According to the American Association of Orthodontists, over 4 million Americans are undergoing some type of orthodontic treatment? And did you know that about 25% of those individuals are adults? Orthodontics aren’t just for kids anymore, with the advancing technology of clear aligners more adults are choosing to address crooked teeth or an uncomfortable bite.
Thanks to dental advances, getting the smile you want does not necessarily mean you need to have a mouth full of metal. At Afdent, your dentist can help you decide which bracing system will give you the best results.
Why Get Braces As an Adult?
Misaligned teeth, overly crowded and crooked teeth are not only an aesthetic issue they are also a health issue. It is more difficult to avoid dental disease when your teeth are not aligned properly. Good oral hygiene is one of the most vital factors in a healthy mouth.
Many adults choose braces to straighten their teeth and improve their oral health. For other adults crossbites, overbites, and underbites can cause jaw pain and headaches. Braces can help to alleviate the discomfort moving forward.
Of course, many adults also choose braces as a way to correct their smile and to get a smile that they love. Whatever your motivation, at Afdent our orthodontic specialists can help.
Know Your Options
The main two appliances to help with your esthetic and health concerns are the “fixed appliance” (traditional metal braces) and clear aligner trays. The fixed appliance consists of brackets affixed to the teeth with a special adhesive. A series of wires are placed and can be adjusted to level and align the teeth. Elastics, or rubber bands, are hooked in different combinations helping to coordinate the jaws and guide the teeth into the proper bite.
New materials allow today’s brackets to be smaller and lower profile than those in the past. There are also clear or tooth colored porcelain brackets that can be a more attractive option for someone who needs a fixed appliance. An advantage of traditional braces is that you don’t have to remember to take it in and out or worry about losing it.
Traditional braces can be a concern for some adults. They are hard not to notice and can sometimes affect your speech. Braces are largely associated with the teen years, which can influence how clients view adults with braces.
What Are Invisalign Braces?
Clear aligner systems, such as Invisalign, are a series of trays that are custom-fit to the patient. They are designed to be changed every week or two, gradually moving your teeth. Invisalign braces can be a great solution for the adult who wants to correct their teeth but does not want to feel self-conscious about wearing traditional metal braces.
The tray slips over the teeth and are virtually impossible to notice. The trays can be removed to eat so food does not get stuck. They are very easy to get used to so speech is usually not impeded. The main disadvantage is that you are responsible for wearing them as directed.
A lot of our Afdent patients ask about how long they will have to wear braces or use the aligner trays. There is no one right answer. It all depends on what the bracing system needs to accomplish. In some cases corrections are relatively quick, in others it may take longer.
You can schedule a free consultation to ask an Afdent dentist about adult braces and your options.