PDA Presents the Facts on Braces
You take your child to the dentist for a six-month checkup and he or she says
your child needs braces.
Or, maybe it's at your own checkup that your dentist recommends braces. Upon
hearing the news, you most likely have several questions, such as how braces
work, how much they cost and how long they have to be worn. If you're an adult,
you may be surprised to learn that braces aren't just for kids.
The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) answers these frequently asked
questions to help you understand the facts about braces and how they contribute
to optimal dental health.
How many people in the United States wear
Approximately four million people in the United States are
wearing braces at any one time.
How do braces work and what is their benefit?
to straighten teeth by applying constant pressure. If your dentist says you have
an overbite, it means your upper jaw significantly overlaps your lower jaw. If
your lower jaw overlaps your upper jaw, your dentist calls this an underbite.
The wires on traditional metal braces help to move your teeth, while the rubber
bands help correct the alignment.
Wearing braces is about more than just a beautiful smile. Orthodontic
treatment results in an overall healthier mouth. Teeth that are crooked or
crowded can be harder to clean, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and
even tooth loss. Teeth that are not aligned properly can result in difficulty
chewing and speaking, excessive wear on tooth enamel and problems with the
“Once your dentist or orthodontist recognizes a problem with your bite or the
alignment of your teeth, he or she will recommend a treatment plan that best
fits your needs,” said Dr. Andrew Kwasny, PDA president and orthodontist from
Erie. “There are many treatment options to discuss that may depend on your
cooperation to be successful.
“After just a short time in braces, a healthy, functional and attractive
smile can be with you for a lifetime.”
What is an orthodontist?
Your dentist may refer you to an
orthodontist, a highly trained specialist in correcting crooked or crowded
teeth. It is recommended that your child have an orthodontic evaluation by the
age of seven.
How much do braces cost?
The cost of braces varies
considerably depending on the extent of treatment and the type of braces. On
average, they cost between $3,000 and $10,000. Even though braces may seem
expensive, they are a worthwhile investment.
How long do braces typically remain on teeth?
of time braces need to be worn depends on a number of factors, including the
amount of space available in your mouth, how far the teeth have to move, the
health of the teeth, gums and supporting bone structure and how closely you
follow your dentist's instructions. The average is one to three years.
Are there different types of braces?
There are a variety
of different types of braces, including traditional metal braces, clear braces,
tooth-colored braces and braces that go behind your teeth. Your dentist or
orthodontist can help determine which type is right for you.
About the Pennsylvania Dental Association
Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately
6,000 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association
(ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA’s
mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of
dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients.
PDA is the voice of dentistry in Pennsylvania. Learn more about PDA.