When you’re self-conscious about your smile, it can affect your confidence. Maybe you’ve always wished you could have gotten braces, but for whatever reason, you didn’t get them as a teenager, when it’s most common. You might have assumed that there was a window of opportunity to get braces, and you missed it.
However, just because braces are most common among teens, that doesn’t mean you can’t get them as an adult. In fact, many adults are taking advantage of their ability to transform their smile into one that makes them feel more confident. Joseph Z. Yousefian, DMD, at Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults, has multiple options for adults who want to straighten their teeth.
Braces are more than cosmetic
While it’s true that orthodontic work can positively affect your self-esteem, it has other benefits as well. Crowded, crooked, or misshapen teeth can negatively impact your oral health.
If your teeth are crowded or crooked, this can make your teeth and gums more difficult to clean, which can lead to tooth decay. A bad bite can also cause problems with chewing and speaking. Furthermore, poor tooth alignment can put stress on your muscles and cause facial pain.
Difference between getting braces as a child or an adult
One advantage of getting braces as an older child or teen is that your mouth is still growing. This means your jaw is more adaptable to change. By the time you’re an adult, those bones have formed and reached their permanent shape.
Braces are still effective no matter how old you are. However, if you’re an adult, you may have to wear braces a bit longer than a child or teen would. On average, most adults need to wear braces for about two years.
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets and wires. These braces, which apply constant pressure on your teeth to gradually move them into the desired positions, are economical and work well.
However, they have the disadvantage of being extremely noticeable. Especially for adults who work in highly visible settings, this option may not be appealing. Generally, you wear traditional braces for 1-3 years.
The new, clear way to straighten teeth
There are newer options to straighten teeth, and they tend to be less noticeable, making them more popular with adults. Among these newer options are aligners.
Aligners are clear, plastic trays that you wear for about 22 hours a day. You can take them out to eat and clean your teeth, which gives them a significant advantage over conventional braces.
The most common brand name of aligners is Invisalign®. The molds for the trays are made from a 3-D model of your teeth. After your mouth has been scanned, a number of aligner sets are made. Every two weeks or so, you replace your aligners with a slightly adjusted set. By the time you take out your last set, you have the smile you desire.
A major advantage of Invisalign is that they’re clear, making them less visible, and you can easily see your progress. The total treatment time will depend on the state of your teeth, but treatments generally takes 6-18 months.
It’s never too late to get the smile you’ve always wanted. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults today.