Recent developments in orthodontic technology and treatment options have motivated more adults to seek treatment for their orthodontic issues. Today, our Grande Prairie orthodontists explain the ins and outs of adult braces and other treatment options.
Why do adults need orthodontic treatment?
A number of oral health problems can be caused by teeth that are improperly positioned or crowded in your mouth.
This can have an impact on jaw function and speech. It may also result in uneven tooth wear. Misaligned teeth can also have an impact on oral hygiene because properly aligned teeth are relatively easy to clean with regular brushing and flossing.
But a misalignment may cause the teeth to overlap, causing debris from food and bacteria to get stuck in places that your toothbrush and floss can’t easily reach. This can result in tooth decay and eventual gum disease.
Aesthetically, misaligned teeth may cause cosmetic issues and feelings of insecurity in appearance – causing some people to avoid activities such as public speaking or smiling for family pictures, or even eating in public.
As you might imagine, these issues can affect the quality of your life, and so orthodontic treatment may be highly beneficial.
Low Profile Orthodontic Options for Adults
Adults frequently refuse orthodontic treatment because they are concerned about the aesthetics or appearance of braces. Fortunately, dental and orthodontic technology has advanced significantly.
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 may be candidates for clear aligners – clear, custom-made plastic aligners that are difficult for the average observer to tell that you’re wearing. They gradually move the teeth into prescribed positions with gentle, continual pressure over the course of treatment - without the need for metal brackets or wires.
One significant advantage of clear aligners is that they are removable, allowing you to drink, eat, brush, and floss normally. And whether you wear them to work, to events, or on the town, their combination of transparency and convenience makes them an appealing treatment option. They are easily integrated into many people's daily lives.
However, you’ll have to make sure to wear the aligners for 22 hours per day for the treatment to be successful – and that requires a significant amount of self-discipline. You must also 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 treat both complex and simple malocclusion and misalignment issues. Because they are fixed appliances, you can't take them out to brush, floss, eat, or drink, but you also won't have to worry about timing your meals and snacks or forgetting to switch or replace your aligners.
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.