If you’ve never seen an orthodontist or think you need to plan a return visit, getting braces as an adult can seem intimidating. What most people don’t realize is that your oral health is a large component to your health overall. Prolonging treatment can lead to problems such as tooth decay and periodontal disease. Luckily, we at Castle Pines Orthodontics are used to working with adults and have put together a guide to help you get started.
Advantages of Braces as an Adult
While most people think of braces as a thing for teens, more adults get braces now than ever before. New ways to receive orthodontic treatment exist now than ever before. If you think you have an overbite, underbite, overcrowding, or too much space between teeth, you should consider visiting an orthodontist immediately.
If you choose to go through the process, it can take less time to correct your teeth than it does as a kid. Adults generally practice better habits than kids, making treatment easier. There’s also less temptation to have things like hard candy and gum, which can damage braces.
Common Braces as an Adult
Traditional braces involve putting metal brackets (typically made of stainless steel) onto the teeth, which are attached to wire (often made of metal alloys). The wires are then held together by tiny rubber bands. The wires are designed to provide constant, gentle force to move your teeth into the desired position. Although this style has been used for decades, they’ve improved with the use of smaller, less noticeable brackets.
- Ceramic Braces: Like metal braces, ceramic braces have thin wires connecting the brackets. Made from clear ceramic to match the teeth makes ceramic braces less prominent than metal braces. Additionally, these types of braces tend to be more comfortable than traditional braces, although they are often slightly more expensive.
- Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are the same as traditional braces, but the wires and brackets sit on the inner part of the teeth, making them the least visible of the bracket-and-wire types. However, they’re more challenging to keep clean and can be uncomfortable at first since they may initially cause tongue sores.
- Aligners: Clear, plastic aligners are similar to mouth guards used by athletes. They’re custom-made and come as one single piece rather than in individual components like traditional braces. Although they’re similar to retainers (more on those below), aligners are designed to move teeth in small increments, similar to traditional braces. Retainers, meanwhile, keep teeth in place. Also, retainers are usually worn for short periods of time while aligners are meant to be worn most of the day and night (although you can take them out to eat, drink, and brush and floss your teeth).
- Self-Ligating Braces: While traditional metal and ceramic braces use rubber bands to connect brackets to the wire, self-ligating braces have brackets that clip right onto the wire. The brackets are smaller and can be clear, making them less noticeable. Also, without the bands, food is less likely to get trapped, so brushing and flossing is easier.
- Power Chain Braces: Power chains are connected rows of elastics, usually used with traditional metal or ceramic brackets. These braces create more pressure and force in moving the teeth and are typically used to close gaps between teeth.
Contact Us Today
The best way to determine what type of braces is right for you is to speak with an orthodontist. If you live in the Castle Pines, CO area, our office is happy to help you get the treatment you need for the smile you deserve. Contact us today and schedule an appointment.