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Braces: Just for Kids?

Test yourself on the basics of braces.

1. Only children need braces.

___ True

___ False

2. Kids who get braces have more choices than their parents did decades ago.

___ True

___ False

Answers

1. False. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), braces are effective in adults as well as children. In fact, the process of moving teeth into alignment is the same at any age. Adults may need to wear braces longer than children. Also, because their facial bones have stopped growing, adults may need different types of treatment beyond braces.

2. True. The heavy metal rings that were the hallmark of braces years ago are a thing of the past. Today’s braces are a combination of tiny brackets that attach to the teeth and wires that connect the brackets and guide the teeth in the right direction. The ADA notes that brackets may be clear and nearly invisible or more conspicuous. The small brackets are made of plastic, ceramic, or metal. While most brackets attach on the outside — or cheek side — of the teeth, orthodontists can attach brackets to the back of the teeth in some cases.

“Braces.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/braces Accessed 2013.

“Understanding Your Treatment Options.” American Association of Orthodontists. http://www.mylifemysmile.org/understanding-your-options/ Accessed 2013.

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