Many people think that braces are only for children and adolescents. However, more and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance of their teeth. In fact, according to Orthodontics Australia, 62% of adults in Australia are considering getting orthodontic treatment.
For some adults, getting orthodontic treatment means finally getting around to doing something they’ve always wanted to do. For others, it’s a way to improve their oral health and boost self-confidence. Orthodontic options for adults address numerous problems associated with adult teeth, such as crooked teeth and missing teeth. An orthodontic treatment plan can improve the appearance of your smile, reduce the need for dental implants or tooth replacements, and improve your quality of life.
If you are considering orthodontic treatment, this article will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Understanding Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment is a dental approach that corrects the alignment of teeth and jaws. It treats various dental problems, including crowding of teeth, incorrect bite, and jaw disorders. Orthodontic treatment usually involves using braces — devices attached to the teeth to move them into the correct position slowly — and other similar dental appliances. The treatment process can take several months to several years, depending on the severity of the dental problem. The type of orthodontic treatment right for you will depend on your individual dental needs.
Why get orthodontic treatment?
Yes, the primary goal of orthodontic treatment is to straighten teeth, but its other benefits go far beyond cosmetic, such as:
Enhanced Quality of Life
More than half of Australian adults are unhappy with their smiles. This staggering number only shows how important having straight teeth is to confidence and overall quality of life.
Crooked teeth can impact confidence and quality of life. Maloccuded teeth can be challenging to keep clean, leading to oral health problems. In addition, crooked teeth can make speaking and eating difficult, leading to social and psychological issues.
Better Oral Health and Hygiene
Properly aligned teeth are not only aesthetic; they also facilitate better oral health and hygiene. Straight teeth are less susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. They are less likely to harbour plaque and bacteria and easier to clean. Your inability to properly clean crowded or out-of-place teeth increases the risk of decay and tooth loss.
Crooked teeth offer bacteria more nooks and crannies to hide in. As a result, you can have bad breath, even if you brush and floss regularly. Orthodontic treatment can straighten your teeth and help reduce the number of places for bacteria to hide, making your breath fresher.
Orthodontic treatment can also correct your bite. When your teeth are in alignment, they fit together like puzzle pieces, with your top teeth slightly overlapping your bottom teeth. Teeth that don’t fit correctly can cause all sorts of problems with your digestion. A proper bite can help break down your food more effectively, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. A proper bite can also help prevent indigestion and other digestive issues.
A correct bite is essential in maintaining dental health. Proper teeth alignment helps distribute the forces of biting and chewing evenly across your teeth, preventing wear and tear. Conversely, an incorrect bite can cause the teeth to wear down unevenly, leading to pain, jaw dysfunction, and tooth loss.
If you have an overbite, your tongue may have trouble making certain sounds. Crooked teeth can also lead to a lisp. An orthodontist can align your teeth so you can speak more clearly.
Decreased Tooth Injury and Trauma
Orthodontic treatment is an effective way to decrease the risk of tooth injury and trauma. Orthodontic treatment aligns your teeth and jaws and helps prevent your teeth from being knocked out or damaged in an accident.
Orthodontic Treatment Methods for Adults
There are different kinds of orthodontic treatments for adults. The correct treatment method will depend on your individual needs. Here are several orthodontic treatment choices that can offer you a happy, healthy smile:
Conventional braces are the most common teeth-straightening dental device. There are two kinds:
- Metal Braces – These are metal brackets bonded to the front of the teeth. A metal wire is then threaded through the brackets and tied into place. The wire applies pressure to the brackets, which moves the teeth into the correct position.
- Ceramic Braces – These are clear, porcelain-like braces for adults that function the same way as metal braces but are less visible. They are also typically smaller and more expensive than metal ones.
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign for adults, are made of plastic material and are popular among adults who want to straighten out their teeth but don’t want to wear metal braces.
Ideally, you must wear aligners for 20-22 hours daily, removing them only when you eat, brush, and floss. You need to wear your set of aligners for a couple of weeks before moving to the next set in the series. The goal is to move the teeth into the desired position gradually.
Using aligners requires the discipline to wear them at all times and replace the trays as directed. Otherwise, your Invisalign for adults treatment can take longer.
Self-ligating brackets are similar to conventional braces for adults; the only difference is the lack of elastic bands that hold in place the archwires. Instead, they come with a door that closes over the archwire to keep it in place.
Self-ligating brackets are said to be more comfortable and efficient than traditional ones because they do not need to be adjusted as often. The brackets allow the archwire to slide freely through them, which reduces friction and makes the treatment process more efficient.
Lingual braces work by moving the teeth into their correct position. Lingual braces are secured inside the teeth, making them invisible to other people. They are popular among adults who want to improve their smiles without anyone knowing they are undergoing treatment.
Better Late than Never
It’s never late to get orthodontic treatment. Even if you’re an adult, there are many options for straightening your teeth. The first step is to consult an orthodontist to assess your teeth and determine the best treatment options. Don’t wait any longer; talk to an orthodontist today and smile your way to oral health.