Braces are often associated with teenagers, but getting braces as an adult is becoming more common, in part due to the rise of more subtle, less visible options like ceramic braces and Invisalign.
Nearly one in five braces wearers are adults. According to the British Orthodontic Society nearly one million people in the UK started orthodontic treatment last year to make the best of their teeth, gums and smile.
Adults may be referred to an orthodontist to get braces because teeth can shift with age – because of injury, a condition called tongue thrust, or natural growth – and some adults find that their previously straight teeth have become crooked and overcrowded. They may start experiencing jaw pain, start having difficulty properly cleaning their teeth, or simply start facing a smile they find unattractive.
Other adults get braces because they’ve always had crooked teeth, but their parents couldn’t afford to pay for braces when they were growing up. Some people say they’re just finally getting around to it, or that they want straighter teeth for a new career. Many adults see braces as a worthwhile investment of a few awkward years in exchange for decades of straight teeth.
Although braces can be effective at any age, it can take longer for adults to get the same results. According to the British Orthodontic Society, adults make up half of the patients in some orthodontist practices in the UK – and many are choosing to have fixed braces. In the US, the number of adults seeking braces increased by 37 per cent between 1994 and 2004, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
At Keppel Dentistry we take time to assess the condition of your teeth and bite and carefully consider your budget and personal priorities before approving a course of adult braces.
Types of braces:
These are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces”. However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces many adults remember. Plus, new heat-activated archwires use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and less painfully than in the past.
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-coloured or clear brackets that blend in with your teeth. Some use tooth-coloured wires to be even less noticeable.
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth.
Clear plastic aligners
Clear plastic aligners consist of a series of 18 to 30 custom-made, mouth guard-like trays. The aligners are removable and are replaced every two weeks.