Braces aren’t just for kids. There are many adults with crooked or misaligned teeth who want a better smile. With advances in technology and changes in attitude, more adults than ever before are seeking orthodontic treatment to get the best smile of their lives. Just because you missed correcting the problem in your childhood doesn’t mean you miss the opportunity.
Getting the proper braces, whether you are a child or an adult, will improve your smile, the alignment of the teeth and all aspects of oral hygiene. Your orthodontist can use many different types of braces to correct different issues and problems, no matter your age. About 1 million adults in the United States wear braces, and most of them are happy they made that choice.
Adults often get braces because they never received orthodontic treatment as children to correct dental issues such as crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, or incorrect jaw position. When these problems are left untreated, they can result in tooth decay, headaches, gum disease, and chewing difficulties. Though braces provide the same benefits for adults as they do for children, adults sometimes have to wear them for longer periods of time. It is common for adults to wear their braces for 18 months to three years, and to wear a retainer after the orthodontic process is complete.
Braces are unique and custom-made dental appliances that apply pressure to straighten teeth and correct the bite. Adults braces are made of the same materials as the ones made for children. Types of braces include:
- • Metal. These are the most common and time-tested. They are made of high-grade stainless steel and attached to the front of the teeth.
- • Clear ceramic. These are worn on the front of the teeth like metal ones, but they are blended with the color of the teeth and are much less noticeable.
- • Lingual. These are concealed braces and apply pressure to the back of the teeth.
- • Invisible. These are clear, customized, and removable. Because they can be removed, they won’t trap food and plaque.
The braces are adjusted periodically so that pressure can be applied correctly as the teeth move. Retainers are worn after the braces are removed to prevent the teeth from moving back to their old positions. No matter what type of braces you select, and no matter how old (or young) you are, braces will help you get the smile you have always wanted.