Braces aren’t just for awkward teens with brightly colored spacers anymore. Many patients at Dr. Jaleel’s Ottawa clinic are over the age of 18. As more adults turn to braces to straighten their teeth, they’re proving that it’s never too late to fine-tune your smile. Dr. Jaleel has been practicing dentistry and orthodontics for over 20 years now. Over the years, she has seen many people smile brighten after getting braces. Here are just a few great reasons why dental braces for adults are a wise choice.
Set Your Teeth Straight
What don’t you like about your smile? Quite often, braces are not just for aesthetics. Crowded and crooked teeth are more difficult to brush and floss, which could cause plaque buildup and lead to other problems, such as cavities or gum disease. An underbite or overbite can even make chewing uncomfortable. Whether your teeth are misaligned or slightly less than perfect, braces can correct the issue, although dental braces for adults may need to be applied longer than for children or teenagers. The time required varies depending on the condition of your teeth, but the average patient has braces for 18–30 months. No matter your reason for needing braces, the results are well worth the wait.
You Have Options
You don’t have to get traditional metal braces, either. There are many more inconspicuous options for braces available today, such as clear braces, lingual braces and clear aligners, that will allow you to straighten your teeth undercover. Ceramic or clear braces are made from a composite that blends with the color of your teeth, while lingual braces are completely hidden because they’re attached behind the teeth. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are custom-fit to your teeth. Choose the look and type of braces that will work best for you.
Benefits of Clear Braces
The benefits of clear braces became evident as growing numbers of adult patients began to pursue care. Adults were now able to improve the appearance and function of their smile without attaching the stigma of a metal mouth. These new aligners could be removed for eating meals and dental hygiene home care; afterward, they could be placed back in the mouth to continue tooth movement. The result of this process was two-fold: First, patients gained confidence from teeth that looked better; second, oral health was improved through properly aligned teeth.
Straighter teeth are healthier in form and function. Bacteria, plaque acids and impacted food particals are the contributing factors to dental decay and gum disease. Teeth that are in alignment gather less plaque simply because they are easier to clean with proper brushing and flossing techniques. The gums fit the teeth more snugly when the teeth do not overlap, leading to a decreased risk of triggers for the inflammatory process that results in periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has been proven to contribute to other systemic illnesses, so straighter teeth not only contribute to a healthy mouth but can contribute to a healthier body.
Another of the benefits of clear braces is a decrease in the traumatic wear that can result from teeth that do not fit together properly. Teeth are like gears inside a machine: If the gears do not align properly, they will wear at an improper rate, resulting in a breakdown of the machine. Teeth can chip, break, or wear at the gumline (a process termed abfraction). Using clear braces to align adult teeth can prevent patients from the need to invest significant amounts of money in restorations. Properly aligned teeth can also decrease the stress placed on the jaw joint; crowded, misaligned teeth place unnatural stress on the jaw.
Clear Braces: Retaining Teeth for Life
The ultimate goal of dental care providers is to retain each patient’s dentition for life. The benefits of clear braces extend far beyond a pretty smile. Clear braces offer an opportunity to straighten teeth while raising the patient’s confidence level in daily life. Although not every patient is a candidate for invisible braces, the products do provide a large percentage of individuals with improved oral health. As companies improve orthodontic techniques used in clear braces, and as new companies emerge, dental professionals will continue to learn about aligning teeth — and that gives us all a reason to smile!
Boost Your Confidence
Many adults are unhappy with the way their teeth look and will avoid smiling or shy away from conversations as a result, which can affect how they present themselves in social and professional situations. Stick through the tooth-straightening process with your braces, and in time you’ll get the smile that you’ve always wanted.
For the healthiest mouth possible, be sure to brush twice daily with a toothpaste that fights germs and prevents gingivitis, and follow Dr. Jaleel’s instructions on proper care for your braces. Keep in mind, however, that whitening toothpastes are not recommended while you wear braces since the toothpaste cannot reach under your brackets and could result in stains in the areas where the brackets were when it’s finally time for the braces to come off.
There will soon be no need to hide your smile anymore once you have a reason and the confidence to show it off. If you’re thinking about straightening your teeth, set up an appointment to talk to Dr. Jaleel about the possibility of braces!