Braces for Adults
Orthodontic braces are generally prescribed during childhood between 9-14 years of age to change the positioning of teeth. Many adults also can also have problems such as crowded teeth, misalignment and crooked teeth. These issues can affect your confidence and the cosmetic appeal of your smile and even lead to various dental concerns such as tooth decay and gum disease. Orthodontic braces can successfully correct these issues in adults with excellent results.
Orthodontic braces function by placing pressure on the teeth to change their position. Constant one sided pressure on the faulty teeth pushes the root of the teeth against the bone underlying it. This pressure eventually dissolves the underlying bone and allows the tooth to shift in the desired direction. The empty space left behind in the bone eventually builds back up with bone overtime preventing the teeth from shifting to their previous original position.
Types of Braces
A variety of orthodontic braces are available to suit the type of problem. They may be fixed or removable types. Some of them include:
- Traditional braces: These are strong metallic or tooth colored ceramic braces with individual brackets cemented onto each tooth. These brackets relate to an arch wire which exerts constant gentle pressure onto the teeth.
- Invisalign®: These are clear tray shaped aligners which are placed for a certain period during the day. They are invisible and can be removed whenever necessary. These are more comfortable but also more expensive than the traditional braces.
- Lingual braces: These braces are fixed on the back of the teeth towards the tongue side, hence they are invisible from the front. These may sometimes cause speech problems and irritate the tongue.
Orthodontic braces correct crooked or misaligned teeth, improve aesthetic appeal and self-confidence. Other benefits include:
- Reduce tooth decay and injury
- Reduce chances of developing gum diseases
Your dentist may recommend treating any pre-existing dental conditions such as gum disease, tooth decay or plaque before you undergo any orthodontic treatment to prevent worsening of the existing dental problem.