People often wonder: are there are risks to wearing braces? It’s a bit of a trick question. There are risks to everything in life!
That said, getting braces is a relatively safe procedure, as long as you are seeing a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. It’s not without some bumps in the road, it’s good to expect that there will be some discomfort and inconvenience. But all things considered, braces have come a long way and orthodontists are highly trained doctors. With the proper care and maintenance, braces are very safe.
To get a clear picture of how far braces have come, let’s take a little trip back in time…
Any risks to wearing braces?
Most people don’t know that an early form of braces have been around for a very, very long time. Archaeologists have discovered mummified bodies with metal bands around their teeth. Other prototypes were made of catgut, a type of chord made of… well… animal guts… that were wrapped around teeth and used to close gaps between them. Even Cleopatra used a dental appliance.
Orthodontics as we know the field today didn’t really gain traction until the 18th and 19th centuries. Pierre Fauchard, a French dentist, is often credited with inventing modern orthodontics. He wrote a book called “The Surgeon Dentist” that detailed methods of straightening teeth.
The next couple hundred years saw advances in orthodontics, including the use of iron horseshoe-shaped devices and different methods of tooth extraction. This all shaped orthodontics into the highly regarded and well-studied field it is today.
All this is to say that there has been significant research in the field and a long time for orthodontics to improve. Doctors have spent centuries advancing the technology to the point where we are at today.
Modern braces now consist of a series of brackets fixed to the teeth, connected by a wire. The tension of wire moves the teeth into the ideal position; until they are straight. And then… voila! Straight, healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.
So, are there risks to wearing braces? Not really. But, as mentioned, they can cause some discomfort and they need a commitment toward their maintenance so they can do their job. A patient needs to go to regular appointments, usually every 1-2 months.
Braces also require some extra attention when flossing and brushing, since it’s less convenient than normal to do. A person will also have to watch what they eat and might have to eliminate things like corn on the cob, sticky candy or food that can stain the teeth. This prevents damaging the braces.
If you are considering an orthodontic treatment like braces and have any questions at all, please get in touch with us at South Surrey Smiles. We’ll happily put your mind at ease and you will be amazed at how high-tech our orthodontic process is. It truly is a breeze for our patients! Contact us below for more information.
Dr. Lesley Williams is a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. She grew up in Victoria, BC with her parents and two sisters.
After being awarded her Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree in 1989, Dr. Williams then spent six years as a dentist in general practice before deciding that she wanted to further her education by undertaking three extra years of highly specialized training in orthodontics. With her Masters in Science (Orthodontics) degree under her belt, she went on to sit the Orthodontic Specialty Fellowship exams through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. To date, her status as an active leader in the orthodontic profession means that she holds the following qualifications and positions:
- Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
- Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics
- Examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Orthodontics.
- Former president of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (representing 2900 orthodontists from the 4 western Canadian provinces and 8 western American states).
- Active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists.