Advancements in orthodontic technology and treatments have helped motivate adults to seek treatment for their health issues, Here, our North York orthodontist explains 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 may affect jaw function and speech or lead to uneven wear on your teeth. Misaligned teeth may also affect your ability to perform proper oral hygiene since properly-aligned teeth are easier to clean than misaligned ones.
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.
Misaligned teeth may also cause cosmetic issues and feelings of insecurity in the appearance of your smile. This may even cause some people to avoid activities like smiling or public speaking.
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
One of the common reasons provided by adults for not seeking orthodontic treatment is that they are worried about the appearance of having braces. Fortunately, orthodontist technology is continually advancing.
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.
Certain patients may even be candidates for clear aligners. These clear, custom-made plastic aligners that are difficult for the average observer to tell that you’re wearing. Clear aligners gradually move teeth into their prescribed positions with continual, gentle pressure over the course of treatment without having to rely on wires or brackets.
However, you’ll have to make sure to wear the aligners for 22 hours per day for 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 less obtrusive now than they have been in the past as their design has changed. Consisting of wires, brackets and elastic bands, braces work together to apply a carefully calibrated force to your teeth, 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, or forgetting to switch your aligners or put them back in.
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.