Orthodontic technology has come a long way in recent years. Now, less bulky braces and low profile treatment options have motivated more adults to seek treatment for their orthodontic issues. Today, our Collingwood dentists explain the ins and outs of adult braces and other treatment options.
Should adults have orthodontic treatment?
Oral health issues can be caused by teeth that are improperly positioned or crowded in your mouth.
These issues can affect jaw function and how you speak. It may also lead to uneven wear on your teeth. Misaligned teeth can also impact oral hygiene since properly aligned teeth tend to be easier to clean with normal brushing and flossing.
Misalignments may cause the teeth to overlap, causing debris from food and bacteria to get stuck in tight places where your toothbrush and floss can’t easily reach. Which can in turn lead to tooth decay and eventual gum disease.
Aesthetically, misaligned teeth may cause cosmetic issues and feelings of insecurity in appearance – causing some people to avoid activities such as public speaking or smiling openly for family pictures, or even eating in public.
As you might imagine, all of this can affect your quality of life, and so orthodontic treatment may be highly beneficial for adults facing these issues.
Low Profile Orthodontic Options Suitable for Adults
One reason adults are often hesitant to begin orthodontic treatment is that they are concerned about the aesthetics or appearance of braces. Fortunately, dental and orthodontic technology has come a long way since the days of bulky braces.
Now many convenient and more discreet orthodontic treatment options are available for adult patients to choose from, depending on their needs. Of course, when comparing these different options it's important to recognize that each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Clear Removable Aligners
Some patients may be candidates for clear aligners such as Invisalign. Clear custom-made plastic aligners are difficult for the average observer to see, so fewer people will notice that you're straightening your teeth. Aligners gradually move the teeth into prescribed positions with gentle, continual pressure over the course of treatment - without the need for metal brackets or wires that come with traditional braces.
One big plus with clear aligners is that they’re removable, allowing you to drink, eat, brush and floss as you normally would. And whether you wear them to work, at events or out on the town, their combined transparency and convenience makes them an attractive treatment option. For many people, they fit comfortably into their everyday lifestyle.
However, you’ll have to make sure to wear the aligners for 22 hours per day for the treatment to be successful – and that requires a significant amount of self-discipline. You must also remember to switch aligner sets when appropriate, and schedule meal and eating times.
Thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology which has helped to make today's braces less bulky, adult braces have become a more viable option for those who may not be candidates for clear aligners, or who may simply prefer braces.
Metal braces are now less obtrusive and much more comfortable than they once were due to improvements in design. Consisting of brackets, wires and elastic bands, the parts work together to apply calibrated force to your teeth, gradually shifting over the course of your treatment.
Braces can be used to treat either complex or simple malocclusion and misalignment issues. They are fixed appliances, so while you can’t take them out to brush, floss, eat or drink, you also won’t have to worry about timing your meals and snack times, or forgetting to switch your aligners or put them back in.
If you are concerned about the cost of adult braces, clear aligners or other orthodontic treatment, talk to your dentist to receive an estimate and express your concerns. It may be possible to create a custom treatment plan that helps to make orthodontic treatment more affordable for you.