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Adults with Braces: Everything You Need to Know

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Are you wondering if getting adult braces is the right thing to do, especially with the bad reputation braces get? If yes, you do not need to worry, as braces have come a long way from the metal kinds that were common in the 90’s. Plus, the notion that braces are exclusively for teenagers is false; you can choose this orthodontic treatment regardless of your age. Research shows that about 20% of adults wear braces nowadays.


However, there are a few things you must know if you are thinking of getting one. This guide will discuss everything you need to know, from what to expect, to the types of braces, benefits, and factors to consider. So, let’s get right to it.


Why Adults Need Braces



Adult braces are much more than just an aesthetic treatment, as they are beneficial for maintaining good oral health. They are a good option for adults who couldn’t get an orthodontic treatment as teenagers, or those who have crooked teeth or misalignment during their adult life.


By straightening your teeth or improving an alignment, you can improve your bite and limit the risk of dental issues like tooth decay, jaw pain, and gum disease. Besides, adult braces can solve other issues like teeth gaps, bite issues, and overlapping and crowded teeth. These are sensitive topics for women especially, in fact, a recent survey found that women wear braces more than men do.


Specialists have said that getting braces as an adult comes with an advantage because they are far more careful with their braces than teenagers are.


Plus, most adults will view getting braces as an investment and will ensure that they get the most out of their treatment.

Hence why most adult orthodontic treatments are more likely to last longer.


What You Should Expect When Getting Adult Braces


Consultation


Before you can get braces, your orthodontist will have to conduct a full X-ray examination of your teeth and jaw. This X-ray will create a digital representation of your teeth and allow them to have a complete idea of your teeth' irregularities and their seriousness.


Then, they will recommend the best treatment option for you, and discuss financing as well. Additionally, your orthodontist will provide the best practices that you need to comply with to ensure that you complete your treatment within your desired timeline.


Special Factors to Consider Before Treatment


While adult braces are beneficial, there are a few circumstances that need to be considered before treatment.


  • Bone Density

Despite the variety of braces available, there are age-related factors to consider, like bone density. As you grow older, the density of your bones reduces, especially as the bones in your mouth have stopped growing.  

So, your orthodontist needs to make sure that your jaw bones are strong enough to support the stress applied to them during the treatment. Additionally, bone loss from gum disease also poses another issue for braces.


  • Jaw Development

A major advantage of getting braces as a teen is the fact that your jawbones are still developing, making it easier to shift tooth roots. However, as an adult, it may take more time because the jaws have stopped developing.


  • Tooth Loss

A large percentage of the world’s population is missing at least one tooth. Missing teeth leave spaces in the mouth, and these spaces, if not restored, can compromise your adult braces. The same goes for if you have implants, root canals, or bridges. So, if you have any of these, your treatment may not be as simple because closing gaps caused by extraction or loss is very tricky.


  • Root Resorption

A major risk of getting adult braces is root resorption development, meaning tooth structure loss. Because root resorption, which can weaken tooth support, is permanent and cannot be fixed, many orthodontists need to examine your teeth to determine if any of them may develop root resorption before starting the treatment.


Treatment


Depending on the issue you want to resolve, there are multiple types of braces from which you can choose. Traditional metal braces are commonly used to correct dental misalignment.


Ceramic braces, which is an understated option, are favoured by most adults, and it is used to correct less serious issues like overcrowding, gaps, and bite issues. On the other hand, if you don’t want to make your braces visible, lingual braces are a good option to help resolve any teeth irregularities. But if you want a removable, comfortable option, clear aligners, like Invisalign, are the best bet.


The complete braces fitting and bonding usually takes less than an hour and doesn’t involve any kind of pain. However, the process involves your orthodontist polishing and drying your teeth before applying the bonding glue and attaching the brackets. Then the wire will be placed in the brackets and fastened with elastic bands.


Tooth Extraction

Not all adult braces treatments are the same; it can be easier for some than others. In some cases, you may need to extract a tooth before applying your braces. This extraction is mostly done to ensure the braces pull your teeth closer and close any existing gaps.


Regulation Period

You may experience some discomfort after getting your braces, and it may take some time for you to adjust to wearing it. If the discomfort persists after a couple of days, you can manage it with over-the-counter pain relievers. Also, depending on the severity of your case, treatment may be longer. Most orthodontist treatments typically last between a year to about three years.


Oral Hygiene

Once you get your braces, you need to pay more attention to your oral hygiene to prevent issues like gum disease and tooth decay.  You also need to ensure that the braces brackets have no food build-up by regularly brushing and flossing after every meal.


Dietary Restrictions

You may need to change your diet a bit once you get braces. For example, highly sugary and starchy foods, like sweets, can stick to your teeth, cause cavities, or even damage braces. Avoiding or limiting these foods in your diet will help in your overall orthodontic treatment.


Check-ups

Throughout and after your treatment, you will be required to visit your orthodontist for regular treatments. This way, they can monitor your progress and make any adjustments. Also, you may need to wear a retainer after you remove your braces, to maintain your results and prevent your teeth from returning to their original positions.


Cost

The cost of braces varies depending on the type of braces you choose with some going as high as $7,000. So, depending on your budget, you have multiple options.


Metal braces are the cheapest option, with ceramic being more expensive. On the other hand, clear aligners usually fall somewhere in the middle.


Besides, if your insurance policy covers this treatment, you need to ensure that your orthodontist is within your insurance network.


Wrapping Up


One of the major fears most adults have is believing that once they get braces, they are stuck with it forever. This is so far from the truth.  Getting braces as an adult can positively impact your confidence, oral health, and complete well-being. Also, with the plethora of options available, you do not need to sacrifice your style to get perfect, healthy teeth, and vice versa.


So, don’t wait until your dental issues are worse before you visit an orthodontist. Remember that the process might be long, but the reward will last a lifetime.

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