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Teeth Braces for Adults: A Comprehensive Guide to Straighter Smiles

teeth braces for adults

Teeth braces for adults are a blessing for adults seeking a safe and effective solution for their misaligned teeth, giving them a beautiful straight smile for the rest of their lives.

However, many adults miss out on the amazing opportunity of getting their teeth straightened just because they don’t have enough knowledge about the braces process, the eligibility criteria for getting braces, and other necessary information.

This blog will serve as a comprehensive guide for all such adults wanting to give braces a try, giving them all the relevant information needed to make the life-changing decision of getting braces.

What Are Teeth Braces For Adults?

Adult braces refer to orthodontic devices that are used to correct teeth alignment or bite issues in adults. They work by exerting calculated and consistent pressure on the teeth and the jawbone over a fixed period of time, causing reshaping of the jawbone and consequent shifting of teeth to their desired position. 

Earlier, due to the limitations in scientific research and dental technology, orthodontic correction through braces was only reserved for children and adolescents. Then, it was believed that in order to shift natural teeth around (to get them in alignment), the surrounding bone should be malleable, and it was assumed that only children’s and adolescents’ jawbones had such malleability. As such, all we had was kids braces, with no such options for adults.

However, as dental technology progressed and more scientific research was done on adult oral structures, it was revealed that adults’ jawbones also had the same malleability as those of younger people. Hence, adults could benefit equally from braces as young people. Since then, adult braces have revolutionised the field of orthodontics, providing safe and effective teeth alignment to adults.

What Are The Types Of Adult Braces?

There are several types of teeth braces for adults, each designed for the same purpose (i.e., achieving teeth alignment and bite correction) but having different designs and structures. These types include:

  • Traditional – containing ceramic/metal brackets bonded to the teeth,  connected by archwires and elastic bands, causing shifting of teeth.
  • Modern – containing removable ‘invisible’ trays, which are periodically replaced until teeth are shifted to the desired position.
  • Traditional (Lingual) – these are the same as traditional metal braces, but placed at the back (lingual) side of the teeth instead of the front (labial) side.

How Common Are Adult Braces?

According to statistics, about 1/3rd of the world population has been braces wearers at some point in their lives, and 1.6 million (about 20-25%) of this population are adults. This explains the popularity of braces among adults, and the percentage is only expected to increase over time.

Adults work, have jobs, and have ever-increasing social lives. Therefore, they are more aware and conscious about their appearance (including that of their smile) as compared to younger people, hence making them more desirous towards achieving aesthetic betterment. This makes them more compelled to get their dental imperfections corrected, and getting braces is a major way of achieving this. 

Research shows that getting braces results in enhanced aesthetics and occlusal function in adults, consequently increasing their self esteem and quality of life.

Why You Get Teeth Braces For Adults?

Most teeth braces for adults don’t just give you attractive teeth – they also fix the functional impediments in your teeth, thereby improving your dental function and overall oral health. This makes braces an investment in your oral health, providing you with aesthetic and functional benefits such as:

  • Perfectly aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain, thereby reducing the risk of tooth decay, bone erosion and gum disease.
  • Enhanced smile appearance boosts self-confidence and increases quality of life.
  • Proper occlusion, which improves speech quality.

What’s The Process Of Getting Teeth Braces For Adults?

For adults, the process of getting braces is a pretty straightforward one, typically spanning a few months to a few years. However, it may increase in length depending on the complexity and the severity of the misalignments that need to be fixed. The general steps involved in the braces process for adults include:

Step#1: Initial Consultation 

During the initial consultation, your orthodontist will perform a comprehensive assessment of your oral health, examining your teeth and surrounding oral structures to identify the complexity and severity of your teeth misalignment/malocclusion. They will use modern diagnostic dental tools for it, including dental x-rays and scans. After the assessment is done, they’ll take impressions of your mouth (including your teeth) for the creation of a mold, which will be used as a reference to track the changes in teeth as the treatment progresses.

Based on the assessment done by the orthodontist, they’ll develop a customised treatment plan. First, they’ll determine the best teeth alignment option for you, such as Invisalign or braces. Then, they’ll specify the type of braces suitable for the patient, the length of the treatment, and the expected treatment cost. Moreover, the patient is provided with any necessary pre-treatments (such as dental fillings, cleaning, tooth extraction, etc.). 

Step#2: Braces Placement 

It begins with your orthodontist prepping your teeth (i.e. cleaning and drying them) for the placement of braces. If you’re getting traditional braces, then metal/ceramic brackets are bonded to your teeth using special adhesives. Then, archwires are threaded into the brackets, which are then secured with the help of elastic bands. However, if you’re getting aligners (invisible braces), then your orthodontist will fix the first set of trays (in the series of trays) to your teeth. The entire process takes approximately 1-2 hours, regardless of the type of braces you’re getting.

Step#3: Regular Adjustments/Replacements

After braces placement, you’ll have to keep visiting your orthodontist every 4-8 weeks (or as directed by the orthodontist) to get your brackets adjusted, your archwires tightened, or to get your invisible trays replaced. The orthodontist will also monitor the progress of your braces during these visits and make any necessary modifications to the treatment.

Step#4: Treatment Completion And Retention 

Your braces will be removed once your desired treatment goals have been achieved. After braces removal, your orthodontist will properly clean your teeth, removing all the traces of adhesive from them. 

You’ll be provided retainers (either fixed or removable, depending on your preferences) to maintain the new position of your teeth. The retainers will be needed to be worn as instructed by the orthodontist to prevent relapse (i.e, reshifting of the teeth to the initial position). Follow-up visits will also be scheduled to ensure retention of your new smile.

Conclusion 

Adult braces are a revolutionary orthodontic procedure that provides a super effective way of treating teeth misalignments and malocclusions in adults. Knowing the basics of braces (including their working mechanism, their types, and their placement process) is crucial for adults if they wish to achieve a straight smile.

For more details into the intricacies of adult braces, book a FREE consultation with Michigan Implant Clinic, a premium dental practice located in Detroit, Michigan. Our expert orthodontists will devise a customised treatment plan for you as per your dental needs, paving your way to a perfectly aligned, beautiful smile.

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