Can Adults Get Braces?

Posted on: March 16th, 2018 by Dr. Laura Morgan

Can an adult get braces? This is a question that we hear on a regular basis from patients who visit our office knowing they want a beautiful smile but having no way of knowing if they qualify for orthodontics. Typically, adults can use orthodontics to improve their smile with amazing results.

In fact, adults have more treatment options available to them than children do. With that in mind, many adults also want to know which solution is the best option for improving their smile. We recommend scheduling a consultation that we can ask questions and conduct an examination.

This examination will allow us to learn more about the patient's goals and to determine what type of orthodontics would be most likely to help achieve those goals. Keeping that in mind, it can help to have a little background information about various types of orthodontics.

Traditional metal braces

The most common option available for teeth straightening is traditional metal braces. In this procedure, we bond self-ligating brackets to the surface of each tooth. We then thread a wire between those brackets and secure it in place with rubber bands. These bands can be clear or colored. Throughout the course of the treatment, we will need to adjust the wires so that they can continue to move the teeth closer to their permanent position.

These adjustments must happen in our office, depending on what needs to happen during that course of treatment.

Clear ceramic braces

This treatment functions much like traditional metal braces but with one major exception. The brackets are tooth colored. This means that they will blend in with the natural teeth and be difficult to notice unless up close. Many of our adult patients and older teens prefer this option because it is discrete, making it possible to straighten teeth without it being immediately obvious.

This is the main advantage of the treatment. However, it also poses some drawbacks. To prevent the brackets from becoming stained, patients will need to avoid foods that could be staining such as coffee and red wine. Also, it becomes necessary to brush teeth as soon as possible to prevent staining. If this is a possibility, ceramic braces are an excellent option.

Clear removable aligners

This is the ultimate in discretion. Clear aligners are virtually invisible and typically impossible to see. This procedure requires patients to wear aligners for approximately 20 hours per day or more. They must come out when eating, drinking warm or hot fluids, and brushing teeth.

Patients must be focused enough to remember to put them back in after doing these activities. Otherwise, the patient may not wear the aligners for long enough and cause a delay in the treatment process.

In addition to their discretion, clear aligners are an ideal option for someone who is very busy and may not have time to visit the orthodontist on a regular basis. Since the patient can switch the aligners out at home, this solution can be more convenient than traditional braces.

Treatment time

The treatment times for these braces options are relatively the same. The differences between them are negligible as long as patients follow our directions and keep all scheduled appointments.

Which solution is best for you?

Ultimately, this is a personal decision that comes down to goals and objectives along with lifestyle concerns and budgetary considerations. We can help you to make an informed decision about the best way to proceed after completing an examination and asking a few questions. We recommend scheduling that appointment as quickly as possible so that you can take the first steps toward improving your smile and confidence.

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