You may feel like you missed your chance to get braces as a kid, but the truth is many adults find themselves in that situation. At Brodie Bowman Orthodontics of Niceville and Fort Walton Beach, FL, we offer a range of braces for adults. During a consultation, we would be happy to talk through your goals so we can find the right braces for your needs.
What Are the Best Kinds of Braces for Adults?
One of the most popular braces for adults is clear or ceramic braces. Instead of metal brackets, the brackets are translucent, so your natural teeth can be seen through them. This helps the braces look more modern and discreet. If you’re looking for the corrective power of braces without the metal smile, this could be a good option for you.
If the appearance of metal braces doesn’t bother you, we offer excellent mini-diamond braces. They have smaller brackets than traditional metal braces, making them comfortable and visually appealing. They have the same treatment time as traditional braces as well, so you can get an improved experience with the speed and efficiency of traditional braces.
Adult patients may appreciate the self-ligating technology we offer. Self-ligating braces can be used to replace elastics. They also allow the wire to move within its bracket. This helps decrease friction, which often improves comfort.
Self-ligating technology tends to save our patients time since patients with self-ligating braces often need fewer adjustments and enjoy shorter appointments. To top these benefits off, the more streamlined design of self-ligating braces tends to make daily oral care easier, which can improve hygiene.
Depending on your needs, you may be able to avoid braces altogether. Clear aligners fit over the teeth and are custom-made for you, so they can gradually guide your teeth into place. They are very convenient and so discreet that it’s difficult to tell you’re wearing them either in person or in pictures. We are proud to offer Invisalign aligners.
Why Should I Get Braces?
One of the primary reasons an adult looks into braces is to improve their confidence. If you’re unhappy with how your teeth look, it can make you hesitant to smile and laugh freely. It may decrease your confidence during dates or at work or simply be something you want to improve for yourself. No matter the reason, we can help you get closer to your dental goals so you can enjoy your smile.
Correcting your smile can improve your confidence and your oral health at the same time. Many patients don’t realize that misaligned teeth can negatively impact their health if the teeth are difficult to clean. Misaligned teeth are often tightly set against each other, which can make flossing less effective. They also can have overlapping areas that trap bacteria and small food particles.
Even if you do your best to stay on top of cleaning your teeth and coming in for routine dental care, misaligned teeth could be putting you at an increased risk for future gum issues and tooth decay. When the misalignment is corrected, it will be easier to keep your teeth healthy. It can even make the dentist’s job easier since applying crowns and fillings can be more challenging with misaligned teeth.
Misaligned teeth can lead to an uneven jaw. This can contribute to many different issues like mouth pain, jaw pain, neck pain, sleep issues, and even headaches. Severely misaligned teeth could also put the patient at greater risk of a mouth injury, especially if their teeth are protruding towards their lips. Once the teeth and jaw are set in the correct position, many of these issues can be improved.
FAQ About Braces
1. When Is the Right Time for Treatment?
The right answer for this question is usually, “as soon as possible.” Dental issues rarely improve over time, and are more likely to get worse. The worse an issue gets, the longer and more involved treatment tends to be.
If you have been considering dental improvements for yourself or your child and you’ve been on the fence about timing, a consultation can help get you started. We can offer advice about whether treatment is necessary and what your timeline could look like.
2. How Long Do Braces for Adults Take?
Due to individual factors, it will be easier to give you an accurate timeline after we meet with you. We will keep your aesthetic goals and the condition of your teeth in mind as we plan out your treatment. Most patients will wear their braces for a year or two, while clear aligners like Invisalign are usually worn for 12-18 months.
If your needs require braces but you want to shorten the process, it may be possible to start off your treatment with braces and finish the process with Invisalign. After we assess your dental needs, feel free to ask us about this possibility and we can talk through your options.
3. How Do I Take Care of My Braces?
Whether you’re getting braces for adults or kids, it’s important to know how to take care of them so they can function properly. We can answer this question more specifically in person, especially when we know the type of braces you’re going to get. For now, we have some tips you can keep in mind as you plan ahead.
Keep Those Teeth Clean
Cutting corners when it comes to dental care is never a good idea. We know how busy life can get, and when you’re tired or in a rush it can be very tempting to rush through cleaning, or skip brushing and flossing altogether. Some patients try to really scrub their teeth hard to make up for not brushing as long. Unfortunately, brushing your teeth too hard can actually damage them!
By taking your time, you have a better chance of not only properly cleaning your teeth, but keeping plaque off of your braces.
Schedule Routine Dental Appointments
No matter how good you are about dental care at home, it’s always a good idea to stay on top of your routine dental cleanings. Dentists have access to tools that safely and effectively clear out plaque and tartar. Removing tartar professionally is especially important. A patient trying to remove tartar at home could risk damaging their teeth by scraping away their enamel, which could set you up for a world of trouble down the road.
Tartar can also build up on braces, which can affect their functionality. We can check your braces to make sure they’re clean and working properly. All of these steps can help you stay healthy and keep up on your progress.
Protect Your Teeth During Sports
Do you enjoy sports or other active hobbies? These hobbies can be a great way to help you stay healthy. However, if there’s a risk that your mouth could get hit we would encourage you to protect your braces.
There are mouth guards designed to protect braces during sports. This offers the benefit of keeping both your braces and your teeth safer. That said, we understand that life can be unpredictable and are here to help if your braces get damaged at some point.
Avoid Chewing Hard Items
Eating foods that are too hard for the braces could put them at risk. You should also avoid chewing hard non-food items such as pens and pencils.
There are good health reasons to avoid chewing pens and pencils as well, as these items could wear down your protective tooth enamel, or splinter and pierce your gums. By taking good care of your braces, you can drastically reduce the risk of having to rush in for an unexpected repair.
4. How Do I Pick the Right Option?
Researching ahead of time can be helpful as you narrow down your options. When it comes to making the final choice, a consultation can be an especially good way to choose the right braces.
We will be able to give you a good idea of what you can expect from the treatment process, and from each of our braces options. This can help you make a more informed decision with personalized advice.
Ready for Your Consultation?
If you’re ready to get that personalized advice, our team is ready to give it. With a range of options and a passion for helping each of our patients achieve their smile goals, we can’t wait to help you get started. Reach out to Brodie Bowman Orthodontics of Niceville and Fort Walton Beach, FL, today to schedule your consultation.