Recently, advances in orthodontic technology and treatments have motivated more adults to see dental professionals for their orthodontic issues. Today, our Sydney River orthodontists explain the ins and outs of adult braces and other treatment options.
Why do adults need orthodontic treatment?
Teeth that are misaligned or crowded in your mouth can cause a number of oral health problems for adults.
This can affect jaw function and speech, and could also lead to uneven wear on your teeth. Improperly positioned teeth can also impact oral hygiene, since properly aligned teeth can be easier to clean with normal brushing and flossing.
A misalignment may cause the teeth to overlap, trapping debris from food and bacteria in places that your toothbrush and floss can’t easily reach. This can result in tooth decay and eventual gum disease.
Additionally, misaligned teeth may cause aesthetic issues and cause feelings of insecurity in one's appearance – causing some people to avoid activities such as public speaking, smiling for family pictures, or even eating in public.
These issues can affect the quality of your life, so orthodontic treatment could be highly beneficial.
Low Profile Orthodontic Options for Adults
Many adults avoid seeking orthodontic treatment because they are concerned about the aesthetics or cosmetic appearance of braces. Fortunately, modern dental and orthodontic technology has come a long way.
Many convenient and discreet orthodontic treatment options are available for adult patients to choose from, depending on their needs. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages.
Some patients may be candidates for clear aligners. These are clear, custom-made plastic aligners that are difficult for the average observer to see from a normal speaking distance. The clear aligners gradually move the teeth into prescribed positions with gentle, continual pressure over the course of treatment, avoiding the need for metal brackets or wires.
One major advantage to undergoing treatment 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 transparency and convenience make them an attractive treatment option. For many people, they fit comfortably into their everyday lives.
However, you’ll have to make sure to wear the aligners for 22 hours per day for the treatment to be successful, which will require significant self-discipline. It's also important to remember to switch aligner sets when appropriate, and schedule meal and eating times.
Adult braces have now become a more viable option for those who may not be candidates for clear aligners, or who may have a preference for braces..
Metal braces are now less noticeable 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 them over time.
Braces can be used for the treatment of 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 won't have to worry about scheduling meals and snack times, forgetting to switch your aligners, or forgetting to putt them back in.
If you are concerned about the cost of adult braces, clear aligners or other orthodontic treatment, talk to your orthodontist. They may have financing options or payment plans available.