Despite the general myth that braces are just for kids, teeth can be straightened at any time throughout your life, provided that your bones, teeth and gums are healthy. After a consult with Dr. Olcay at Holmdel Orthodontics, you will come away with a thorough understanding of the type of braces that are right for you.
Have you seen more interest in braces among adults in recent years? If so, why do you think that is?
Yes, these days more adults are interested in having a beautiful smile. Research shows people with straight teeth score higher in the areas of leadership, popularity and sports ability. This is mostly due to the fact that straight teeth increase self-esteem and confidence. Sometimes braces are on the bucket list. After the kids’ teeth, college tuition and other expenses of raising a family, it finally becomes the parent’s turn. Also, more adults have insurance with adult orthodontic coverage that will help finance the treatment.
What are the reasons for adults to consider braces?
The most important reason is to improve general oral health; straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, and thus less prone to cavities and gum disease. Sometimes braces are also needed to prepare teeth for bridge work or implants.
I had braces as a teen, why do I need braces again?
Just because the teeth are straight today (whether you had braces or not), does not mean the teeth will stay straight forever. Teeth, like everything else in the body, move throughout a lifetime. Once teeth are straight, retainers should be worn forever to maintain their position. After adult orthodontic treatment, I recommend fixed lingual retainers, which is a wire that is attached to the tongue side of the teeth.
What does adult orthodontic treatment involve?
Depending on the teeth and bite, it may entail “full treatment,” which generally takes about two years, or it might involve limited treatment to align a few teeth, close spaces, or prepare for bridge work or an implant.
What are the options?
There are conventional braces, which could be metal or ceramic, and there are aligner systems like Invisalign or Clear Correct. Technological advances, such as smaller, stain-resistant ceramic braces and computer-generated clear aligners, have made both these options more comfortable and convenient. A third option is Lingual Braces, which are braces against the tongue side of the teeth. According to Dr. Olcay, adults make great orthodontic patients; they are so much more appreciative of the treatment and more compliant than younger patients. Initially they tend to be little more hesitant and self-conscious, but there are never regrets!