If you only associate braces with teenagers, you might be surprised if your dentist recommends orthodontic treatment to correct a misaligned bite. Braces for adults are now fairly common, thanks to the development of more discreet options that are less visible on the teeth.
If you're thinking about straightening your smile, or correcting other orthodontic issues such as crowding or gaps in your teeth, book an orthodontic consultation with your dentist to find out what your options are.
What are the benefits of braces?
Straight teeth aren't only about appearance. While many adults choose orthodontics for aesthetic reasons to correct a smile they're not happy with and improve their self-confidence, straightening teeth can also have health benefits.
Straight teeth can be easier to brush and floss than crooked or crowded teeth, lowering your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
If your teeth stick out (protrude), straightening could make them less prone to damage. A properly aligned bite is also less likely to cause problems such as teeth grinding and TMJ dysfunction.
Types of braces for adults
After completing an orthodontic assessment, your dentist will discuss the different types of braces and other teeth straightening options they offer, so you can decide what's best for you.
Traditional braces use stainless steel brackets and wires connected by elastic bands. These apply gentle force to slowly move the teeth and jaws into better alignment over the course of the treatment.
Metal braces are less popular for aesthetics, as the braces are more visible on the teeth than other materials, but they can offer more predictable outcomes, especially if your orthodontic issue is more severe.
Clear or 'invisible' braces are made from ceramic that your dentist can match to the natural shade of your teeth. This makes ceramic braces a popular alternative to metal for adults and older teenagers who are concerned about their appearance.
The downside is that these braces are less strong, so they may not be suitable for all orthodontic conditions and more care may need to be taken to avoid damaging the brace.
Another discreet option, lingual braces are attached behind the teeth rather than in front, hiding them from outside view. However, these braces are more limited in the orthodontic conditions they can treat and they can have other drawbacks, such as affecting speech.
Your dentist might also offer clear aligners such as Invisalign® treatment as an alternative to traditional braces. Unlike braces, which are fixed in place by your dentist, these removable plastic aligners can be taken out when you eat and clean your teeth, avoiding some of the frustration of braces.
Clear aligners can treat mild to moderate orthodontic issues, but they're less effective for more serious conditions. Your dentist can tell you whether you're a candidate for Invisalign and other aligners at your consultation.
Book a consultation today
If you want to know more about adult braces, Invisalign or other options to straighten your smile, schedule a free consultation with our dentists at St Heliers Dental Centre. We'll give you all the information you need about treatment times, risks and costs to decide whether a treatment is right for you.
Call (09) 575 5814 to talk to a dentist in Auckland or book online.