While orthodontic treatments are common for teens, there are many American adults pursuing adult braces. Issues such as crooked teeth and overbites can have a long-lasting impact on oral health. Adult braces and other teeth straightening options at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX can improve these issues, help adults maintain good oral health, and correct cosmetic concerns.
What Are the Best Teeth Straightening Options for Adults?
Adults have many of the same teeth straightening options as teens. Selecting the right orthodontic treatment for you will depend on the severity of your aesthetic concerns, the health of your teeth, and other factors, such as your orthodontic care preferences. The three most common treatment options for adults are clear braces, metal braces, and invisible braces.
Clear braces, also known as self-ligating braces, are braces that use a special bracket that clips directly into the archwire responsible for straightening teeth. Clear braces are commonly made with ceramic and metal, but they are much more discreet than traditional metal braces. Self-ligating braces are an ideal option for patients who have moderate orthodontic concerns but would prefer a more subtle treatment.
Clear braces have a similar treatment timeline as metal braces. Self-ligating braces have smaller, more comfortable brackets, require shorter office visits, and are easier to take care of at home with regular brushing and flossing.
Traditional metal braces use metal brackets and rubber bands to hold the wire to the bracket. Traditional metal braces are ideal for patients who have moderate to severe orthodontic concerns, particularly those who also need to widen their dental arches or correct large overbites. The rubber bands for metal braces can be clear or white to be less noticeable. These braces may require more frequent appointments to change out the rubber bands.
Invisible braces, or Invisalign, are an alternative to orthodontic treatments that use wires or brackets. Instead of installing brackets on the front of the teeth, Invisalign straightens the teeth with a series of high-quality aligner trays that are changed out every few weeks as the aligners gradually straighten the teeth. Invisalign can be used for mild to moderate orthodontic concerns.
Many adults prefer invisible braces to straighten their teeth because this orthodontic treatment is nearly unnoticeable. With Invisalign, there are very few disruptions to daily life, such as limited food choices. This treatment may also allow you to straighten your teeth more quickly than other treatment options.
Will You Need a Retainer?
No matter how old you are or what teeth straightening treatment you use, you will likely need to wear a retainer for the foreseeable future. A retainer plays a huge role in maintaining the straightness of your teeth. Retainers are typically clear trays worn during sleep that reinforce the position of your teeth and protect them from grinding pressure. If you do not wear a retainer consistently, your teeth can become crooked again.
Do Adults Have Unique Oral Challenges for Orthodontic Treatments?
When you are considering your teeth straightening options as an adult, you may have pre-existing dental conditions that can affect the treatment options available to you. Your unique oral health challenges and habits will be a major consideration when you are discussing your treatment options with a dentist. For adults, unique challenges can include periodontal disease, previous incomplete treatments, and missing teeth.
Many adults have periodontal disease such as gingivitis, gum recession, or even bone loss. Whether you have early or late-stage periodontal disease, your orthodontist can design a teeth straightening treatment plan that can correct your cosmetic concerns and help you have a healthier mouth. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, which makes it easier to manage gum disease in the future.
Many adults have had braces or other orthodontic treatments in the past. Sometimes, teens have to forgo orthodontic treatments because of financing issues. If you had incomplete orthodontic treatments as a teen, you can pick them up as an adult. An orthodontist will tailor your treatment to correct all the cosmetic concerns you have had since your previous incomplete treatment.
Sometimes, incomplete treatments can also refer to teeth that have shifted back to a crooked position after a successful orthodontic treatment as a teen. If you did not wear your retainer as a teenager, you may need to essentially re-do your previous orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth again.
You may also have missing teeth. It’s not uncommon for adults to have dental extractions that are not replaced by implants, which can cause teeth to shift along the jaw bone over time. Missing teeth present a unique challenge since the spacing of the teeth and the strength of the jaw bone can change. An orthodontist can build a treatment plan to correct spacing issues caused by missing teeth. Emerging wisdom teeth can also cause unique spacing challenges that can only be corrected with orthodontic care.
Why Are Adult Treatments Important?
Getting teeth straightening treatments as an adult is important for the future health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. When dental concerns are left untreated, they tend to get worse. For example, not treating cavities in the present can lead to severe tooth decay and the loss of teeth in the future, which can sometimes only be corrected by implants or dentures.
Furthermore, adult treatments for crooked teeth can help you feel much more confident. People who feel confident about their smiles tend to experience an increase in quality of life, such as a better sense of wellness or more openness to socializing. Straightening your teeth can also make it easier to eat food and clean your teeth.
Explore Your Adult Orthodontic Treatment Options
Whether you’re interested in invisible braces or more traditional teeth straightening methods, you have plenty of orthodontic treatment options to choose from as an adult. The best way to determine which treatment option is best for your orthodontic concerns is to attend a consultation. Call Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX to schedule a consultation appointment today.