All about Adult Braces

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All about Adult Braces

What you need to know if you’re an adult considering braces

Guess what? Everyone deserves a smile they are proud of, no matter what their age. If you missed out on the opportunity to have orthodontia as a child, it isn’t too late. If you’re self-conscious about your smile and have always wanted straighter teeth but are concerned about the stigma surrounding adult braces, this post may help alleviate your concerns. You may be surprised to learn that the benefits go beyond the cosmetic. Read on to learn about orthodontic treatments for adults and whether they may be right for you.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

Though most orthodontic patients are between the ages of 10 and 14 as this is when the jaw is still developing, and it is easier to adjust the bite and teeth, it is still possible to straighten teeth at any age. In fact, according to the AAO (American Association of Orthodontics) today, one in four orthodontic patients is an adult and as of 2016, nearly 1.7 million adults were being treated by U.S. and Canadian orthodontists.

 What are the benefits to straightening my teeth?

There are additional benefits other than an improved smile that may make influence your decision to get adult braces. They are:

A confidence boost- Having a smile you feel proud of makes you want to smile more often and can increase your confidence and self-esteem, especially if your misaligned teeth bother you.

Decreased risk of future dental problems– Orthodontic treatment creates a better bite, allowing for teeth to fit together better, decreasing the risk of future dental problems. Teeth and jaws that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean through brushing and flossing. Correcting the bite (how the upper and lower teeth fit together) reduces improper forces placed on the teeth and improves your ability to bite and chew, increasing the odds of keeping your teeth long-term.

Decreased risk of gum disease- Untreated gum disease, or gingivitis, can get worse and lead to periodontitis and tooth loss. Teeth that are properly aligned are less prone to gum disease as they are easier to clean.

What if I’m missing some teeth can I still get braces?

Depending on which teeth are missing, your orthodontist may choose to move neighboring teeth together to close the space where the tooth is missing or use a bridge or an implant.

I have dental crowns, can my teeth be moved?

Yes. Teeth with crowns can be moved.

I’m concerned about the look of adult braces, are their other options?

As we said above, adult braces are increasingly common and not something to fret about. However it is understandable that you may feel as teens often do- self conscious as you grow accustomed to your braces, or worry about how they will be perceived by others, especially in a professional setting. Advances in orthodontics have also made treatment more comfortable and less prominent for individuals of all ages. Many of today’s treatment options are designed to minimize the appearance of the appliance to better fit any lifestyle. We’ve listed some of the best options for adult braces below.

Types of Adult Braces:

Clear Braces- clear braces are fitted to your teeth just like traditional braces but are less noticeable because the brackets, as well as the pieces that attach to the teeth, are completely clear.

Ceramic Braces– ceramic materials can be made to match your natural tooth color so they are less noticeable.

Lingual Braces– also known as ‘incognito braces,’ lingual braces are placed behind the teeth, facing inwards, so they’re hardly noticeable from the outside. These adult braces are still visible when the mouth is open wide, but not immediately obvious. Drawbacks to these braces include: they are expensive, difficult to clean, their positioning means adjustments take longer, they can be more uncomfortable and they can cause more severe speech defects.

Invisible Braces– these braces aren’t actually braces but removable aligners. These allow for flexibility if you need to remove them on occasion for an important meeting or event. Even while wearing them, they are almost impossible to detect. These aligners do take commitment as you have to remove them when you eat and brush and then put them back in. Removing them for prolonged periods of time may affect results and prolong treatment.

For more information on all types of braces and their advantages and disadvantages and costs visit our braces post.

What about doing my own aligner treatment at home?

You may have seen the ads on TV, promising you an easy fix to your crooked smile. Orthodontic treatment is a complex process, which is why it takes years of education and training to become one. If you use at home treatments and your teeth move incorrectly, or if there’s an underlying problem you aren’t aware of, you may be putting your teeth, gums and the bone around your teeth at risk. This can cause potentially irreversible damage. Consult with us to find out the best treatment option for you. Not everyone is a candidate for aligners. You don’t want to end up worse than where you started.

How is adult orthodontic treatment different from treatment for children/teens?

According to the AAO, the biggest difference in orthodontics for adults vs. children/teens is that adults are no longer growing. Adult treatment may take slightly longer than treatment for children/teens due to the maturity and density of the bone adults have. Some medications, and habits like smoking, clenching or grinding teeth, or tongue thrust, can affect the outcome of treatment.

How long do adults wear braces?

This will depend on the nature of your orthodontic issues. In general braces may be worn anywhere from 10 months to 2 years, but this could be longer depending on how you respond to treatment, since everyone is different. It will also be longer or shorter depending on the type of braces you choose, aligners for instance take longer than metal braces.

If you’re an adult and you’re considering getting braces to straighten your smile, boost your confidence and improve your overall dental health, we’re here to help. Our clinics provide the most modern and up to date orthodontic treatments available. Get started on a straighter smile and contact us today!