Last Updated on August 23, 2023 by Jade Roberts
Whenever people think about visiting the dentist or orthodontist for braces, it is commonly assumed that this only applies to adolescents. But that’s not necessarily the case anymore. Increasingly, all over the world, adults and seniors are getting braces to help align their teeth too.
Individuals of all ages are getting braces put onto their teeth nowadays. If your teeth are not as straight as you would like them to be, and as long as your gums and teeth are healthy, you could also benefit from obtaining a beautiful smile with improved teeth. There are several types of braces available now, and the best option for you may not be restricted to the old-fashioned metal teeth braces kind.
There are numerous misconceptions concerning the braces dentists offer and the types of braces that are attainable. Dental braces have seen numerous improvements over the years from the time when only metal types were available. Orthodontic methods have also improved greatly, and the time periods, types of braces, and costs are definitely different today than in earlier years.
Why Do People Get Braces?
People who have misaligned teeth usually choose braces to improve the look of their smile. Since braces tend to be safe and effective, they are typically the best option to straighten teeth.
Teeth can become misaligned for different reasons, such as trauma or age. People who have suffered from serious mouth injuries sometimes have misaligned teeth. In addition, adult teeth can shift over time, and the shifting can cause oral misalignment. Multiple dental conditions can be corrected with braces, such as under-bite, overbite, cross-bite, and malocclusion. Even teeth that are too far apart or too close together can be realigned with braces.
Some of the circumstances are medically beneficial while others are simply cosmetic. Many people get the braces to regain lost self-assurance in their look due to misaligned teeth.
Some of the other motives that an adult may want to get braces are because they never had the chance as teenagers, the teeth have moved over time, or they simply want to improve their appearance and to be more confident. Some adults contemplate getting braces put on since their parents may have not been able to afford them at the time then they were growing up. Also, an adult could have had braces when they were younger but didn’t make use of their retainer as trained, and as adults, their teeth become misaligned again.
These are all common reasons for scheduling a consultation with your orthodontist or dentist for a consultation.
Different Options To Straighten Teeth
There are different types of adult braces that individuals can choose from, including those made from stainless steel to plastic and ceramic. Many people still don’t recognize that braces are not only for kids and teenagers, but also for adults; this mainly stems from the fact that they are of the understanding that steel braces are their only choice, but with advancements in technology, other options are now available.
Adult braces are most frequently suggested by your orthodontist after investigating the issue and figuring out whether the treatment needs the use of braces or can be dealt with in some other method. At times, the treatment will, nevertheless, entail braces.
There are many different types of braces available today that were not an option previously. Some individuals do not like detectable, or steel, braces because of the way in which they look, and prefer less obvious types.
A popular choice is to select the ceramic style of braces. These are similar in style to metal braces, but are naturally colored and blend in with your normal teeth, much more so than traditional braces. Nonetheless, they can be discolored quite easily by the use of tobacco or even soft drinks if they are not properly cared for, and are more expensive than the metal braces.
Another choice is lingual braces. These are similar to the traditional braces, but wire braces are positioned and fastened to the backs of the teeth. These are also less noticeable but are difficult to clean and adjust.
Invisible Braces – Invisalign
One of the preferred undetectable braces today is Invisalign braces, which are totally clear and can not easily be seen by others, quite often going totally unnoticed unless you point them out. Invisalign braces are generally for those who have just mild to moderate issues. They apply pressure onto the teeth to slowly move them into their proper position. Because this pressure is less than traditional braces, they also take longer to align the teeth.
Invisalign braces are created using unique custom-made aligners that are replaced every couple of weeks, to slowly reposition the teeth. They are totally removable, so eating, cleaning and flossing are not a complicated process. However, being removable, care has to be taken not to lose the braces.
When you make an appointment for an orthodontic consultation, you may wonder what to expect. Typical procedures include visually examining the mouth, teeth, and gums, checking jaw movement, and taking x-rays. After the exam, the dental specialist will sit down and discuss the best strategy for treatment, along with the costs and types of braces that are available.
Lingual Braces For Tooth Alignment
Most people believe that the corrections made by braces are solely for cosmetic purposes. However, braces can be used to reduce the stress that improperly aligned teeth can place on gums and jaws. The most common braces are positioned on the front surface of the teeth and are made of brackets and wires. The appearance of traditional braces is often deemed unattractive. Consequently, many adults who could benefit from braces choose to avoid them. Few adults want to wear unattractive wires on their teeth for years. However, nowadays, lingual braces allow adults to wear their braces discreetly. Lingual braces correct the alignment of teeth in a manner similar to traditional braces, but are physically located on the back side of your teeth, meaning they are barely noticeable.
Process For Fitting Lingual Braces
Other types of braces are sometimes only used for very young patients. Due to the customized fit of lingual braces, they may cost more than traditional braces. In addition, lingual braces must be applied by an orthodontist who has received specialized training. Lingual braces also require more time for adjustments due to their placement on the inner surface of the teeth.
Patients who have lingual braces can eat a normal diet, but they should avoid foods that are overly sticky or acidic. Chewy foods and carbonated drinks can damage lingual braces. Many orthodontists prescribe regular visits to a dental hygienist for cleaning.
Most patients are required to wear their lingual braces for one to three years to achieve proper alignment. Some patients may need to wear a retainer for a prescribed period to prevent their straightened teeth from returning to a misaligned position. However, once the realignment of the patient’s teeth is complete, there is usually a notable improvement in the appearance of the patient’s smile. Adults who need to have their teeth straightened can now have their teeth realigned discreetly. Lingual braces are fitted to the inner surface of the teeth, and as such, they are not easily seen by onlookers, so this may be the perfect option for those who are deterred by the look of more traditional braces.
Importance Of Flossing With Braces
If you have braces or are going to be getting them in the future, then it is critical that you floss on a regular basis. Flossing has always been important to keep up good dental health, but it becomes absolutely vital with braces.
Why Flossing Is Important When Wearing Braces
Braces present a unique set of complications to the wearer that makes the act of flossing more important than ever. Braces can trap food very easily and hold it against the teeth, potentially leading to cavities and discoloration down the road.
Cavities form most often when food breaks down in the mouth and eats away at the enamel of the teeth. As food disintegrates, it releases and feeds bacteria and turns somewhat corrosive.
The main purpose of flossing is to remove anything from between the gaps in the teeth, where brushing can sometimes miss. Due to the warm and moist environment in the mouth, any contaminants break down quickly and then coat the teeth.
Without braces, thorough brushing and flossing are generally enough to stay on top of potential problems before they have the time to develop further.
So Why Is Flossing With Braces Any Different?
When you are wearing braces, you are faced with a completely different scenario. Braces are often made up of metallic inserts which are meant to snag rubber bands, so they already have plenty of texture for harmful elements to accumulate in.
What’s more, the space where the metal is glued to the teeth is a natural accumulation point for cavity-forming agents as well.
Lastly, those who are going through this experience have their vision obscured by the metal on the outside of the tooth, and may not be able to feel when they have food trapped.
All of these are reasons why it is so essential to carefully floss every day.
How To Floss With Braces
In order to get at everything, a special kind of care is required. If you have rubber bands in, remove them and then spool a length of floss around your index fingers. Carefully go in between each tooth, moving the floss gently up and down. It is also important to floss along the lines where the braces connect with the teeth, and around them.
Essentially, this is a process where you want to go over everything gently, doing the most thorough job possible. It defiantly takes longer than standard oral care, making it a bit more tedious for sure.
However, caring for your teeth during this time will be reflected in the results you get down the line. Good oral care leads to better oral health overall, which is a goal everyone should shoot for.
Be sure to talk to your dentist… not just when you start wearing braces, but at each dental checkup. If you have any concerns or problems, your dentist will be able to help. They will be able to give you tips, and also point out areas that need more focus and attention that you may have inadvertently been missing.
All in all, being regular and thorough with flossing, whether you have braces or not, is an investment that is very much worth it. It is better to put in some extra time and effort rather than face more dental issues down the line, especially when it comes to corrective procedures.
As they say, prevention is far better than cure, so make sure that you put in an extra special effort when flossing with braces.
The braces option decided upon, of course, relies on the specific circumstances of the individual. So if your teeth are misaligned, then make sure that you speak to your dentist at your next check-up to discuss the best options that are available to you.