More adults are getting braces these days. In many cases, they are doing so because they need them and their parents weren’t able to afford them. In other cases, they have simply become more aware that having straight teeth is good for both their looks and their health. Adults who get braces, regardless of type, should expect to wear them for an average of 12 to 20 months. Adults do have options, however, and depending on their case can choose from different types of braces.
These are the most traditional braces. They consist of stainless steel brackets and wires and may have rubber bands. In a new development, some orthodontists also use archwires that use the patient’s body heat to help the teeth move more quickly and with less pain. While metal braces can be unattractive, they are effective at straightening very crooked teeth. They are also the least expensive type of braces.
Ceramic braces also involve brackets and wires, but the brackets are made of ceramic. Either the brackets will be clear or the same color as the patient’s teeth. Some orthodontists even use wires the same color as the teeth. They work well, but the adhesive used can be stained if the patient smokes or drinks something dark like black coffee or red wine.
Invisalign consists of a series of removable, clear orthodontic aligners that look like mouth guards and gradually move the teeth into place. The aligners are custom-made, and the patient wears them for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, the patient gets another set that pushes the teeth further into the desired position. The entire treatment can last a few months or take up to 18 months.
The chief advantage of Invisalign is its invisibility. Another advantage is that Invisalign can be removed which makes it easier to brush and floss teeth. Unfortunately, there are limits in what it can do. It is not effective at correcting bite problems or overcrowding. Nor is it effective at correcting teeth that are at different heights from each other.
These are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets are attached to the back of the teeth. They hold wires that pull the teeth into the desired position. The placement of the brackets means they are hidden from view. Lingual braces are more difficult to clean, and they are more difficult for the orthodontist to adjust.
It’s Never Too Late
It’s never too late for adults to consider braces or other orthodontic care. At Runnels Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, we treat patients of all ages. We’ll work with you to determine the safest and most effective orthodontic treatment for your individual needs. Contact Runnels Orthodontics today to schedule your consultation or stop by one of our offices in Destin or Panama City Beach.