Information for Preteens:
Body Science, About Braces
Remember when you were little and some kids thought it would be so cool to have braces? It turns out that while some kids like them, other kids might not. Braces are common and helpful, but they do require extra care for your teeth.
An orthodontist can decide if you need braces.
Why Get Braces?
There are lots of reasons. Most people get them to make their teeth straighter. You don't necessarily need to have straight teeth, but – if you have an overbite, underbite, or very crooked teeth – it might make it harder to talk or chew. Braces can help fix that problem.
Braces are made of metal or plastic and you can pick almost any color for the rubber bands.
Braces put pressure on your teeth for long periods of time so that the teeth move. Hopefully, the teeth will stay in that new position after your braces come off. At each appointment, the orthodontist will check your braces and maybe tighten them. Your teeth might be sore for a few days after your braces have been tightened, but you'll adjust soon.
People wear braces for different amounts of time, from one to three years or more. After your braces come off, you may need a retainer to keep your teeth from moving back to where they started.
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Special Care for Braces
- You'll have to floss carefully and brush after each meal.
- You can't eat sticky foods like popcorn, gummies, gum, caramel, toffee, or corn on the cob – all of which can damage your braces or pull them off you teeth.
- You also should avoid sugar sodas because the sugar will make your teeth decay (but if you do have them, brush afterwards!)
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high school student writer
Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
The Braces Official Web Site, American Association of Orthodontists.
Braces and Headgear: Taking care of your Braces at thinkquest.org
For More Information:
See our Preteens & Braces article.
See our Braces: Getting Them On article.
See our Braces: Getting Them Removed article.
Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013