If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, it is best to resort to an orthodontist. But in the meanwhile, let us show you a collection of fun facts we have gathered that patients often do not know, but could be useful for them. We have gathered these facts and factoids and have thematically arranged them in order to make them easier to get through. Enjoy!
Treatment time and timeline
The average length of orthodontic treatment is 6 months, but this does not mean your treatment will be this long. Treatment time is affected by many factors, the primary one being age. There is a golden age to get orthodontic treatment, when you are around 12-13, when the second molars have erupted but the jawbones are not so hard and are still growing. During this time amazing results can be seen in 6 months, and the teeth are much more mobile, and the bones more supple, so orthodontic treatment is much easier. You can have treatment afterwards, of course, but the later on you get it, the longer it will last, because your bones will be harder and more calcified with each passing year.
Braces have been around for 300 years or so, and they have changed from scary torture devices to invisible, removable plastic trays in that time. The first evidence for humans trying to control how their teeth are aligned comes from ancient Egypt, a civilisation that had an extremely developed understanding of anatomy, medicine and how the human body worked.
Teeth have a natural tendency to move forward, and they are slightly mobile during your life. The older you are, the more crowded your teeth will look in the front, so even getting orthodontic treatment may not stick. This is one of the reasons why you absolutely must wear a retainer after getting orthodontic treatment.
The alloy used in dental braces was originally created by NASA, and was used to coat spaceships. Archwires, which are made from this alloy, can be activated by body heat, and by changing temperatures, like when having a cold drink, because the alloy reacts to heat. This is why you may feel a pulling feeling when consuming cold foods or drinks.
Most Americans (some 80%) have had a cavity by the time they are 17. This can be greatly reduced with the aid of orthodontics. Around 4 million people in the USA are currently wearing braces.
Orthodontists are classically trained dentists, who specialise in the alignment and realignment of teeth. They comprise around 5% of all dentists. They can perform general dental procedures, but since they do not have to do them on a regular basis, they may not be particularly good at it.