Are Braces safe?
The field of orthodontics has gone through great technological advancements in the last century. The braces used today are much smaller, stronger, and safer than what they used to be decades ago.
I am often asked if braces are safe for the teeth. The answer is yes. If placed properly by a well trained orthodontist they are absolutely safe and do not cause damage to the teeth. Braces are most often made of stainless steel and resist corrosion in the mouth. They are “glued” on the teeth by special dental glue that is safe and easy to remove once treatment is completed. Some “glues” also release fluoride that prevents cavities around the braces.
So for the most part, braces are safe. However, one of the most common challenges during orthodontic treatment is oral hygiene. If proper oral hygiene protocols are not followed then braces can actually cause harm. Serious complications such as decalcification, or white spots on the teeth, cavities, inflammation of the gums, and periodontal bone loss are some of the side effects of bad hygiene. Frequent visits to the dentist for cleaning and good home care can minimize or eliminate these complications.
Other complications of braces may include shortening of the roots of the teeth (also known as root resorption), enamel fracture while removing the braces, or injury from falls or sports. But these side effects are very rare and, if carefully monitored by your orthodontist, can be entirely prevented.
When braces are removed, a small amount of surface enamel is also removed. This superficial layer is however very small and does not create any long term problems. The tooth will usually repair itself and replace the lost layer with time, just like one’s skin is able to repair itself after a cut.
Therefore braces are absolutely safe for the “right” patient and, if the orthodontist’s recommendations are carefully followed, do not cause any damage to the teeth or the oral tissues. Children and adults can greatly benefit from them without any concerns.
Dr. Reza Salmassian is a Diplomate of The American Board of Orthodontics and specializes in orthodontics for Children and Adults. For any questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation, please contact Dr. Salmassian’s office located at the Bridgeport Marketplace, 24001 Newhall Ranch Road, Suite 220 Tel: 661-222-7444