Does Someone in Your Family Need Braces?
Test your knowledge of the ways that orthodontics can help you and others.
1. Crooked teeth are the only thing braces can correct.
2. It’s OK for people who have braces to play sports.
3. Treatment with braces takes the same length of time for everyone.
1. False. Besides fixing crooked teeth, braces and other corrective appliances can help fix crowded teeth, an irregular bite, an incorrect jaw position, and jaw-joint disorders.1 They can help the teeth and lips align properly, too. And they can help guide jaw growth and permanent tooth eruption in young children.2 Some of these problems are mainly cosmetic. In these cases, braces can help improve people’s appearance and smile. But braces can also help correct problems in the mouth and jaw that make it difficult for people to talk or chew.3 Often, people with these problems go to an orthodontist—a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.1
2. True. But the American Dental Association recommends that people with braces wear a mouth guard when they play sports or take part in other activities that can harm the mouth or jaw.1
3. False. The American Association of Orthodontists says that treatment varies for each patient. The severity of the orthodontic problem and patient compliance are two of the factors that may affect the length of treatment. Generally, comprehensive treatment can last for about one to three years.3
1 “Braces and Orthodontics: Frequently Asked Questions.” American Dental Association. www.ada.org/2598.aspx?currentTab=2 Accessed 2010.
2 “Orthodontia.” National Library of Medicine, April 18, 2008. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/orthodontia.html Accessed 2010.
3 “Braces Myths and Facts.” American Association of Orthodontists. www.braces.org/mythsandfacts/index.cfm Accessed 2010.