August 17, 2014

What Adults Need to Know Before Getting Braces

Most people have braces placed when they are children, because this is when gums and bones are most easily molded. Although having braces can be much more complicated for an adult, an older person has the advantage of being mature enough to properly care for teeth enmeshed in this infamous dental contraption. The reason for choosing braces now is not important: the real concern is understanding and avoiding the pitfalls.

young college student smiling at camera
Braces Are Fairly Awkward in Adult Life
There is no question that most people associate braces with childhood. Adult braces can be a disadvantage in the office due to a potentially childish impression and a physical obstacle to clear speaking. Other adults should be mature enough to get over it, but some discrimination is bound to happen. Braces are easier for someone who does not have a highly social job.

Adult Teeth Have Extra Imperfections
While all teeth must be carefully treated, adult teeth are generally more firmly rooted in their sockets and are often complicated by fillings, chips, and microscopic deterioration. This creates the potential for unexpected damage. The dentist should carefully inspect the tooth surface before installing, and highly experienced dentists such as those with SC Dental Group are best for this.

Cavities are a problem for all braces, and adults are further at risk because of existing damage. The client should be prepared to undergo rigorous dental hygiene.

Most Braces Take a Long Time
The whole idea is to push teeth in a different direction and encourage the tissue to form a new permanent position. This adaptation can take a long time, and severe problems often requires progressive steps. Expect the process to take at least two years, although this might be much longer depending on how tightly the teeth are rooted.

There Are Other Options
Direct surgery is invasive and not always necessary to correct tooth position. It is also much more expensive than braces. A popular alternative is to wear clear braces that gently realign the teeth in several steps. These braces are removable and difficult for casual onlookers to spot. They do not mar a smile and barely impede speech. For people willing to pay the difference, this can be an excellent choice.

The point about braces is that they can be inserted at any time of life. They will always have some social and personal complications, but can be well worth the long term benefits of straight teeth. It is a cosmetic improvement but not so costly that it cannot be paid out of pocket.

(Contributed by Anica Oaks)

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