Do you close your mouth when you smile because of crooked teeth? Do you find it hard to floss because your teeth are so cramped? Are you starting to have headaches and pain in your jaw? Are you worried you’re too old for braces to work anymore? At Runnels Orthodontics in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, we specialize in adult braces. It doesn’t matter what age you are, we can help you straighten your teeth and bite, giving you the confident, healthy smile that you deserve.
Getting Adult Braces
Braces can help you get the smile you want no matter how old you are. So if you’re worrying that you’re too old to get braces, don’t! Adult braces work in the exact same way as children’s braces. In fact, adults are usually better able to keep up with the treatment plan orthodontists put in place. They are also much better at avoiding problem foods and keeping a good oral hygiene routine. So you actually have an advantage over younger patients!
The Benefits of Braces
Braces are an important orthodontic tool in helping you have a confident, beautiful smile, and a healthy jaw and teeth. Beyond simply looking better, straighter teeth allow you to perform proper oral hygiene. This makes you much less susceptible to a range of dental problems, including gingivitis, cavities, and tooth decay.
Braces are also useful in the correction of a misaligned bite or jaw. Correcting these problems can help you breathe easier, snore less, speak more clearly, and generally contribute to better oral health. When you have a misaligned bite, your teeth can become worn from grinding and biting, which can lead to the need for crowns and even tooth removal. A well-aligned jaw will also help to prevent headaches and jaw pain. The best time to fix these problems is right now, so you can prevent future pain and expensive dental problems as you age.
Types of Braces
These are traditional braces that you have no doubt seen before. They are simple and effective, and often the most economical option. They consist of metal brackets, metal wire, and rubber ligaments that all fit together to gently reposition crooked teeth.
You can also opt for braces that are made from strong ceramic instead of metal. These operate in exactly the same way, just with a different material. These braces are less noticeable than their metal counterparts, coming in clear and tooth-colored material. This makes them a good option for adults who might be a little self-conscious about how their braces will look.
Ceramic braces may also be gentler on the lips and mouth than the sharper metal braces. They are now stain-resistant and are an inconspicuous way of creating your perfect smile.
The third option when considering braces is Invisalign. These braces are a bit different from the traditional types. They look and act more like retainers, being removable and transparent. They are made completely from plastic, with no metal parts. This makes them the least invasive of the braces. Because they are removable, you are also able to eat foods that you can’t when wearing traditional braces.
Molds are made of your teeth and gums, and an Invisalign retainer is made in such a way that it fits your teeth but encourages them in particular directions. A new Invisalign mold is made at regular appointments every 10-12 weeks. This is a great option for anyone who wants the most inconspicuous braces possible. Invisalign is a very popular style of adult braces.
What Are Braces Made Of?
Metal and ceramic braces both share the same components and work in exactly the same way. The only difference between them is that the brackets are made from different materials. Invisalign braces, however, are made from plastic and do not involve the brackets, wires, and bands that the other braces do. If you do end up deciding to use traditional braces, these are the components that will be used to create the braces:
These bands are rings of metal that are placed around your back molars to provide the foundational support for the braces. These will be custom fit to your molars and will anchor the archwire.
These wires are threaded through the brackets and attached to the back molar bands. The archwire is responsible for the pressure exerted on the teeth, helping to gently move them into position. During treatment, you will return to your orthodontist regularly to have this archwire repositioned as the teeth move.
The brackets attach to the archwire and to each tooth being repositioned. They adhere to the tooth with the use of dental cement or glue that will come off easily at the end of your treatment. Each bracket will be connected to the archwire, which will gently push or pull the teeth into alignment.
This small rubber band attaches each bracket to the archwire. These ligatures will be regularly removed and replaced.
How It Works
All three types of braces will work in a similar way, gently applying constant pressure to encourage teeth to move into the desired position. We call this process “remodeling”, and it is achieved by putting pressure on the periodontal membrane which covers the root of the tooth. All types of braces work through slow and gentle pressure. This method allows us to move the teeth gradually and safely into their new positions.
Get a Free Consultation
If you would like to give yourself a bright, confident smile and prevent dental problems down the line, book a consultation with us. We want to ensure that you get the best care possible, and to do that we need to make an assessment of your teeth.
We can give you advice on what problems may be likely to come up in the future given how your teeth are currently behaving. We will also let you know which treatments we can recommend for those problems. Every consultation is unique because every person and every mouth is unique.
Send us a couple of pictures of your teeth and we will let you know what treatment options would best suit you. With our “smile assessment,” you can take advantage of a completely virtual and free professional consultation. All you need to do is fill out an online form and snap a few pictures. It’s that easy.
You can also come in and get an in-person assessment. This gives us an even better chance to really examine your teeth and determine what your best options are. Even if you start with a virtual consultation, we will want you to eventually come in and have an in-person assessment to finalize treatment plans.
Putting the Braces On
Your first appointment will be the longest of your treatment appointments. Regular follow-up appointments will be much shorter. The first thing we do when getting ready to place braces on a patient is to clean and prime the teeth for the dental cement or glue that will be used to attach the brackets. We will then place the brackets in a planned position on the particular teeth being treated.
After placing the brackets, we will fit the bands onto your molars and insert the archwire into the bands and brackets. This semi-rigid wire is cut and bent according to the bracket positions. Lastly, the rubber ligaments will be placed on the brackets to attach them securely to the archwire.
Adjusting the Braces
Once you have your braces, you will come back in for a regular monthly appointment in order to adjust them. We will look to see how your teeth are progressing, and then make adjustments to keep moving them in the right direction. This involves removing the rubber ligaments from the brackets and releasing the archwire.
Once the archwire is released we can bend it into its new shaper or replace it with a new wire. Adjusting the wire is the main way that we continue to direct the constant light pressure on your teeth that will keep them moving in the right direction. These regular appointments are a great way of checking in and assessing how the teeth are moving and allow minute adjustments where needed.
Once You Have Your Braces
Taking Care of Your Braces and Teeth
After putting your new braces on we will ensure that you know exactly how best to care for your braces and your teeth while you have them. There are a few slight differences in how you will clean your teeth which we will go over. We will give some tips and tricks to care for your teeth while you have braces on. This includes learning how to use special tools and floss to get into those hard-to-reach places where food particles can accumulate.
We will also talk to you about foods that are best avoided when wearing braces. These include sticky foods and hard foods, which can break your archwire or detach a bracket. Foods like apples that you have to take a bite out of can also be tricky. Popcorn and candy are also notorious for getting stuck in braces, so are best avoided. We will go over everything with you so that you feel confident knowing how to take care of your new braces.
Going to the Dentist
It is even more important to keep up with good oral hygiene and dentist visits while wearing braces. The brackets and wires create more places for food to get stuck and make it harder to properly clean your teeth. Regularly visiting the dentist is important to keeping your teeth healthy and avoiding problems like cavities and gum disease.
You may find that you need to visit the dentist more often once you have braces. Having your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year is a good way to keep them healthy while you have your braces. You don’t want to finish fixing your crooked teeth and bite just to find that you have developed cavities from neglecting good oral hygiene.
Love Your Smile
We want to help you create a smile you love, so you can live your life with the confidence you deserve. No more closing your mouth tight for photos or fear of laughing and exposing your crooked teeth. We want you to feel comfortable and proud of your smile. Take control of your health and happiness today. Visit Runnels Orthodontics in Santa Rosa Beach, FL to talk to our orthodontist about adult braces!