There’s a lot of information out there when it comes to braces for kids, but what about braces for adults? Many adults find themselves wanting to correct their smiles but not really knowing where to start. Our team at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX, offers several excellent braces that can be a great fit for adults. Today we’re going to go over some of the benefits each option has to offer.
What Is the Best Type of Braces for Adults?
When it comes to finding the right braces for adults, appearance is one of the primary concerns. While kids may get excited about customizing their traditional braces, many adults don’t want to draw any attention to their teeth. Clear or ceramic braces are less noticeable than their traditional counterparts. The brackets can either be transparent or colored to blend in with your smile. This can help adults or teenagers feel less apprehensive and self-conscious about getting braces.
These braces are primarily used for the upper front teeth, which are the teeth that show most often while you’re talking and smiling. If you want to correct your upper front teeth without having to deal with metal braces, clear braces could be a good option for you.
Comparing Clear Braces and Clear Aligners
Aligners are another option we offer here, and they can be a super way to correct your smile. When choosing between aligners and clear braces, there are several things you can keep in mind to help you make the right call. Clear braces may be able to handle more serious corrections than aligners, so your needs may determine which choice is the right one.
In addition, aligners can be taken out when you eat. This can be a good or bad thing. On one hand, you won’t have to alter your diet. However, if you have curious kids or pets, you have to be careful to put your aligners where they can’t be accidentally sabotaged. If you’re concerned the aligners may get misplaced or that you won’t wear them as often as you need to, braces may be the right call.
What Can Clear Braces Do?
There are a lot of reasons teeth come in crooked, which can include overcrowding, malnutrition, previous dental issues, or genetic reasons. Regardless, crooked teeth can affect a patient’s confidence and can often make teeth harder to clean and keep healthy. Clear braces are able to effectively straighten crooked teeth while being as discreet as possible.
If some of your upper teeth rest inside of your lower teeth, you could be dealing with a crossbite. In mild cases, it can involve only a single tooth, whereas more severe cases involve more teeth.
Crossbites can happen if baby teeth took too long to fall out, or if too much pressure was put on teeth due to prolonged thumb sucking. It can also happen for genetic or other unknown reasons, as really anything that distorts the teeth could contribute to a crossbite.
Why Correct Crossbites?
Since crossbites involve overlapping teeth, it’s important to have them addressed when possible. When teeth grind against each other it can lead to a premature loss of protective enamel. This outer layer helps prevent decay, so losing enamel could lead to early tooth loss.
When all of the top teeth are behind the lower teeth, that condition is considered an underbite. As with crossbites, enamel loss is a concern with this condition. It can also be a cosmetic concern for some patients.
Correct Overbites and Overjets
Finally, we have overbites and overjets. These are similar conditions with slightly different presentations. Overbites happen when the front teeth overlap the lower teeth, and they are very common. Mild overbites may not be a cause for too much concern, but if they overlap enough they can cause enamel issues just like underbites and crossbites.
Overjets are a more serious concern, as this condition involves upper teeth that are pointed outwards. This may increase the risk of injury for patients who are involved in sports. Regardless of the presentation, issues with tooth alignment can contribute to tooth decay, an increased risk of gum disease, and even jaw pain. Thankfully, braces can help prevent and correct these issues.
Self-ligating braces are an excellent option if you want the same corrective power as traditional braces without any elastics to worry about. When looking at braces for adults, one question to ask is whether the patient has a sensitive mouth. Being worried about discomfort can make a patient less likely to seek out braces. Self-ligating braces offer less friction than traditional braces, which can help improve comfort.
It’s also a good option for busy patients since the specialized clips these braces use require less adjustment than traditional braces.
What Can They Correct?
As with clear braces, self-aligning braces can tackle overbites, underbites, crowded teeth, and unwanted gaps. Self-ligating braces can generally handle any issue traditional braces can with less hassle associated with them.
While not braces, clear aligners can handle many of the same corrections braces can, depending on the patient’s needs. This treatment involves a series of removable trays that are nearly invisible, making them the ultimate option for discretion.
They’re also the least inconvenient choice since patients don’t have to make any dietary changes during treatment. You can simply take them out when you eat, then pop them back in. For patients with sensitive gums and lips, clear aligners slide right over the teeth like a glove and should sit comfortably in the mouth.
What Can Clear Aligners Handle?
Clear aligners are usually used for cosmetic adjustments such as correcting crooked teeth. They can also fix many issues when it comes to bite alignment. That said, there are some issues better handled by braces. If your alignment issues require braces, you may be able to start the process off with braces and switch over to aligners as soon as possible.
If you’re interested in doing something like that, let us know during your consultation. We can take a look at your needs and help you determine whether combining treatments would be a possibility for you, or if sticking to a single treatment would offer better results.
Why Get Braces?
One question that often arises from patients looking into braces for adults is why bother with braces in the first place? The answer to that question partly depends on what issues you’d like to correct. If you have minor bite issues that don’t interfere with your ability to clean your teeth or your confidence, you may not need braces. That said, braces can offer many benefits for people of all ages.
Many adults are unhappy with their teeth but fear it’s too late to do anything. With our wide range of options, our team is here to help our patients achieve their goals for their smiles in a way that works for them.
If you find yourself trying to hide your teeth when you laugh or smile for pictures, it may be time to seek out corrections that will make you feel more confident. You shouldn’t feel like you have to hold back when you smile and laugh. Our team is ready to help you reduce your stress and live more freely in the moment.
Better Your Long Term Health
Having straight teeth can actually offer some health benefits, primarily because they’re easier to clean. Overlapping teeth create spaces that are difficult or impossible to brush and floss. This is a perfect opportunity for bacteria to get in there and start multiplying. When plaque is let be, it will eventually harden into tartar, which can cause a range of issues including tooth and gum decay.
Since the body is so interconnected, keeping your teeth clean may even help protect your heart and lung health. On top of that, tooth decay can cost a pretty penny. It may lead to early extractions or other lengthy and more involved treatments. By making sure you can get and keep your teeth clean, you may save yourself a headache later on.
Professional Cleanings May Be More Effective After Braces
Getting your teeth cleaned professionally on a routine basis helps to fight off tartar and catch issues as they’re developing, but crooked teeth can make professional cleanings more difficult and possibly longer too.
Correcting Your Smile Can Help Improve Bad Breath
We’ve mentioned that corrected teeth are easier to clean. One of the often overlooked benefits to that is in managing bad breath. If you have misaligned teeth and have been struggling to manage bad breath despite your best efforts, straightening your teeth might help improve your breath simply by making your teeth easier to thoroughly clean.
Reach Out for More Answers
The best way we can help you determine which braces could work best for you would be to meet with you for a consultation. During a consultation, you can ask us any questions you have, and we can figure out what your unique needs and goals are. If you’re ready to take the next step towards your new smile, reach out to us at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX, today.