Metal braces or orthodontics is a type of teeth straightening procedure in which the dentist treats the malocclusion. Malocclusion is a condition in which teeth are not aligned properly. Malocclusion creates unnecessary spaces between the teeth or overcrowding of teeth, making it very difficult for a person to clean all the teeth properly. This causes food particles to get trapped in those areas, and with time plaque is formed, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease if not addressed on time.
Some other problems that may or may not be created by malaligned teeth are TMJ problems, difficulty in chewing, mouth breathing, and speech problems.
Metal braces are a way to correct malocclusion by cementing small metal brackets on the tooth surface and passing a wire through them. While it is less aesthetically pleasing, it is one of the oldest and safest ways to correct tooth movement and malocclusion.
What would be the ideal age to consider and plan a possible orthodontic intervention?
A child at an early age of seven should be consulted for orthodontic treatment. This will allow a dentist to assess and plan preventive measures to avoid or lessen the chances of orthodontic treatment in later years of life.
Children who don’t need assistance in bone growth need braces at the age of 12 to 13 years by which time mostly all permanent teeth have erupted.
Braces can be worn at any age for the correction of malocclusion; however, the treatment is advised early to reduce the time and forces required for the tooth movement.