There have been many developments in orthodontic treatments and technology over the years making them more appealing to adults. In this blog, our dentists at Assiniboine Dental Group in Manitoba discuss braces and other orthodontic treatment options for adults.
Why would adults require orthodontic treatment?
A variety of oral health conditions could be caused by crowded or improperly positioned teeth in your mouth.
These orthodontic conditions can affect speech and jaw function. They could even lead to uneven wear on your teeth. Misaligned teeth can also have a negative impact on oral hygiene because teeth that are aligned properly can be easier to clean with routine flossing and brushing.
But a misalignment could cause the teeth to overlap, leading to food debris and bacteria getting stuck in places of the mouth a toothbrush can't easily reach. This can result in conditions such as tooth decay and possibly gum disease.
Aesthetically, misaligned teeth can create cosmetic issues and feelings of insecurity in appearance – making some people avoid activities such as smiling for family pictures, eating in front of people or public speaking.
As you might be able to imagine, these issues can affect the quality of your life, possibly making orthodontic treatments highly beneficial.
Orthodontic Options for Adults that are Low Profile
One reason adults often give for not seeking orthodontic treatment is that they are concerned about the aesthetics or appearance of braces. Fortunately, dental and orthodontic technology has come a long way.
Many convenient and discreet orthodontic treatment options are available for adult patients to choose from, depending on their needs. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages.
Some patients could be candidates for clear aligners. They are clear, custom-made plastic aligners that can be difficult for the casual observer to see while you are wearing them. They work to gradually shift your teeth into prescribed positions by applying gentle, continual pressure over the course of treatment - without metal brackets or wires.
One potential big plus with clear aligners is that they are removable, allowing you to drink, eat, brush and floss as you normally would. And whether you wear them to work, at events, or out on the town, their combined transparency and convenience can make them an attractive treatment option. They often fit comfortably into people's everyday lifestyles.
However, for treatment to be successful, you’ll have to wear the aligners for 22 hours per day and that requires a significant amount of self-discipline. You also have to remember to switch aligner sets when appropriate, and schedule meal and eating times.
Thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology, adult braces have become a more viable option for those who may not be candidates for clear aligners, or who may prefer braces.
Metal braces are now less obtrusive and much more comfortable than they once were due to improvements in design. Consisting of brackets, wires, and elastic bands, the parts work together to apply calibrated force to your teeth, gradually shifting them over time.
Braces can be used to treat either complex or simple malocclusion and misalignment issues. They are fixed appliances, so while you can’t take them out to brush, floss, eat or drink, you also won’t have to worry about timing your meals and snack times.
If you are concerned about the cost of adult braces, clear aligners, or other orthodontic treatment, talk to your orthodontist. They may have financing options or payment plans available.