Braces are an excellent way to get teeth straight, but for years we’ve seen them as an option for kids and teens. What about adults: are braces for adults, too?
If you’re an adult who is unhappy with the state of your teeth, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, research by the Australian Society of Orthodontists found that over half of all Australian adults feel self-conscious about their teeth and 62% would consider orthodontic treatment to correct a crooked smile.
With corrective treatments becoming more sophisticated than ever before and more popular among adults, the stigma attached to adult braces is well and truly gone.
Are braces for adults, and if so, what are the benefits?
You might think that having crooked teeth is just an aesthetic issue, but there is more to it. Did you know that ignoring crowded, excessively spaced, or misaligned teeth could be causing oral health problems?
Crooked teeth undergo more wear over time. This is due to an uneven chewing surface, and can also strain the muscles around the jaw. This makes it more difficult to chew food properly. More importantly, misspaced teeth have more tiny nooks and crannies for plaque and bacteria to hide. This means an increased risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease, even if you’re diligently brushing your teeth.
That’s why you should make it a top priority to ask your dentist about straightening options. Options can include Invisalign or adult braces. As well as the cosmetic benefits of straighter teeth, straightening can help to prevent a range of serious oral health issues from popping up later down the track.
So what are your options when it comes to straightening your smile and preventing further oral problems in your post-teenage years?
Why adult braces?
Teeth aren’t always consistent, and can change naturally over time or undergo structural changes due to injury, missing teeth, and wisdom teeth growing in. This can mean a naturally straight smile may not always be in reach for every adult, resulting in frustration, anxiety, and even a loss of self-esteem relating ongoing concern about appearance.
Orthodontic correction through the use of braces is generally seen as something for kids, but braces are for adults, too. Some adults may never have had the opportunity to have braces as teenagers, so it’s not surprising that 1 in 5 braces wearers are actually adults!
With a range of innovative orthodontic solutions available today, prioritising your smile has never been easier. So what will work best for your mouth?
What’s my ideal teeth straightening solution?
If the thought of having bulky, metal brackets glued to your teeth for a seemingly never-ending period of time scares you from the dream of a perfect smile, then you’ll be delighted to learn things have changed. The noticeable, heavy metal-filled mouths of the past are a part of history, and what’s more, some options are even completely invisible!
If you’re after a straightened smile without the mouth-full-of-metal look, ceramic braces may be the perfect option for you. They work in exactly the same way as traditional metal braces, but the little square bracket that is glued to each tooth is made of a ceramic material designed to be colour-matched to your teeth. The resulting braces are almost imperceptible, especially from a distance or in photos, meaning your regular smile is seen as it is and as it changes: naturally!
For some, even the hint of a brace being seen is enough to turn them off the idea. If that’s what important to you, lingual braces are an ideal choice. Instead of appearing on the front of your teeth, the brackets doing the straightening are glued to the back, pulling your teeth into place from the inside.
While lingual braces are cosmetically easier on the eye, the extra expertise involved in this treatment means lingual braces can cost significantly more than other options.
Working in much the same way as traditional braces, clear aligners such as the highly popular Invisalign system offer a range of advantages of traditional braces.
Technically, clear aligners work in much the same way as traditional braces, gently pushing your teeth into the correct position using an individually designed plastic plate, but the main difference is that clear aligners are fully removable and don’t adhere to the teeth like other orthodontic systems. With no installation, this means that you can easily take them out during meal times, special events, and to brush your teeth.
Alternatively, there’s also the traditional metal braces, and while they’re still metal, traditional braces have come a long way since your teenage years. The brackets are now much smaller than ever before and the wires are much less bulky.
With so many orthodontic options available, the best way to find the right one is to make an appointment with your local National Dental Care practice and find out what is ideal for you, walking you through what works best, what’s needed, and ultimately how to manage and care for your braces and teeth.
Update: We offer free teeth straightening consultations. Book for a no-obligation consultation today. Simply call 13 TEETH or book on our website.