When you think of braces, what comes to mind? A kid or teenager running around with a mouth full of metallic wires? Well, if that’s what you think, then it’s time to change your perception about braces.
Today, braces are being used by people of all ages for teeth straightening. More and more adults are embracing orthodontic treatment than ever before. According to a study by the American Association of Orthodontics, the number of adult patients seeking orthodontic treatment increased by over 14 percent between 2010 and 2012.
Since then, the number has continued to rise steadily as more people strive to get beautiful smiles and healthy teeth. If you’re thinking of getting adult braces but are worried for one reason or another, here’s a complete guide to address all your concerns:
Why Are Braces Necessary?
In an ideal world, your teeth would line up perfectly like the keys on a keyboard. However, due to one problem or the other, some teeth grow out-of-line leading to crooked oral formations and not-so-good smiles.
Bad teeth alignment raises more than just beauty concerns. When your teeth are crowded in one area or overlapping each other, they become difficult to clean. This makes it easy for food particles to accumulate and increases the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Teeth with poorly aligned bites, meaning they don’t come together as they should when you close your jaws, can lead to chewing and swallowing problems. Poorly aligned teeth also make it difficult to pronounce some words and sounds, leading to impaired speech.
Braces help change the position of teeth that are not in line. With straighter teeth, you avoid all the problems mentioned above and increase the chances of keeping your teeth for many years. You also become confident in your smile!
Are There Any Concerns When Getting Braces as An Adult?
Generally, childhood is the best time to go for braces. There are a few concerns with getting braces at an older age, but that doesn’t mean that results aren’t impressive. Many adults have gone through orthodontic treatment and achieved outstanding results.
As you consider adult orthodontics, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Braces are best for kids because their bones are still growing, and it’s easy to re-position their teeth. As an adult, your bones have ceased to grow, and therefore, some structural changes may require surgery.
- It may take longer for you to achieve the required results than for a child or teen. The time it takes to straighten teeth varies from one individual to the other, but on average the treatment extends up to 24 months.
- It’s advisable to consult both your general dentist and orthodontist when seeking orthodontic treatment. You’ll need to ensure that the procedure is right for you, and no complications will arise because of bone loss in some areas. This could be as a result of active gum disease.
- Ask your orthodontist the following questions – as well as any other that you may have in mind:
- What are the best adult braces for my teeth?
- What results can I expect at the end of the treatment?
- How long will I have the braces on?
- How do I care for my teeth with braces on?
- How often do I need to see you?
- What should I do or avoid doing during the treatment?
- What is their cost?
- What payment plans do you offer?
- Do you accept insurance?
How Do Braces Work?
Braces work by applying pressure on teeth that are misaligned to change their current position. An orthodontist uses various mechanical devices to do this. They attach these devices on the teeth and apply some force to push them towards the preferred direction.
Conventional braces use brackets and archwires to direct the force being applied to the teeth. The brackets are cemented on the tooth surfaces, and the wires threaded through them. The orthodontist adjusts these wires to exert the required directional pressure on crooked teeth.
When a tooth is pushed on one side, its root presses hard on the bone in the other end. This causes the bone to dissolve over time and allow the tooth to move in the desired direction. As the tooth moves, new bone material builds in the vacated space, preventing the tooth from going back to its original position.
Depending on the state of your oral health, one or more teeth may have to be removed before treatment starts. Typically, it only takes one to two hours to install adult braces. It may be challenging to adjust to them at first, but comfort will kick in after a few days.
What Are The Options of Adult Braces Available?
Discuss thoroughly with your dentist about all the options at your disposal. Your overall health, age, and preferences will determine what type of braces suits you best. Here are the common options available:
- Conventional braces: These braces are the typical metal-wire braces that use brackets and archwires to move crooked teeth into position. They’re adjusted every 4 to 6 weeks and usually cost around $5,000 to $6,000. If you’re concerned about your smile, you can have these braces installed at the back side of your teeth. However, that will cost you more.
- Ceramic braces: These braces are designed to have the same color as your teeth. This makes them less noticeable than traditional metal brackets. But they’re more expensive.
- Aligners: These adult braces are clear and virtually unnoticeable. If you’re concerned with having metal devices in your mouth, aligners are an excellent alternative. These plastic trays fit over your teeth, and you can take them out to eat, brush, and floss. However, they’re easy to lose, and therefore, you need to be up to the task of managing them.
Your Age Doesn’t Matter!
When it comes to straightening teeth, age doesn’t matter. There’re plenty of options for adult braces to choose from today. Gift yourself with healthy teeth and a stunning smile through orthodontic treatment!
Talk to us and learn more about why you need professional orthodontic treatment even if you think you’re too old for it!