Healthy Smile Journeys: Pre- And Post-Orthodontic Treatment

Healthy Smile Journeys: Pre- And Post-Orthodontic Treatment

Getting braces started is a major decision for anybody who may be considering orthodontic treatment, whether young or old. It can take a while to weigh the pros and cons before making the decision.

Parents who have had braces before might enjoy their smiles now but they may be reminded of the painful process they went through, and might think twice before putting their children through the same process. In the same vein, if older adults are way past their youth, they might think that it is too late to pursue their desired smile.

Referring to before and after images

If you are sitting on the fence between getting braces done or just living with your current smile, before and after images could help you make the final decision. Most of these images present a variety of results, such as straighter teeth, changes to one’s facial shape, as well as improvement in crossbite, underbite, and overbite.

You know from viewing these images that their beautiful smile will last for a long time, bringing improved self-esteem and confidence. Such improvements that braces offer to individuals go beyond aesthetics.

The journey before braces for children

Children can play to their biological advantage with their growing jaws in interceptive orthodontic treatment. Preliminary orthodontic treatment before fixed braces may include using a palate expander to widen their jaws before their palate fuses during puberty. It is usually conducted so that the child can avoid extraction of their teeth, as wider jaws mean more room for their adult teeth to develop.

Braces for children

Children often do not have as many choices as adults. Their parents are usually the ones that make the decision regarding the type of braces. In fact, most of the time, their decisions are driven by the cost. Most children end up with traditional metal braces, which are coincidentally the most affordable option.

Lingual braces are another orthodontic option for children. Because they sit at the back of the teeth, they are an aesthetic alternative for children who might be put off by the look of traditional braces. However, because of their installed location, it takes longer to get used to it, and patients may develop a temporary speech impediment until they adapt to it. Additionally, lingual braces require more frequent orthodontic visits.

Invisalign is not recommended for children with poor discipline as they are expensive. Not only do Invisalign braces cost more, they also require a great amount of discipline for many months or even years to wear them for most of the day. Few young children have that level of discipline to do that. Additionally, there are a lot of rules for success when wearing Invisalign, such as taking them out before eating and rinsing your mouth before putting them on again. The Invisalign trays should not be outside the mouth for too many hours.

This is probably why many parents would rather have their children wear traditional metal braces.

Braces for adults

Adults can choose from any of the available orthodontic treatments. If they are looking for aesthetic options, there are ceramic and lingual braces. They are less noticeable but in terms of cost, they are more expensive. However, adults are more likely to be able to justify that extra spending due to the nature of their social and work engagements.

However, it is important to note that in severe orthodontic cases, individuals may be advised to select the less aesthetic options for the sake of achieving their desired smile, as metal braces have been proven to be robust and effective.

The final stage of braces treatment

Most individuals have the misconception that their orthodontic treatment ends when the braces are removed. However, the final stage is the most vital one in helping to maintain your new smile. In order to maintain the new position permanently, your teeth need to be held in place using retainers. They are available in fixed or removable forms.

For removable retainers, the individual may have to wear them at all times initially, only removing them before meals and brushing their teeth. After a short period of easing in, they can move on to using them only at a specific time, mostly during sleeping hours. However, they still have to wear it for a lifetime to prevent relapse because our teeth move all through life.

Fixed retainers consist of a thin short wire that stays behind their front teeth permanently, even when brushing teeth or eating. They are only removed by a dentist or an orthodontist if they are no longer deemed useful.


Getting braces done is a lifetime commitment and should not be taken lightly. If you think you or your child requires orthodontic treatment, do not be afraid to speak to our orthodontist. Make an appointment with us and discuss the available options best suited for your needs, the time frame required, and how much expense it will involve. That way, you can make a better-informed decision in pursuing a personalized dental goal that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. More information can be found at