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Braces for Adults

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Braces for Adults

man with bracesHistorically, orthodontic braces have been something teenagers get, but that has changed. More and more adults are getting braces to correct malocclusions or bad bites and to straighten their teeth. Today, as many as a third of orthodontic patients are adults.

Braces are a versatile, predictable and very successful method for realigning teeth. They work the same in adults as in children and teens, but treatment times are less for those whose jaws are still growing and for those with no gum disease. While treatment for adults may take longer, the same beneficial and aesthetically pleasing end results are possible.

How can adults benefit from braces?

There are many ways. Braces work to corrected misaligned or crooked teeth which look bad and can lead to low self-esteem and lacking self-confidence. In addition to aesthetic concerns, poorly aligned teeth can also cause problems with speaking, chewing and biting. And in general, straight teeth are regarded by orthodontists as healthier teeth.

Benefits of straight teeth include these medical and benefits:
  • Less general tooth decay
  • Reduced likelihood of developing gum disease
  • Less likelihood of tooth injury
  • Fewer stomach and digestive disorders
  • Braces have been adapted in many ways to make them more convenient for busy working adults. Options include a range of removable and fixed orthodontic devices that may be available depending on the exact nature of the problem being corrected.

    The most frequently seen malocclusion types are: An underbite where the lower teeth protrude more than the upper teeth An overbite where the upper teeth protrude more than the lower teeth, and Overcrowding where there isn’t enough space for all the teeth. Before recommending orthodontic treatment, treating any other existing conditions may be necessary, like excess plaque, gum disease or decay. Braces can make these problems worse if they are not treated first.

    What are the primary kinds of braces?

    The most common and popular types of orthodontic braces are the following:
    • Traditional braces: Strong and unlikely to stain teeth, these are made up of brackets that are glued to teeth and strung together with an arch wire that gently presses on the teeth. Brackets are usually metal, but tooth-colored and clear choices are now available as well. Ceramic brackets are the most comfortable, but they can be stained by some foods, by smoking and by drinking coffee or wine.
    • Invisalign: Many adults prefer Invisalign aligners because they are invisible and removable. These aligners are in the form of clear trays that are worn for a recommended period each day. They are less obtrusive and more comfortable than traditional braces, but they are somewhat more costly. In addition, not all patients are good candidates for Invisalign.
    • Lingual braces: Made of metal in most cases and attached to the tongue side of teeth, these aren’t visible when you smile or open your mouth. Note that they are moderately expensive and can interfere with speech in some cases.

    If you have concerns or questions about orthodontic braces, contact our office for more details.

    To find out how braces can work for you, call (619) 640-5100 for a free consultation with Dr. Paige Woods, DDS.