If you’ve been looking into teeth straightening for adults but are afraid it’s too late, you’re not alone. While it may be slightly more common for kids and teens to get braces, we offer a variety of options to help our adult patients achieve the smile they’ve always wanted. Today our team at Central Texas Orthodontics of Austin, TX, is going over some of the choices you have.
Teeth Straightening for Adults: What Are Your Best Options?
When it comes to teeth straightening for adults, these braces are a very popular choice. That’s because their brackets can either be made to match the color of the patient’s teeth, or completely clear. This means clear or ceramic braces blend into the patient’s smile while still offering the powerful corrective ability that traditional braces do.
The subtlety of these braces is their best benefit. Customizing colorful elastics can be a fun way to get kids and teens excited about their dental appointments, but these colorful elastics aren’t always appealing to adult patients.
When adults are nervous about braces affecting their confidence, making the braces as discreet as possible can help give them peace of mind and encourage them to take action.
Invisalign is a great treatment option, and patients may find themselves trying to choose between Invisalign and ceramic braces. One of the benefits Invisalign has is that it’s removable. On the other hand, that benefit could actually prove to be a challenge if you live in a household where the aligners could end up being misplaced or investigated by curious kids or pets.
If you’re concerned that you may either misplace your aligners or forget to wear them often enough, braces could be the better call for you. They offer the security of always being hard at work, with no risk of being misplaced.
There’s a reason traditional metal braces come to mind when there’s any sort of conversation about braces. Traditional braces have proven their effectiveness and worth over the generations, and they’re able to correct both mild and more significant alignment issues.
Despite being considered the traditional option, don’t be too fooled by the name. Metal braces have undergone many upgrades over the years. While the basic concept is the same, the metal braces of today are continuously improving.
Metal braces are built to handle what life throws at them. While it’s always a good idea to wear mouth protection during sports, metal braces are pretty hardy. This may make them a good choice for adults who enjoy sports or an active lifestyle.
If you want to fix your smile on a budget, metal braces could be the right call. They tend to be the most affordable option, without making any compromise on the quality of their results.
Not too excited at the idea of braces? Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners that fit over a patient’s teeth. Each new series will gently guide your teeth into a more correct position. Depending on your needs, they could either be used on their own or to shorten the amount of time you’ll have to spend wearing braces.
Invisalign can be removed at will, which means a patient can take them off to eat or drink whatever they’d like to. That’s an exciting benefit for many patients who don’t want to worry about dietary restrictions with braces.
Additionally, the fact that they’re removable means oral hygiene like brushing and flossing will be as easy as ever. You can clean your teeth the way you always have.
Once you have your aligners, you’ll wear each set for around two weeks. They should be worn 20 to 22 hours each day to be at their most effective. That means you should generally only take them out when you eat or clean your teeth.
Each set brings your teeth closer to your end goal. About every two months, you’ll come in to visit us so we can ensure the treatment is on schedule and everything is going well. How long you wear your aligners partly depends on your needs. Some treatments are complete in as little as 6 months, but more involved corrections will take longer.
We Offer Self-Ligating Braces
Our ceramic and metal braces can both be paired with self-ligating technology. Traditionally, ties of some sort are used to secure the bracket and archwire system. As the ties are tightened over time, the pressure gently pushes your teeth and corrects their alignment.
Self-ligating braces can use clips to secure the archwire instead of ties, so you don’t have to work around elastics. This can make brushing and flossing more convenient.
Adjustments are a necessary part of having braces, but a patient may be able to enjoy fewer adjustments when they have self-ligating braces. If this is one of your goals, let us know during your consultation. We’ll be able to take a look at your needs and tell you if we can use self-ligating technology to reduce adjustments while still providing excellent results.
Even if you don’t have to go through as many adjustments, some adjustments are unavoidable. Another great benefit self-ligating braces have to offer is they tend to make any necessary adjustments easier.
Since we won’t have to replace a bunch of elastics, adjustments with self-ligating braces can be quicker and more convenient for our patients. This may also reduce the stress many patients feel before a dental appointment.
What Can Be Treated With Braces?
Braces can treat a huge range of dental issues. Let’s take a look at some of the most common dental concerns that can be improved with braces.
Overcrowded teeth are a very common issue that can be addressed with either braces or Invisalign, depending on the severity.
Overcrowding doesn’t just make dental cleaning more challenging but can also make treatments like fillings and crowns more difficult. By correcting overcrowded teeth, a patient can help protect their dental health while improving their smile at the same time.
Underbites and Overbites
No matter what form it takes, tooth misalignment can throw off the entire balance of your jaw and bite. This can lead to a range of issues, like excessive friction between teeth, jaw or neck pain, and headaches.
The uneven wearing of teeth can also damage your tooth enamel, leaving you more at risk for tooth or gum disease.
Spaces Between Teeth
Tooth gaps aren’t always a cause for concern, so it’s up to the patient’s personal preference whether they chose to have these gaps closed or not.
In some cases, tooth gaps can make it more challenging to chew or could lead to food being trapped between teeth. Patients who want to resolve these issues may get braces to bring their teeth closer together.
What Are the Benefits of Teeth Straightening for Adults?
Untreated Issues May Get Worse
If your oral health is being negatively impacted by misaligned teeth, it’s important to act as quickly as possible. The longer you wait to act on dental concerns, the more risk you face of dental disease or more costly repairs down the line.
When teeth are too tightly packed together, or overlap, they create areas that are very difficult to clean. Even a patient who does their best to brush and floss consistently may find their teeth developing plaque and tartar in areas they just can’t reach properly. Even professional cleanings may be less effective when teeth have these overlapping spaces.
Not being able to keep your teeth clean means you will be at greater risk for decay, gum disease, and eventual premature tooth loss. Straighter teeth are much easier to keep clean and healthy.
Improve Your Future Comfort Levels
Some patients with misaligned teeth have trouble sleeping due to jaw pain. Misaligned teeth can also be an unexpected contributor to headaches. Additionally, if a patient has protruding teeth, they could be at higher risk of mouth injury, especially during sports or other active hobbies.
A Confidence Boost
Our goal is to help all of our patients receive treatment that helps them be healthier and more confident at the same time. Corrected teeth can help our patients feel more at ease during conversation or when they have their pictures taken.
Leave Our Office With a Smile
If you have any questions about teeth straightening for adults or are interested in setting up a consultation, reach out to us today at Central Texas Orthodontics of Austin, TX. We would be happy to help you decide the best option for your unique needs and lifestyle.