Adult Braces: Are They for You?

If you are an adult with misaligned teeth, you may be wondering whether or not adult braces are right for you. After all, braces are really just for kids, right?

Actually, there are over a million adult orthodontic patients in the United States and Canada. Nowadays, more adults are seeking orthodontic corrections than ever before. Wearing braces is no longer age-specific. Grown ups are regularly choosing braces to correct bite problems, align crooked teeth, and improve their overall appearance.

In the past, an adult orthodontic patient may have had few treatment options from which to choose. However, adult patients now have multiple options for straightening their teeth. Many of these applications are inconspicuous, so they are difficult to notice once they are in place. Here is a bit of information to help you decide whether or not adult braces are right for you.

Why Do Adults Get Braces?

Most adult orthodontic patients want braces to improve their appearance. Your teeth play a significant role in the way that you look. In fact, an observer can often guess a person’s age range, gender, and sometimes even the socioeconomic status by looking at the individual’s teeth. In addition, the way that you perceive your teeth can have a large impact on your self-esteem and confidence.

Still, there are additional reasons for wanting braces. Here are a few of them:

Speech Problems

A person’s bite can affect his or her ability to speak clearly. When the teeth are misaligned, it can be difficult to pronounce certain consonant sounds. Consequently, some adult patients want braces to ensure that their speech is well understood. Being able to clearly communicate can impact a person’s ability to be successful in the workforce, especially if an occupation involves a large amount of talking.

Jaw Pain

When the jaws are not properly aligned, the adult patient may experience constant discomfort. The pain may be exacerbated as he or she chews or speaks.

In addition, the jaw discomfort while eating may result in gastrointestinal issues. Often, a person who experiences pain while chewing fails to masticate the food thoroughly. As a result, the food is not broken down sufficiently for easy digestion.

Braces can be used to correct the dental misalignment and adjust the bite. After the alignment of the jaws is corrected, the pain usually subsides.

Tooth Decay

A person may suffer from tooth decay more easily if the teeth are crowded or misaligned. Crowded teeth can make it difficult to floss correctly. In addition, some areas of the teeth may simply be inaccessible to a toothbrush. Nevertheless, all areas of the teeth are still subject to tooth decay.

Once teeth are properly aligned, they become easier to clean. Thus, people who regularly incur cavities may notice that their teeth remain healthier after an orthodontic correction.

What Options Are Available for Adult Orthodontic Patients?

Adult patients can choose traditional braces if they prefer. However, there are discrete alternatives, such as clear braces, lingual braces, and clear plastic aligners.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are made with transparent ceramic brackets. Since the brackets are basically colorless, clear braces are much more difficult to discern in the mouth than their traditional metal counterparts.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces have metal brackets that are placed on the side of the teeth that lies closest to your tongue. Thus, the braces are not visible to a casual observer. Instead, the front of your teeth remains unobstructed while the braces are in place. The placement of lingual braces also makes them a great option for people who play contact sports in which inadvertent blows to the mouth may occur.

Clear Plastic Aligners

Clear plastic liners are transparent mouth trays that apply pressure to move the teeth into proper position. Because the aligners are transparent, they are practically invisible when worn. This option is sometimes preferred by adult patients because the aligners are removable. This means that you can clean your teeth or eat a meal without having to adjust to the bulk of an orthodontic appliance.

If you are considering adult braces, contact our Tallahassee, FL office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clark. We can help you determine the best option to meet your needs.

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