Many adults never received the orthodontic care they needed in childhood. Problems such as crowded or crooked teeth, underbites and overbites, incorrect jaw position or jaw joint disorders can develop into serious issues if they are not treated early. As an adult, you may experience problems such as tooth decay; headaches and earaches; gum disease; and biting, chewing and speaking problems. These could be the result of orthodontic problems that were not treated when you were a child. Adult braces can help those suffering from adulthood orthodontic problems.
What are orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a treatment used to fix misaligned teeth. The orthodontic treatment is applied and maintained by a dental professional called an orthodontist. Many patients seek the help of an orthodontist to improve the appearance of crooked teeth, but the treatment can also be a part of dental hygiene. Orthodontic treatments can straighten teeth and fix bite alignments that can make the teeth and gums more difficult to clean. Fixing these issues can prevent cavities and gum disease by allowing hygienists and patients to clean their teeth properly.
Some of the most common conditions that can be fixed with orthodontics are:
- Open bite
Can adults use orthodontic treatment?
It is never too late to treat orthodontic problems. Braces may provide the same benefits for adults as they do for children, but the length of time required to reach the desired results may take longer in adults than it does in teenagers.
During a consultation and examination of your teeth by one of our orthodontists, you may ask any questions you have about adult braces. After the examination, an orthodontic treatment may be recommended. You may want to know how braces will correct your problem, how long you will need to wear them, when you would need to schedule check-up appointments and what type of braces are available.
Adult braces options
Many adults would rather hide the fact that they are wearing braces. They may meet many people during their jobs, or they would rather not explain repeatedly why they need braces. Invisalign® is the most discreet orthodontic treatment for adults. You will need to ask our specialists if Invisalign® is right for your dental issues. The treatment involves using a course of plastic aligners similar to mouthguards. A new aligner is used every two weeks to gradually push the teeth into the correct position. There are several advantages to Invisalign®. For example, since you take the aligner out when you eat and clean your teeth, this treatment involves no dietary restrictions.
Self-ligating metal braces are made of stainless steel and are still widely in use. They are much smaller than they were in previous decades. Ceramic braces are clear or tooth-colored and more discreet than metal braces, even though they look the same and do the same job.
As with all types of braces, adult braces come with some food restrictions. Some hard foods to avoid include raw carrots, popcorn, corn on the cob, nuts and crushed ice. We may also recommend you avoid taffy, chewing gum and caramel. Sticky foods are very difficult to remove from the tiny spaces around your brackets.
Unlike 50 years ago, people have much better oral hygiene and brush and floss regularly. This means they keep their teeth longer and value having them look attractive. More and more adults are getting braces in order to have the straight, healthy smile they have always wanted. If you are considering adult braces, you are not alone. At Petty & Bielik Orthodontics, our trusted orthodontists are trained and ready to provide you with the best form of orthodontic care for your needs. Contact our office in Oak Lawn to learn more about the benefits that come with adult braces. Book your free consultation today!