Orthodontic braces were historically associated with teenagers. Today, an increasing number of adults are choosing to wear braces to straighten their teeth and correct malocclusions (bad bites). In fact, it is now estimated that almost one third of all current orthodontic patients are adults.
Orthodontic braces are predictable, versatile, and incredibly successful at realigning the teeth. Braces work in the same way regardless of the age of the patient, but the treatment time is greatly reduced in patients who are still experiencing jaw growth and have not been affected by gum disease. In short, an adult can experience the same beautiful end results as a teenager, but treatment often takes a bit longer.
Can adults benefit from orthodontic braces?
Absolutely! Crooked or misaligned teeth look unsightly, which can cause a low self-esteem and a lack of self confidence. Aside from poor aesthetics, improperly aligned teeth can also cause difficulties biting, chewing, and articulating clearly. Generally speaking, dentists agree that straight teeth tend to be healthier teeth.
Straight teeth offer a multitude of health and dental benefits including:
Reduction in general tooth decay
Decreased likelihood of developing periodontal disease
Decreased likelihood of tooth wear and breakage
Reduction in digestive disorders
Fortunately, orthodontic braces have been adapted and modified to make them more convenient for adults. There are now a wide range of fixed and removable orthodontic devices available, depending on the precise classification of the malocclusion and the individual's problem.
Prior to recommending specific orthodontic treatment, we always recommend treatment of any pre-existing dental conditions such as gum disease, excess plaque, and tooth decay.
What are the main types of orthodontic braces?
The following are some of the most popular orthodontic braces:
Individual Patient (IP) Orthodontics – These braces are comprised of individual brackets which are cemented to each tooth and accompanied by an archwire which constantly asserts gentle pressure on the teeth. Individual Patient (IP) Orthodontics is an improved version of the standard (straight archwire) orthodontic treatment.
Instead of using a “one size fits all” bracket and archwire system like conventional braces do, IP Orthodontics uses customized braces and wires, unique to your anatomy and case goals. IP Orthodontics’ customization leads to faster, more effective treatment and better retention.
Invisalign® – Invisalign® aligners are clear trays, and should be worn for the recommended amount of time each day for the quickest results. Invisalign® aligners are more comfortable and less obtrusive than traditional braces but also tend to be more costly. Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign®.
If you have any questions about orthodontic braces, please contact our office.