Most people who wear braces do so as kids. They’re seen as a standard part of adolescence; while not everyone needs braces, the children who do won’t be alone. For adults, however, braces can be a much bigger decision. A lot of adults feel embarrassed or ashamed about getting braces. They feel as if it’s childish and that their dental issues should have been addressed years ago. There is also a common misconception that it’s impossible for braces to be truly effective when used by adults.
While it’s true that the prime time to begin orthodontic treatment is the age of seven, orthodontists can provide amazing results to those who begin treatment as adults. It’s never too late to get braces — you’ll just want to be wise about the choices you make and accept that it may take longer to get the smile you want. Nonetheless, if you consult with the right orthodontists and commit to a great treatment plan, you can end up with stunning results. The same goes for patients who feel self-conscious about the state of their teeth; even if braces aren’t necessary, treatments may be able to restore their self-esteem. Below, we’re going to explore some of the options available for adults considering braces and other orthodontic treatments.
The same types of braces that work for children can also work for adults. A lot of people hesitate to get standard braces once they’re fully grown. This is largely for aesthetic reasons. However, it’s important to consider the end results more than the short-term visual aspects. There is really no better way to straighten your teeth than with braces. While many patients opt to get braces for cosmetic reasons, your orthodontist may recommend traditional braces to correct overbite, crooked teeth, and sometimes even missing adult teeth. Braces can also be used to prepare your bite for somewhat more invasive procedures, like certain orthodontic surgeries. The main disadvantage of standard braces is that they are much more noticeable, which can be daunting for older patients. That said, the pros may far outweigh the cons.
You may have heard about Invisalign braces over the years, but perhaps they haven’t seem accessible or realistic. Invisalign braces are actually becoming increasingly common, offered by many orthodontists throughout the country. Although these aligners straighten your teeth the way traditional braces do, they offer the added benefit of being much harder to notice, unless examined closely. And because they’re removable, you can take them out when eating and cleaning your teeth, allowing for greater comfort. You can enjoy all the foods you love and practice improved oral hygiene while experiencing a much subtler straightening option.
Aside from Invisalign braces, another less noticeable option is ceramic braces. These braces match the color of your teeth — but rather than going over the teeth, they’re placed behind the teeth. They can be more expensive than standard braces, but many like the idea of their braces being less visible.
If your concerns are purely cosmetic, you may want to discuss different options with your orthodontist. One of the most popular is porcelain veneers. Veneers essentially fit over the teeth, covering up chipping, staining, and general dullness. They create a brighter and more even smile, which is the simple end goal for a lot of people. At times, shaving your teeth down is necessary before having veneers fit over them. Veneers won’t fix serious concerns and won’t align your teeth, but they can help you feel more confident about your smile.
No matter what you ultimately choose, take your orthodontist’s advice into account. There are so many options to choose from that you’re bound to find something that works for you! With the help of an orthodontic professional, your smile will be straighter and brighter in no time.