There are many reasons why a person may need braces. They may have crooked teeth, an overbite, or an under-bite. Once the dentist is certain that a person does need braces, the person gets referred to an Orthodontist, which is the person who puts the braces on your teeth.
The braces straighten your teeth because they stay in place for an extended period of time, and apply constant, steady pressure to your teeth. It is the combination of these two things that allow for the braces to straighten your teeth, and they can also be periodically tightened by an Orthodontist.
Braces are made with a thin lightweight metal that goes around each tooth, while other metal ones are placed on the outside of each tooth with special glue. There are many different types of braces that the person can choose from.
Braces May help by straightening someone’s teeth, but may not help at all with there self-esteem, and their overall satisfaction of life, according to researchers.
More than 300 British children were studied in a 20 year span into adulthood. Researchers found that the ones who had their teeth straightened with braces were not happier, or healthier than the ones who did not have braces.
The study found that self-esteem in adulthood was more dependent on the quality of life and other similar factors, than on orthodontics.
“There is very little evidence that supports the fact that orthodontics and braces has anything to do with children and adults being happier and healthier because of them,” said Dr. William Shaw, an orthodontist at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester.
He reports his findings in the British Journal of Health Psychology.
In 1981, the study evaluated 1,018 children between the ages of 11 and 12 and examined their teeth and psychological well being. There was no mention as to whether or not the children should get braces.
20 years later researchers were able to gather up 337 of the original patients.
They found that the participants who needed braces as children, and who actually got them,did not appear to have any better mental health, and the children who did not have their teeth fixed did not appear to suffer any psychological damage.
When it came down to self-esteem, Shaw’s team found that the participants teeth made very little of a difference.
Having braces improves a person’s smile and self worth, the study authors noted.
However, they conclude that by adulthood, other psychological and social factors have greater significance for maintenance of general health and well-being.