Braces have always been associated with children who have crooked teeth. It is becoming more common to see adults with braces. One might wonder why an adult would want to fix their smile or bite having lived with it all their lives.
Some would label their adult counterparts as vain due to wanting to improve their smile in their older years. Interestingly, for every five orthodontic patients, one is over the age of twenty-one.
Preventing More Issues
Putting in braces is designed to improve misaligned teeth as an unhealthy bite may lead to problems such as night-time grinding, clenching, and excessive wear and tear on teeth. Sometimes one’s lifestyle may require that they get braces for their teeth.
It is well known that first impressions matter and getting the job or the date may depend on your smile. Fortunately, there are different types of braces that one can choose from. They include clear aligners, ceramic braces, and lingual braces.
Adjusting to Braces
Adults should expect to have the braces on for three or four years compared to children who usually wear them for two years. The first few days of the three years will require the adult to make some basic lifestyle changes. This will help in adjusting to living life with braces a bit faster. There will be some discomfort in the mouth and cheeks that can be eased with a heating pad or warm washcloth. A wax may be provided to apply on metal braces to lessen discomfort on the cheeks and lips.
Sticky, sugary, and starchy foods should be avoided. Sticky foods tend to get stuck in the braces, while very sweet or starchy foods may cause plaque build-up around the braces. Coffee and dark-colored drinks may stain braces or teeth. Always have a toothbrush handy to clean out any food particles that may get stuck in the braces and cause embarrassment. It is a good idea to put together a little bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, wax, and lip balm that is always within reach. Sport and fitness enthusiasts need to protect their braces with a mouth guard to protect both teeth and braces.
Other Dental Options
Invisalign is one of the popular alternatives to having braces. The biggest advantage is that they are hardly noticeable and can be removed when brushing and flossing. They are not as uncomfortable as braces and no dietary changes are required.
Unfortunately, they still have to be worn regularly for the teeth to be aligned and may affect speech until one gets used to wearing them. Of the teenage users of Invisalign surveyed, 47% reported an increase in self-esteem using this treatment compared to 22% of teens who used metal braces.
There is the installation of porcelain veneers as another option. This would work well for those who need minor corrections to the alignment and spacing of their teeth. On the other hand, this is not a good option for those with bite or severe teeth problems. Veneers are the best option for fixing discolored, worn down, or cracked teeth.
At the end of the day, the choice of braces selected depends on the individual and their lifestyle and personal preference. Confidence may also have a role to play as braces to call for attention with every smile.
Remember that once the braces come off, there may still be a little more work to be done. There are options for teeth whitening, reshaping, or bonding once the braces are off. One does, however, have to wear retainers on the back of the teeth for up to six months. This is to ensure that the teeth remain straight for years to come.
Having the perfect smile does take some effort, but it is worth it.