Orthodontic braces were historically associated with teenagers. Today, an increasing number of adults are choosing to wear braces to straighten their teeth and correct malocclusions (bad bites). In fact, it is now estimated that almost one third of all current orthodontic patients are adults.
Orthodontic braces are predictable, versatile, and incredibly successful at realigning the teeth. Braces work in the same way regardless of the age of the patient, but the treatment time is greatly reduced in patients who are still experiencing jaw growth and have not been affected by gum disease. In short, an adult can experience the same beautiful end results as a teenager, but treatment often takes longer.
Can adults benefit from orthodontic braces?
Absolutely! Crooked or misaligned teeth look unsightly, which can cause a low self-esteem and a lack of self confidence. Aside from poor aesthetics, improperly aligned teeth can also cause difficulties biting, chewing, and articulating clearly. Generally speaking, dentists agree that straight teeth tend to be healthier teeth.
Straight teeth offer a multitude of health and dental benefits including:
Reduction in general tooth decay
Decreased likelihood of developing periodontal disease
Decreased likelihood of tooth injury
Reduction in digestive disorders
Fortunately, orthodontic braces have been adapted and modified to make them more convenient for adults. There are now a wide range of fixed and removable orthodontic devices available, depending on the precise classification of the malocclusion.
The most common types of malocclusion are underbite (lower teeth protrude further than upper teeth), overbite (upper teeth protrude further than lower teeth), and overcrowding where there is insufficient space on the arches to accommodate the full complement of adult teeth.
Prior to recommending specific orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist will recommend treatment of any pre-existing dental conditions such as gum disease, excess plaque, and tooth decay. Orthodontic braces can greatly exacerbate any or all of these conditions.
What are the main types of orthodontic braces?
The following are some of the most popular orthodontic braces:
Traditional braces – These braces are strong and tend not to stain the teeth. They are comprised of individual brackets which are cemented to each tooth and accompanied by an archwire which constantly asserts gentle pressure on the teeth. Traditional braces are generally metal but are also available in a clear synthetic material and “tooth colored” ceramic. The ceramic brackets are usually more comfortable than the metal alternative, but can become discolored by coffee, wine, smoking, and certain foods.
ClearCorrect® – Looking for an alternative to metal braces? ClearCorrect is the clear and simple choice. No wires. No brackets. Just clear, convenient comfort—every reason to smile. With ClearCorrect, you Dr. Sclater or Dr. DeLeon can straighten your teeth using a series of clear, custom, removable aligners. Each aligner moves your teeth just a little bit at a time until you eventually get straight teeth.
How does ClearCorrect work?
You and your dentist will evaluate your teeth and talk about any problems or goals you have for your smile. Once you and your dentist establish ClearCorrect is the right treatment option for you, they will take impressions, photos, and x-rays of your teeth that ClearCorrect uses in manufacturing your custom aligners. Then they write a prescription for your custom aligners and sends it to ClearCorrect.
What can ClearCorrect do?
ClearCorrect can treat a wide variety of issues that keep people from achieving their ideal smiles. Straighter teeth don’t just look better; they work better too. Poorly-aligned teeth can interfere with bite function, wear out quicker, and are more prone to cavities. Ask Dr. Sclater or Dr. DeLeon how ClearCorrect can help you.