Adult Braces: What You Need to Know Before Getting Them
Gone are the days when braces were just for teenagers. More adults are now opting for orthodontic treatment for various reasons, ranging from cosmetic to oral health concerns. If you’re considering getting braces as an adult, there are several important factors to consider.
Why Adults Consider Braces
Adults choose braces for several reasons. Some might not have had the opportunity to correct their teeth during their teenage years, while others may have experienced changes in their dental alignment later in life. Braces can correct a wide range of dental issues, including crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and spacing issues.
Types of Braces for Adults
- Traditional Metal Braces: These are the most common type, known for their effectiveness in treating complex dental issues.
- Lingual Braces: These are fitted behind the teeth, making them invisible from the front.
- Clear Aligners: A series of removable, clear plastic trays that gradually move the teeth. They are less visible and can be removed for eating and cleaning.
- Ceramic Braces: Similar to metal braces but made of clear or tooth-colored ceramic, making them less noticeable.
The Process and Considerations
- Consultation: It starts with an orthodontist consultation, assessing dental health and discussing options.
- Treatment Plan: A personalized plan will be created, outlining the type of braces, duration, and procedures.
- Fitting: The braces fitting takes about 1-2 hours.
- Adjustments: Regular orthodontic appointments are needed for adjustments.
- Duration: Treatments can last 18 months to 3 years, as adult teeth move slower.
- Cost: Prices vary based on brace type and treatment complexity.
- Oral Hygiene: Rigorous brushing and flossing are essential to avoid food and plaque buildup.
- Dietary Changes: Avoid hard or sticky foods that can damage braces.
- Discomfort: Some discomfort is normal, especially after adjustments, but it’s typically temporary.
Benefits of Adult Braces
- Improved Oral Health: Aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing cavity and gum disease risks.
- Enhanced Aesthetics: Straight teeth can significantly boost self-confidence.
- Correcting Bite Issues: They can address bite problems that cause wear on teeth and jaw pain.
- Preventive Care: Orthodontics can avert more severe dental issues in the future.
Once your braces are removed, you’ll likely need to wear a retainer to maintain the new position of your teeth. The type of retainer and how long you need to wear it will depend on your specific treatment.
Embarking on orthodontic treatment as an adult is a commendable decision towards better oral health and aesthetics. Understanding the commitment, maintaining good oral hygiene, and following Dr. Bradford’s guidance are key to successful results. With dedication, adult braces can lead to a healthier, more confident smile.