People consider using adult braces because, unfortunately, tooth overcrowding is a common orthodontic condition plaguing many individuals. You may have heard people saying they have bunched-up teeth or crooked teeth, and the reality is that both of these are malalignments of your dental structures. When a patient, regardless of age, suffers from this condition, they are at risk of developing several other dental health problems. Two of the most frequent complications related to overcrowded teeth are dental hygiene deficiencies and speech development issues.
Anyone with crooked teeth will have a hard time cleaning them well. Because teeth are not aligned properly, it is harder to brush and floss appropriately. Some people also develop problems with the way they speak because their teeth are not where they should.
So what can I do about this?
When an orthodontist examines a patient’s mouth and dental structures, they formulate the most efficient strategy to correct any problems with their alignment. Adult braces are one of the most widely used tools to fix orthodontic conditions like overcrowded teeth or crooked teeth. The functionality of braces is simple, we use them to apply force over a patient’s teeth, and we move them into the correct position. Braces work because they are simple tools that push or pull your teeth, and this works regardless of a patient’s age. Orthodontic treatment is certainly not new, but it is now more accessible and diverse than ever before.
Adult braces used to be too bulky and off-putting to patients who needed them. Advancements in design and materials engineering have allowed the manufacture of more comfortable parts that are less notorious when installed in a patient’s mouth, leading to an increased acceptance in the use of braces as orthodontic treatment. Traditional braces are made of high-grade stainless steel, but there are variations manufactured from ceramic materials or with design differences like self-ligating braces.
Adults who were never able to receive orthodontic treatment to correct the position of their teeth, or who have developed alignment problems as time went on, can enjoy all the benefits from modern orthodontic treatment by getting adult braces installed on their teeth. We are certain that you will find useful information in this article.
Explaining the treatment
The journey for every patient will be unique, but it all starts with an orthodontist’s initial revision. The orthodontist will make sure that your teeth are as clean as they can be and start applying some adhesive over your tooth, setting it, and placing the bracket over your tooth. After securing all the brackets, your orthodontist will also install metal bands that help secure the braces in the correct position. After those two components are installed, the orthodontist proceeds with the installation of the archwire, finally connecting all the brackets. You don’t have to worry about metal wires hurting your mouth because the orthodontist will make sure to cut any excess to avoid hurting you.
The entire process takes between 1 to 2 hours, and it is virtually painless. Make sure you let your orthodontist know if there is any discomfort at any point, especially during the installation of the metal bands, so they can make the necessary adjustments. You will be done very quickly, and you can resume your daily routine almost instantly. Adults have a busy schedule, so you may still have two important questions.
- How often do I have to go back to the dentist? This answer depends on several factors. Normally, we do recommend you visit your orthodontist once a month to verify we are achieving the desired results and make the necessary adjustments. If you are not careful enough and have a bracket break away, you will need to go to the office for a replacement.
- How long will this treatment last? Again, this is difficult to estimate without a proper revision of every patient, but in general terms, you can expect to wear your adult braces from 18 to 36 months to achieve the desired results.
In reality, there is much depending on the patient. Fortunately, adults are considerably more responsible than teens when it comes to following recommendations made by your orthodontist about caring for your braces. You will have to avoid some foods like pop-corn, eating corn off the cob, nuts, hard taco shells, or sticky candy. You will also have to reinforce your oral hygiene routine habits to avoid unnecessary complications during treatment.
Any alternatives to adult braces?
Yes, there are some alternatives you might like more. You may have heard someone talking about clear braces. There is no such thing as clear braces, but they may have been referring to ceramic braces. These adult braces are made of different materials, not stainless steel, and will blend easily with your natural tooth color. Another explanation is that whoever you heard use that term may have meant to say clear aligners like Invisalign®. These appliances are removable and nearly invisible to the naked eye, making it a popular choice among adults who want to fix their smiles without having highly-notorious orthodontic appliances in their mouths.
These alternatives are more expensive, and they each have their cons and pros. We recommend you consult with your orthodontist about cost estimates, your eligibility for each treatment, and the estimated duration of treatment with either option. One thing is certain: if you are an adult who wants to fix crooked teeth, you can trust that braces will help you achieve that goal. Visit your orthodontist of choice, or swing by our office in the city of Albany, CA, and allow us to help you get the smile you want.