The human mouth was really not designed for orthodontic braces. It is therefore inevitable that any brace will lead to a degree of paresthesia in the teeth or around the sensitive surfaces of the tongue, the gum, lips and cheeks. Most people can live with this, but really sensitive patients can sometimes really suffer as a result of their braces treatment. The decisive factor is always the extent of the symptoms, and humane orthodontists will always prefer to use those braces that place the least burden on their patients. In addition to the often painful paresthesia, wearing a brace can make many normal functions of the mouth impossible.
Many removable braces impede the speech so much that most patients can only wear them at night. But this achieves nothing, so removable braces are simply unsuitable for most patients. With many removable braces the speech impediment is so bad that, when the appliance is in the mouth, only slurred speech is possible, which is of course difficult to understand. So a speech impediment is an irrefutable reason in itself, why the use of most removable braces should be rejected across the board. Orthodontists are well aware of this yet they still like to use removable braces because, put simply, they can make a lot more money from these appliances.
Similarly, with most removable braces it is not possible to eat. And even if the supporters of these almost completely outdated removable braces maintain that patients can just remove them when they want to eat, the fact still remains that removable braces interrupt the most natural functions of the mouth – speaking and eating – whereas these functions are virtually unaffected by fixed braces.
Psychological Aspects and Wellbeing
Dental braces can also make very sensitive patients rather self-conscious – even in their ability to communicate. These effects depend very much on the customs and practices within the patient’s own social milieu. Most adults in the US regard wearing brackets as quite normal, whereas in Germany most people generally associate fixed braces with children and adolescents. This is the reason why even film stars in the US have no problem appearing in public wearing braces, whereas in Germany teachers or engineers think that they should not be seen wearing brackets. In reality though, adults who wear fixed braces in Germany are never treated with scorn or mockery but are generally regarded with a friendly interest and respect.
Eroticism and Sex
The human mouth also has great erotic significance in courting a partner, in kissing and in sex. This may be of no relevance to some orthodontists and old-fashioned contemporaries, but for most people it certainly is important. You only have to browse around in internet forums for brace-wearers to realise how important this is for many people and that any restrictions in this area can be very annoying indeed. And here the pros and cons are very clear: removable braces and erotic activity do not go hand in hand, but with a fixed brace everything is possible!
The Advantage of a Fixed Brace
Fixed braces have only a minimal effect on most of the functions of the mouth, whereas removable braces significantly impede speech and make eating totally impossible. For this reason it is clear that fixed braces are a much better form of orthodontic treatment from a functional, biological and social point of view. In Germany there exists a strange combination of bad training and monetary greed which means that even today children and adolescents are mainly treated with outdated and socially inconvenient removable braces.