Braces aren't just for awkward teens with brightly colored spacers anymore. One in five patients at the orthodontist's office is over the age of 18, according to Harvard Health Publications. As more adults turn to braces to straighten their teeth, they're proving that it's never too late to fine-tune your smile. Here are just a few great reasons why dental braces for adults are a wise choice.
Why Dental Braces For Adults Aren't So Bad
What don't you like about your smile? Quite often, braces are not just for aesthetics. Crowded and crooked teeth are more difficult to brush and floss, which could cause plaque buildup and lead to other problems, such as cavities or gum disease, as stated by the American Dental Association. An underbite or overbite can even make chewing uncomfortable. Whether your teeth are misaligned or slightly less than perfect, braces can correct the issue, although dental braces for adults may need to be applied longer than for children or teenagers. The time required varies depending on the condition of your teeth, but the average patient has braces for 18–30 months, according to the Jacksonville University School of Orthodontics. No matter your reason for needing braces, the results are well worth the wait.
You don't have to get traditional metal braces, either. As detailed by the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, there are many more inconspicuous options for braces available today, such as clear braces, lingual braces and clear aligners, that will allow you to straighten your teeth undercover. Ceramic or clear braces are made from a composite that blends with the color of your teeth, while lingual braces are completely hidden because they're attached behind the teeth. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign or ClearCorrect, are custom-fit to your teeth. Choose the look and type of braces that will work best for you.
Many adults are unhappy with the way their teeth look and will avoid smiling or shy away from conversations as a result, which can affect how they present themselves in social and professional situations. Stick through the tooth-straightening process with your braces, and in time you'll get the smile that you've always wanted.
For the healthiest mouth possible, be sure to brush twice daily with a toothpaste that fights germs and prevents gingivitis, such as Colgate TotalSF, and follow your orthodontist's instructions on proper care for your braces. Keep in mind, however, that whitening toothpastes are not recommended while you wear braces since the toothpaste cannot reach under your brackets and could result in stains in the areas where the brackets were when it's finally time for the braces to come off.
There will soon be no need to hide your smile anymore once you have a reason and the confidence to show it off. If you're thinking about straightening your teeth, set up an appointment to talk to your dentist and/or orthodontist about the possibility of braces.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.