growing, treatment may take longer than it does for children and teenagers.
“The most common treatment for adult orthodontic patients is fixed braces which stays in place for between 12 to 18 months,” says Dr Al Qahtani.
Braces or orthodontic devices can come in several forms, including metal braces and clear or ceramic braces which blend with the natural colour of teeth. Some patients prefer custom made fixed braces bonded to the back of the teeth, making them invisible.
According to Dr Al Qahtani, during the period braces are in place, hard foods such as candy, raw carrots, nuts, popcorn and crushed ice should be avoided, as should sticky foods like chewing gum. “These foods can get stuck between teeth and gums or potentially bend the wires and damage the braces,” added Dr Al Qahtani.