Braces for Adults
Braces are a treatment for crooked teeth and misaligned jaws that are associated with young teens. While common for younger individuals, the truth is that braces can be just as beneficial for adults. There are approximately one million patients over the age of 18 wearing braces. At Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry by Dr. Shrenna Clifton, we provide braces for adults, helping to correct misalignment and restore both health and beauty to your mouth.
What are braces?
Crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw can have a serious impact on more than just the appearance of your smile. These issues can also have a major impact on your oral health, and your overall quality of life. When your teeth, or jaws, are misaligned, you may suffer from uneven tooth wear, increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease, and even severe jaw pain that makes normal use unbearable.
As an adult, you may choose to undergo treatment with braces for some different reasons. Perhaps your family could not afford treatment when you were younger. Maybe you are just now getting around to it. You may also have begun to notice that as you are getting older, they are naturally beginning to shift out of alignment, and it is causing you issues.
Braces have existed for decades as a highly effective treatment for misalignment of the teeth and jaws. While commonly used to treat patients around the ages of 11 to 13, they can also be just as effective for adults. They consist of three main components, the brackets, the bands, and the archwires. The brackets are small metal pieces bonded to each of your teeth. The bands, also metal, are set on the each of the very back teeth. They are there to anchor the archwires. The archwires span the arch of your teeth, attached to each bracket with an elastic O-ring. The wires are responsible for the movement, and stabilization of your teeth.
Are braces for adults different than those for younger patients?
Undergoing treatment with braces has essentially the same benefits for adults as it does for younger patients. There are, however, some considerations that will need to be taken into consideration as an adult. For instance, your bones are naturally harder than those of a younger patient. Your jaw has fully developed, whereas the jaw of a child is still growing and developing. Your jaw may not be as forgiving when it comes to shifting your teeth. As a result, treatment times for adults are longer, taking anywhere from 18 months to 3 years to achieve the desired results depending on the severity of your situation.
Are braces painful?
It will take a little time to adjust to your new braces. There may be some slight discomfort every time the archwires are adjusted, but this discomfort should dissipate within a couple of days. Your eating will require some adjustments. You will need to avoid hard foods, such as whole apples, corn on the cob, crusty bread, as well as foods that are sticky. These foods can bend, even break, wires and dislodge brackets. Instead, make sure that the foods you eat are cut into manageable pieces, and avoid sticky foods during treatment.
You will also need to adjust your oral hygiene routine. Taking proper care of your mouth is just as important, if not more so, with braces. Make sure that you brush and floss daily, ideally after every meal, paying close attention to the areas around the brackets and under the wires. This special care will help to lower your risk of cavities and tooth decay during treatment.
Just because you are now an adult, that does not mean that you are stuck with crooked teeth for the rest of your life. Braces can be just as beneficial for you now as they are for younger patients. Call Smiles by Dr. Shrenna Clifton today at (470) 400-2001 to schedule your consultation.
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Newnan GA 30265
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