Just hearing the word “braces” can flash us back to junior high — that painful era when we wore glasses ten times too big for our face, favored unflattering haircuts and flaunted a mouthful of braces to complete the awkward adolescent style. More and more adults are choosing to pursue orthodontics to correct their smiles, despite the common assumption that braces are for kids.
Braces for Adults
If you’ve never had braces as a kid you’re probably embarrassed by the thought of them. Or you went through a round of braces a decade ago and stopped wearing your retainer, which allowed your teeth to shift. Wearing braces in adulthood is an excellent way to create the straight, beautiful smile you deserve regardless of your personal history.
What are my options?
With recent advances in orthodontic medicine, there are numerous options for adults who need braces. The basic option is traditional metal braces. These are best for individuals who have severely crooked teeth or a significant bite problem, or require other major orthodontic changes. Metal braces are typically the least expensive option. The greatest drawback to wearing metal braces as an adult is aesthetics. Many people find them unattractive and distracting.
If you are a professional who is worried about your personal appearance, clear ceramic braces may be a better choice. Clear braces are capable of handling very crooked teeth or bite issues, but they cost more than metal braces. You also have to be careful about smoking or drinking red wine, soda, and other dark beverages while wearing clear braces. These items may stain the adhesive that binds the brackets to your teeth.
Another popular option for adults who need braces is a clear aligner treatment. This system works in a different way from traditional braces by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners. The series is custom made for your teeth, which makes this option more expensive than either metal or ceramic braces. In general, the clear aligner process takes anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that clear aligners are not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth.
Although you may be nervous about the prospect of getting braces as an adult, you should not let your fears stop you from talking with Dr. Waschak. A consultation at our Grants Pass, OR office will address your concerns and provide information about the best course of treatment for you. No matter what your personal situation, adult braces can be a great way to boost your confidence and create the smile you’ve always dreamed of.