The decision to get braces can be a complicated one, especially for adults. There are many reasons behind this. First, there is a misconception that braces don’t work on people as they grow older. Second, many adults worry that they will look odd sporting braces, which are usually considered a part of the teenager realm. However, if there are issues of misalignment in your mouth that are making you self-conscious or inhibiting your confidence, getting braces could be a great decision to make.
Braces can be helpful in correcting a number of orthodontic problems by adding controlled amounts of pressure to the teeth of the patient and pushing them in place. However, before you decide to get braces – before you even visit a dentist or an orthodontist – it is important that you understand how the procedure works, the different options in front of you and what the success of such procedures looks like.
To help answer some of your questions and concerns, and show what a difference braces can make to the life of an adult, here is a basic guide to braces as an adult. Before you make an investment in such orthodontic procedures, this will help to give you a better understanding of the situation.
What Are Braces?
Dental braces, or orthodontic brackets, are small, specialized appliances that are designed to move your teeth in a direction that will align them in a particular manner. First, small brackets are placed on the patient’s teeth and held in place using a special type of glue. Then, a thin wire is run through the small slots on the bracket to allow the entire system to hold up. The entire process is very technical and requires the expertise of an orthodontist or dentist. The main reason behind this is that the amount of force being put on the teeth needs to be monitored very closely, which cannot be done unless you are a professional.
Can Adults Get Braces?
There is only one way to answer this question – yes, adults can get braces and benefit from them immensely. While it is recommended that you try to get braces when you are still young – between the age of 10 and 14 – as the mouth and jaw are still in the period of growth, age doesn’t hamper the overall effectiveness of braces. The only difference is that it may take a little longer for results to show on adults than it would have if your face were still growing. The cost can also go up slightly when you get braces as adults.
Teeth before Getting Braces
Adults usually deal with a large variety of dental issues because of neglect during the earlier stages of their life. This neglect can show up in the form of severe misalignment of teeth. Some of the most common cases that are found amongst adults are given below.
- Crooked Teeth – One of the most common reasons why people get braces is to fix teeth that are growing in a crooked manner. For adults, it can be quite embarrassing to face this problem, especially if they have jobs that require good outward appearances.
- Gaps between Teeth – While this problem is more common amongst children and fixes itself in many cases, some adults are left with a gap between their teeth. This can be corrected using braces.
- Overcrowding – If the jaw doesn’t have enough space to accommodate teeth, they can start growing in odd directions. If you have some teeth growing at the back and some in front, you may want to get it checked.
- Overbites – When a person’s upper jaw sticks out more than the lower jaw by a considerable amount, the condition is called an overbite. This happens because of how the molars are aligned and can have a detrimental effect on the teeth in the long run.
- Underbites – If the lower jaw sticks out more than the upper one – again visible through the placement of molars – it is called an underbite. This makes the jaw protrude from the bottom part of the person’s face.
Teeth after Getting Braces
Braces can make a huge difference to the overall orofacial appearance of a person but it is important to get a clear understanding of what you are getting into when you decide to get braces. Get an appointment with a good orthodontist who will be able to get a better understanding of your problem with the help of tests and x-rays.
After this, the right path for your case needs to be chosen. For example, you can choose to get Invisalign if the work is minor, or braces, if there is more to be done. Many different types of braces are available to choose from – metal, ceramic, lingual, etc. The dentist will be able to help you with this part.
Finally, the application is a crucial part. The amount of force needs to be controlled closely so that the braces are able to give you the look you desire. They have to be left on for a long period of time – a few months or over a couple of years, depending on the situation.
It is important to remember that braces cannot change the quality of your teeth. If you haven’t maintained good oral hygiene during the major part of your life, the braces will not change how the teeth look or their shape. However, you can opt for options like teeth whitening, contouring or bonding after getting the braces removed.
If you are an adult who is looking to make a difference to his or her teeth, this is the right time to visit your orthodontist. As you can see with the before an after braces examples, it is never too late to make a positive change in your life, especially if the problems with your teeth are affecting your quality of life. The only recommendation here is that you study all the options available to you carefully and consider the financial resources at your disposal before making a decision. There are many professionals who can help you through the journey.