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The 411 on Braces

It's the word that we all dread growing up... Braces. No one wants 'em, but a ton of us have to get them anyways. So, before you get all freaked out about the prospect of becoming a braceface, find out what they're really all about.

Braces - Why You Might Need 'Em

You might think that the only reason you would need braces is because you have crooked teeth, but that's not always true. Malocclusion (ma-loh-clue-shun), which means "bad bite" in Latin, comes in many forms. Teeth become crooked when a person's jaw is too small, but sometimes a person will need braces even if their teeth are straight. The top or bottom jaw bone can often be bigger than the other, which will cause either an overbite (when your top jaw bone is bigger) or an underbite (when your bottom jaw is bigger). Braces are also used to help these conditions.

Braces - How They Work

Braces are small metal brackets that are placed on all your teeth and strung together with a piece of wire. The wire is held in place by small elastic bands, which come in a variety of different colors. Braces put constant pressure on your teeth, which helps them to stay, and grow, in the right place. Braces are usually metal, but you can get plastic brackets that are almost invisible.

Braces - Dealing with Them Day to Day

When you have braces you have to take extra care of your teeth. Food can often get trapped around your braces, and if you don't make sure to clean your teeth properly, that trapped food will cause cavities. You can also get special floss that will make flossing your teeth easier. Having braces also means that you can't eat certain things. Foods like popcorn, gum, hard or sticky candy and even nuts are off limits! These foods will easily get stuck in your braces and they won't be coming out. You want to be careful eating are things like corn on the cob and whole apples - you can still eat them, just cut the corn from the cob and cut up apples into slices. Otherwise you'll run the risk of knocking brackets off your teeth, and that means an extra trip back to your orthodontist..

Braces - The Aftermath

Most kids have their braces on for about two years. But, once your braces are removed, you have to ease your teeth back into being on their own. This is where the retainer comes in. Depending on your teeth, you could have to wear a retainer all the time, or you might only have to wear your retainer at night. Either way, you want to make sure you keep your retainer super clean, which means taking it out during meal time. No one wants to see the chocolate cake you had for dessert caught in your retainer!

Braces - Did U Know?
  • Almost 70% of people in the United States need some sort of orthodontic treatment.
  • Tons of your fave celebs have had braces including Tom Cruise and Gwen Stefani!
  • The perfect age to start orthodontic treatment is between ages 3 to 12.

Do you have braces? Do you hate having them or is it not such a big deal? of brace trauma and tragedy!

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