While braces are often associated with adolescents and teenagers, more and more adults are embracing the idea of straightening their teeth and achieving a confident smile. Whether you missed out on orthodontic treatment as a child or your teeth have shifted over time, there are options available to help you achieve the smile you've always dreamed of.
Reasons Why Adults May Need Braces
- Crooked or misaligned teeth: One of the most common reasons why adults may need braces is to correct crooked or misaligned teeth. This can not only impact the appearance of your smile but also affect your bite and overall dental health.
- Overcrowding: Sometimes, adult teeth can be crowded due to insufficient space in the jaw. Braces can help create more room by gradually shifting the position of the teeth, improving both function and aesthetics.
- Bite issues: Adults may also require braces if they have bite problems such as an overbite (upper front teeth protrude), underbite (lower front teeth overlap upper front teeth), or crossbite (teeth don't meet properly when biting). Correcting these issues with braces can improve chewing ability and reduce strain on the jaw joints.
- Jaw problems: In some cases, orthodontic treatment with braces is necessary to address jaw alignment issues like an open bite (top and bottom front teeth don't touch when biting) or a protruding jaw. These conditions can cause discomfort while eating and speaking, leading to further complications if left untreated.
- Dental health concerns: Straightening crooked or overcrowded teeth through orthodontic treatment helps improve oral hygiene by making it easier to clean all surfaces of the tooth effectively. Properly aligned teeth are less prone to decay, gum disease, and other dental issues that could arise from poor oral hygiene practices.
Remember that every individual's case is unique, so consulting with a qualified orthodontist is crucial for determining whether you would benefit from braces as an adult.
Types of Braces Available for Adults
Here are some types of braces available that adults can choose from based on their needs and lifestyles:
- Traditional metal braces: These are the most common type of braces that consist of metal brackets that are affixed to the teeth using adhesive. A wire is then threaded through the brackets and adjusted over time to gradually move the teeth into their proper position.
- Ceramic braces: Similar in design to traditional metal braces, ceramic braces use tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in with the natural color of your teeth. This makes them less noticeable and more aesthetically pleasing than metal braces.
- Lingual braces: Unlike traditional braces that are placed on the front surface of your teeth, lingual braces are attached to the backside (lingual side) of your teeth, making them virtually invisible from the front view.
- Clear aligners: Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are a popular choice among adults due to their discreet appearance. They consist of a series of custom-made, clear plastic trays that gradually shift your teeth into alignment when worn for 20 to 22 hours a day.
- Self-ligating braces: These types of braces use special brackets with built-in clips or doors that hold onto wires without requiring elastic ties or ligatures. Self-ligating braces can reduce friction and discomfort while also potentially shortening treatment time.
- Combination treatment options: Depending on individual needs, some orthodontic cases may require a combination approach using different types of appliances, such as temporary anchorage devices (TADs), expanders, or jaw surgery in conjunction with traditional or aesthetic brace systems.
Keep in mind that each person's orthodontic needs vary, so it's essential to consult an experienced orthodontist who can recommend which type will work best for you based on your specific situation.
Process of Getting Braces as an Adult
Getting braces as an adult can be a life-changing decision. If you've made the choice to straighten your teeth, it's important to understand the process involved. Here's what you can expect when getting braces as an adult:
You'll need to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. During this initial visit, they will examine your teeth and jaw to determine if braces are the right treatment for you. They may also take X-rays and impressions of your teeth for further evaluation.
Once it's confirmed that braces are suitable for your needs, the next step is creating a treatment plan. Your orthodontist will discuss the different types of braces available and help you choose which option is best for you — whether it be traditional metal braces or more discreet alternatives like ceramic or lingual braces.
After deciding on the type of braces, the actual process of getting them put on begins. This involves cleaning and drying your teeth before applying adhesive to each tooth. The brackets are then carefully placed on top of the adhesive, followed by attaching archwires that apply gentle pressure to move your teeth into their desired positions.
Throughout your treatment journey, regular adjustment appointments will be necessary every few weeks. These appointments involve tightening or replacing wires and making any necessary adjustments to keep progressing towards achieving a straight smile.
It's important to note that wearing braces requires commitment from adults in terms of oral hygiene and diet modifications. Brushing regularly after meals, avoiding sticky or hard foods that could damage brackets, and maintaining routine dental checkups all play vital roles in successful treatment outcomes.
The duration of wearing adult braces varies depending on individual cases but typically spans between one to three years. Once complete, removing the fixed appliances is relatively quick and painless, usually involving removing brackets followed by polishing off any remaining adhesive residue.
Braces are not just for teenagers anymore! Adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment to achieve a straight and beautiful smile. Whether you missed out on getting braces as a child or experienced dental shifts later in life, there are various reasons why adults may need braces.
From correcting misaligned teeth and improving oral functionality to enhancing self-confidence and overall dental health, adult braces offer numerous benefits. They can address issues such as overcrowding, gaps between teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and more.
Getting braces as an adult is no longer uncommon or taboo — it's a decision that can greatly improve both your oral health and self-esteem. With advancements in orthodontic technology, there are now more options than ever to suit your preferences. To learn more, visit the Village Orthodontics office nearest you at 95 E Oak St STE B, Zionsville, IN 46077, or 1911 N Lebanon St, Lebanon, IN 46052, or call (317) 873-6927.