Smiling male patient trying invisible braces

Adult Orthodontics: Your Questions, Answered

When people talk about braces, the assumption is that they are often just for teenagers. The reality is, however, that getting braces as an adult is more common than you’d think.

While it used to just be largely teens that had braces in the past, these days, people from every age group want to straighten their teeth.

But what are the benefits of getting braces as an adult?

Here’s what to expect from adult orthodontics.

What Are the Benefits of Adult Braces?

The benefits of adult braces are that you’ll get straight teeth. This will help to improve your confidence in your smile and improve your appearance.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits of having adult braces fitted, you’ll also reduce the chances of developing tooth decay.

When your teeth are misaligned or crooked, there is a tendency for plaque to build up in the hard-to-reach places between your teeth. This can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.

Aligning your teeth will also help to improve the function of your bite. If you have crooked teeth, you may have an overbite or an underbite. Getting braces will address this.

How Long Does Adult Orthodontics Treatment Take?

The length of time that you’ll need to wear your adult braces will vary from one to three years. The factors involved include which type of brace you opt for, and how crooked your teeth are.

Look online for a family orthodontist near me and make an appointment. They’ll be able to advise you on which treatment is best suited to you and how long it’ll take.

How Much Do Adult Braces Cost?

The cost of braces will vary significantly based upon the type of braces that you opt for and the condition of your teeth.

You can expect to pay between $4,000 and $8,000 for your braces. You should check to see whether you’re covered for having braces by your dental insurance provider.

If you’re not covered by your insurer, ask your orthodontist’s office if they provide a dental discount plan for over 18s and whether you’re eligible for it.

What Types of Orthodontic Treatment Are Available?

You may be surprised to learn that braces are not just metal tracks in your mouth anymore. Improvements have been made in recent years and now there are smaller, less noticeable braces available. Here are the most common varieties.

Traditional Metal Braces

When most people think of braces, they imagine metal braces. While there have been improvements, these still remain a popular choice because of their low price. They are also the fastest at straightening your teeth.

Metal braces consist of stainless steel brackets affixed to your teeth. A metal wire runs through these brackets. This wire will slowly and gently pull your teeth into the correct position.

The wires are held into position using very small rubber bands.

Traditional Ceramic Braces

If you’re looking for something a little more subtle, ceramic braces might be a good option for you. These are made from clear or white material making them stand out less than traditional metal braces.

Ceramic braces work in the same way as metal braces. They often have tooth-colored wires which help to make them less noticeable.

Self-Ligating Ceramic Braces

Self-ligating braces are designed to match the color of your teeth. Just like traditional braces, a wire will be pulled through the brackets. There is a clip built into each bracket that will hold the wire in position meaning there is no need for the rubber bands.

For all intents and purposes, these are just like traditional ceramic braces in every other way. This type of brace is also available in stainless steel.

Invisible Braces

If you’d like to straighten your teeth without having to wear braces, there is another orthodontic option: Invisalign.

Invisalign consists of clear custom removable trays that are made from a pliable material. This is specifically designed to fit around your teeth.

Instead of having your aligners fitted, you’ll put them in and take them out yourself.

Throughout your treatment, you’ll use a series of different aligners. Each set will need to be worn for two or three weeks before you move onto a different set.

Your aligners can be taken out when you’re eating and when you’re brushing or flossing your teeth.

How Do You Take Care of Adult Braces?

The way that you take care of your adult orthodontics will depend on which option you opt to go for. If you have Invisalign braces, you won’t have to change your brushing or flossing routine. You can clean your teeth as you usually would.

If you have fixed braces, however, it’s quite a different story. Your dentist will show you how to clean around your brackets.

Your dentist will recommend that you use special types of brushes called interdental brushes. These look like small pipe cleaners and are ideal for fitting between brackets and wires to dislodge any trapped food.

You should also use an antiseptic mouthwash to help give your mouth a thorough clean.

Finding the Right Orthodontist for You

If you’ve decided that adult orthodontics is for you, then the next step will be finding the right orthodontist for you. Speak to a few orthodontists about the treatment they offer and find the one you’re happiest with. You’ll be seeing your orthodontist in London or elsewhere for quite some time, so you’ll need to feel comfortable in their care.

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