When you think of braces, most people picture teenagers and young children with metal wires and colorful rubber bands. But orthodontic treatment isn’t just for kids – adults also benefit from getting braces. In fact, one in every five orthodontic patients is now an adult! So what is the right time to get braces for adults?
If you or your adult family members are considering getting braces, it’s important to understand when the best time would be to do so. Orthodontists recommend that adults receive braces at different ages depending on their individual needs. Factors such as oral health, lifestyle habits, and the severity of your condition all play a role in determining when it is best to get braces for adults.
Benefits of Adult Orthodontics
There are a number of advantages to getting braces as an adult rather than waiting until your children’s teenage years. The most important benefits include:
- Improved oral health – With the help of braces, you can reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay by closing small gaps between teeth or correcting crooked teeth that are difficult to clean properly.
- Increased self-esteem – Having a straighter smile can give you greater confidence in social situations or professional environments. It also improves your facial aesthetics and balances out features such as lips and cheeks better.
- Improved chewing habits – Braces can correct jaw misalignment, allowing for better food intake and digestion.
When is the Right Time to Get Adult Braces?
The ideal time to get braces as an adult depends on the specific needs of each individual patient. If you are considering getting braces, it’s important to visit an orthodontist for a consultation first so they can assess your teeth and determine what type of treatment would be best suited for you. Generally speaking, adults should consider getting braces if they have:
- Tooth misalignment – If you haven’t had orthodontic treatment in the past, but have noticed that some of your teeth are overlapping or crooked, then it may be beneficial to correct this with braces.
- Excessive crowding – Crowded teeth can cause a number of oral health problems, such as cavities and gum disease. Braces help to evenly space out the teeth, improving hygiene and helping you maintain your smile for longer.
- Unfavorable bite patterns – An orthodontist may recommend braces if you have an overbite or underbite that is causing difficulty with eating or speaking.
Types of Adult Orthodontics
There are a few different types of adult orthodontic treatments available, depending on what your primary goal is. Traditional metal braces are the most common type of treatment used for adults, but there are also less visible options available such as ceramic braces and clear aligners. Your orthodontist can help you decide which option would be best for your individual situation.
Cost of Adult Orthodontics
The cost of adult orthodontic treatments does vary depending on the type of braces used, but in general it is more expensive than getting braces as a child or teenager. It’s important to understand that this is an investment in your oral health and overall wellbeing, so it’s worth considering when making a decision about whether or not to get adult braces.
Aftercare for Adult Braces
Once you have decided to get adult braces, it’s important to take special care with them in order to ensure your mouth remains healthy and your treatment is successful. Here are a few tips for aftercare:
- Follow your orthodontist’s instructions – Your orthodontist will provide detailed instructions about how to look after your braces, so it’s important to follow them closely in order to achieve the best results.
- Brush your teeth regularly – It’s essential to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush and floss once a day, taking special care around the brackets and wires of your braces.
- Avoid sugary snacks and drinks – Eating too much sugar can cause plaque buildup on your braces, leading to discoloration of the teeth or cavities. Try to avoid sweet foods and drinks as much as possible.
- Avoid hard and crunchy foods – Hard and crunchy foods can damage the brackets and wires of your braces, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Benefits of Getting Adult Braces
There are a number of benefits to getting adult braces, including improved oral health, increased self-esteem, and improved chewing habits. Having straighter teeth can also improve speech clarity by reducing speech impediments caused by misaligned teeth or jaw issues.
At the end of the day, getting adult braces is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Make sure you consult with an experienced orthodontist in order to determine what type of treatment would be best for you. With the right care and attention, adult braces can help to improve your oral health and overall wellbeing.
What is the ideal age for getting adult braces?
The ideal age for getting adult braces depends on each individual situation and should be assessed by an orthodontist first. Generally speaking, adults should consider getting braces if they have tooth misalignment, excessive crowding or unfavorable bite patterns.
How long do adult braces take to work?
The length of time that it takes for adult braces to work varies depending on the individual case and type of treatment used, but generally it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for the treatment to be completed.
Are there any alternatives to braces for adults?
Yes, there are a few non-orthodontic options that can help with minor tooth misalignment or crowding issues such as veneers, bonding and contouring. However, these are not suitable for more serious cases of malocclusion and should only be used after consulting with an experienced orthodontist first.