Recently, developments have been made in orthodontic treatment and technology that have inspired more adults to seek treatments for their orthodontic conditions. In this post, our Airdrie dentists talk about adult braces and other options for orthodontic treatment.
Why Adults May Require Orthodontic Treatment
A number of oral health problems can be caused by teeth that are improperly positioned or crowded in your mouth.
This can affect jaw function and speech. It may also lead to uneven wear on your teeth. Misaligned teeth can also have an effect on oral hygiene because properly aligned teeth are relatively easier to clean with normal brushing and flossing.
But a misalignment may cause the teeth to overlap, causing debris from food and bacteria to get stuck in places that your toothbrush and floss can’t easily reach. This can result in tooth decay and eventual gum disease.
Aesthetically, misaligned teeth may cause cosmetic issues and feelings of insecurity in appearance – causing some people to avoid activities such as public speaking or smiling for family pictures, or even eating in public.
As you might imagine, these issues can affect the quality of your life, so orthodontic treatment might be very beneficial.
Discreet Orthodontic Treatments for Adults
Often, adults don't seek orthodontic treatment because they are worried about the aesthetics or appearance of braces. Fortunately, dental and orthodontic technology has come a long way.
Many convenient and discreet orthodontic treatment options are available for adult patients to choose from, depending on their needs. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages.
Some patients may be candidates for clear aligners – clear, custom-made plastic aligners that are difficult for the average observer to tell that you’re wearing. They gradually move the teeth into prescribed positions with gentle, continual pressure over the course of treatment - without the need for metal brackets or wires.
One big plus with clear aligners is that they’re removable, allowing you to drink, eat, brush and floss as you normally would. And whether you wear them to work, at events, or out on the town, their combined transparency and convenience make them an attractive treatment option. For many people, they fit comfortably into their everyday lifestyle.
However, you’ll have to make sure to wear the aligners for 22 hours per day for the treatment to be successful – and that requires a significant amount of self-discipline. You must also remember to switch aligner sets when appropriate, and schedule meal and eating times.
As a result of the recent advancements that have been made in orthodontic technology, adult braces have become a more viable option for patients that might not be candidates for clear aligners, or who may prefer braces.
Metal braces are now less obtrusive and much more comfortable than they once were due to improvements in design. Consisting of brackets, wires, and elastic bands, the parts work together to apply calibrated force to your teeth, gradually shifting them over time.
Braces can be used to treat either complex or simple malocclusion and misalignment issues. They are fixed appliances, so while you can’t take them out to brush, floss, eat or drink, you also won’t have to worry about timing your meals and snack times, or forgetting to switch your aligners or put them back in.
If you are worried about the cost of adult braces, clear aligners, or other orthodontic treatments, speak to your dentist or orthodontist. They might have financing options or payment plans available.