Orthodontic technology and treatment options have evolved in recent years. This advancement has encouraged more adults to seek treatment for their orthodontic issues. Here, our Okotoks orthodontists share the ins and outs of adult braces and other treatment options.
Why do adults need orthodontic treatment?
Improperly positioned or crowded teeth can cause numerous orthodontic health issues.
This can impact speech and jaw function. It may also lead to uneven wear and tear on your teeth. Misaligned teeth can also affect oral hygiene, since properly aligned teeth are fairly easy to clean with normal brushing and flossing.
Aesthetically, misaligned teeth can lead to cosmetic issues and feelings of insecurity in your appearance. This insecurity causes some people to avoid activities such as smiling for family pictures, eating in public or public speaking.
As you might imagine, these issues can impact your quality of life, so you make decide to seek orthodontic treatment.
Low Profile Orthodontic Options for Adults
Concerns about the appearance or aesthetics of braces is one reason people often give for not seeking orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, orthodontic and dental technology has come a long way.
Adult patients have many convenient, discreet orthodontic treatment options to choose from depending on their needs. You'll find that each of these options will have its advantages and disadvantages.
Some patients may be candidates for Invisalign clear aligners – clear, custom-made plastic aligners that are difficult for the average observer to tell that you’re wearing. They gradually move the teeth into prescribed positions with gentle, continual pressure over the course of treatment - without the need for metal brackets or wires.
One big plus with clear aligners is that they’re removable, allowing you to drink, eat, brush and floss as you normally would. And whether you wear them to work, at events or out on the town, their combined transparency and convenience makes them an attractive treatment option. For many people, they fit comfortably into everyday lifestyle.
However, you’ll have to make sure to wear the aligners for 22 hours per day for treatment to be successful – and that requires a significant amount of self-discipline. You must also remember to switch aligner sets when appropriate, and schedule meal and eating times.
Thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology, adult braces have become a more viable option for those who may not be candidates for clear aligners, or who may prefer braces.
Metal braces are now less obtrusive and much more comfortable than they once were due to improvements in design. Consisting of brackets, wires and elastic bands, the parts work together to apply calibrated force to your teeth, gradually shifting them over time.
Braces can be used to treat either complex or simple malocclusion and misalignment issues. They are fixed appliances, so while you can’t take them out to brush, floss, eat or drink, you also won’t have to worry about timing your meals and snack times, or forgetting to switch your aligners or put them back in.
If you are concerned about the cost of adult braces, clear aligners or other orthodontic treatment, talk to your orthodontist. They may have financing options or payment plans available.