If you didn’t get braces as a teenager, you may wonder if braces for adults are even a thing. Fortunately, you can get braces as an adult and straighten your teeth into the smile you’ve always wanted. At Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, FL, we offer several types of adult braces long beach to fit your lifestyle.
Do Braces for Adults Take Longer To Work?
Several Factors Influence Time Spent in Braces
While age is a factor in how long a person may need to be in braces, it’s not the main factor. If conditions are equal for a teenager and an adult in terms of their teeth and bite correction needs, the adult may need to be in braces a little longer than the teen. A teen’s teeth are still moving as their jaw continues to grow. An adult’s jaw is set, so their teeth can be more difficult to move.
Other factors that are more important when determining how long an adult will wear braces is the condition or conditions that have to be corrected. Clearly, severe crowding, large gaps, misplaced teeth, and bite issues will take longer to correct than minimal crowding or spacing issues. However, this is true regardless of the patient’s age. Additionally, the type of braces you choose will also impact your time spent in braces, with traditional braces working the fastest.
Traditional Metal or Clear Braces
Metal or ceramic clear braces offer the most powerful orthodontic treatment available. These options have been used for decades to straighten teeth, so they have been perfected with regard to efficiency, which means you’re more likely to get the results you desire in the shortest amount of time. Most people, both teens and adults, will have to wear these braces for as few as six months or as many as 36 months, depending on the conditions they’re being used to treat.
If you want the quickest way to straighten your teeth, metal or ceramic clear braces are the best option. Many adults are not enthusiastic about having a mouthful of metal, but the clear braces offer a less conspicuous solution. The bracket and wires are tooth-colored or clear, which make them more difficult to see, especially at a distance. Adults who are avoiding braces because of the metal may find the clear option more appealing.
Lingual braces differ from traditional braces in that they are placed on the inside of your teeth rather than on the outside. Adults often opt for this solution because the braces cannot be seen when they smile. In fact, they’re so inconspicuous that they’re often referred to as “incognito braces.” A drawback of these braces is that they take longer to work because the arch wire doesn’t apply as much pressure from behind the teeth as it does from in front.
Moreover, lingual braces have to be custom-made to fit the backs of your teeth, whereas traditional braces can be mass-made since they fit virtually every tooth. This can make lingual braces a more expensive solution than either metal or clear braces, so this needs to be accounted for as well. You’ll also need more visits with us to adjust your teeth and ensure they’re moving appropriately toward your treatment goals as outlined in your plan.
This type of tooth straightening method is extremely popular with adults because they are practically invisible, which is how they got their name. Instead of cementing brace brackets to your teeth, you use a series of plastic trays to gradually move your teeth into the correct position. You can usually achieve your treatment goals in six to 18 months with Invisalign, but severe orthodontic issues, like major bite problems and large gaps, can’t be corrected with straightening trays.
If your orthodontic conditions are not severe, Invisalign might be the ideal choice. Not only will you spend relatively few months getting treatment, but they’re also extremely inconspicuous. Invisalign offers the best option for people who do not want others to notice that they’re correcting their crowded, misaligned, rotated, or gapped teeth. However, minor orthodontic issues would likely be corrected just as quickly with traditional braces as well, so the deciding factor may be the invisibility feature of Invisalign.
There are other benefits to Invisalign that are attractive to adults and teens alike. For instance, you can remove your trays to eat, which means you have fewer food restrictions with Invisalign than with traditional braces. You’re also better able to brush and floss your teeth when you’re not using Invisalign because, again, you remove your tray to complete your oral hygiene routine. Keep in mind, the trays must be worn for 22 hours per day to be effective.
This type of braces, which also may be referred to as SmartClip braces after a brand of self-ligating brackets, offer a different way to straighten the teeth than other options. The brackets are designed in a way that allows them to maintain pressure on the archwire, causing your teeth to move at a constant pace. They are placed in the same way as traditional braces, but won’t require elastics or metal ties to increase the pressure on your teeth.
While you’ll likely be in self-ligating braces for about the same amount of time as in traditional metal or ceramic braces, you probably won’t have to visit us as often for adjustments. This is because self-ligating braces basically adjust themselves without our intervention. The other benefit to these braces is that they help patients maintain gum and teeth health better than other solutions. There are no clear options for self-ligating braces, either, which may be a drawback for adults.
Average Time for Adults in Braces
The average time for adult braces long beach is 24 months, which is about the same as the average time for teenagers. Again, age is not the primary factor in determining the length of treatment. That honor goes to the complexity of your orthodontic situation. The only way to know for sure how long you’ll be in braces is to actually get them. While we can provide an estimated treatment time, the actual time depends on your body’s response to the treatment.
Do Adults Even Need Braces?
Another question you might have regarding braces for adults is whether adults should even bother getting them. After all, they made it through life this far without them. The truth is, adults may need braces just as much as teens do, and for many of the same reasons. Primarily, if you’re not happy with your smile because of crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, rotated teeth, misplaced teeth, or any other reason, you should seek braces treatment from an orthodontist.
While getting braces will definitely improve your smile (and your confidence), there are other reasons to get this treatment. If your teeth are crowded, it makes it much more difficult to clean between them, which then leaves them more susceptible to bacteria growth and decay. As such, straight teeth make it easier to keep your teeth clean and healthy, which keeps your gums healthier, and your overall body healthier, as gum disease is related to several other health conditions.
Additionally, if you’re experiencing headaches or jaw pain, or you often bite your cheeks or tongue, getting braces may be the solution to these problems. An aligned bite can eliminate jaw pain, which can then eliminate headaches. Moreover, the reason you are biting your cheeks or tongue could be that your bite is misaligned, causing your teeth to come together where they shouldn’t. The loss of pain can be a powerful reason to get braces for adults.
Candidates for Adult Braces Long Beach
Nearly anyone can be a good candidate for braces of some type. Even people in their 70s have successfully completed braces treatment with wonderful results. Your teeth should be in good shape prior to treatment, but if they’re not, most dental conditions can be treated first. For instance, if you’re suffering from bone loss, you might be able to build up your jawbone through a bone graft procedure. If you have gum disease, scaling and planning can help.
The point is, don’t let the current condition of your teeth stop you from getting a consultation on braces. You may not be a candidate for all types of braces, but chances are, there is a treatment that’s right for your needs. For example, if you have a severe orthodontic condition, such as a large gap between teeth, you might not be a good candidate for Invisalign, but you likely could benefit from clear ceramic braces to correct your issue.
Most of all, don’t let your age get in the way of getting the smile you deserve. Just because you didn’t get braces when you were a teenager doesn’t mean you missed your window of opportunity. According to statistics from the American Association of Orthodontics, about 25% of adults are currently wearing some form of braces at any given time. You’ll be in good company, so why not give adult braces long beach a shot? You might just be surprised!
Call For a Consultation
The best way to find out if adult braces long beach are an appropriate treatment for you is to schedule a consultation with Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, FL. Our office will develop a treatment plan that focuses on reaching your goals in the shortest amount of treatment time possible. If available for your situation, we can even give you several options to choose from to fit your lifestyle.