When you think of braces, you may think that they are only for teenagers having mouths full of metal. You may think it’s too late to improve your smile, but over the past couple of decades, more and more adults, even in their 60s, are getting braces on their teeth. Crofton Orthodontist can fix a number of issues including over bites, under bites, and close teeth gaps, ultimately improving one’s smile. Technological advances have created more discrete ways to fix your smile, so having a “metal mouth” can be a thing of the past.
Braces: To Your Health
Although most reasons for getting braces are usually cosmetic, there are still health benefits to having braces. One reason is that by having straighter teeth, they will be easier to clean—food, plaque, and tartar will have less crevices to hide in and cause tooth decay. Sometimes adults get braces because they weren’t faithful in wearing their retainers after having braces as adolescents, so their teeth have shifted back to their previous positions, causing dental issues. Another health reason is that it can be a way to prepare for an implant by opening spaces within teeth or building bone. One thing to remember is that as an adult, you’re most likely facing receding gums as well as bone loss, so your orthodontist will work with your dentist to ensure that you’re ready for braces beforehand.
Types of Braces
There are a few different types of braces, and you can work with your orthodontist to choose which option works best for you.
Metal braces are made of stainless steel and due to their smaller size, can be more precise and fit in smaller areas for more crooked teeth.
Ceramic braces are clear or enamel-colored and are less conspicuous, but are more prone to staining teeth.
Invisalign/clear aligners are not braces, but clear, customized apparatuses that move and even rotate your teeth. You wear them for most of the day (20-22 hours). If you’re a snacker or like to drink throughout your day, this may be inconvenient for you.
Lingual braces are placed on the teeth, but on the inner/tongue side. This option works if metal braces are too showy, but your teeth need more complex work than clear aligners are able to fix.
Gold braces are made of steel but are coated in gold. If you want to show off your braces with a little shine, then these are for you.
Braces may be worn as little as six months if you’re closing gaps between your teeth, but the average time is about a year and a half. The costs of braces can vary, so you’ll want to work with your dental and health insurance, as well as your orthodontist to see what your payment options are.