For many years, braces were always associated with older children and teens, however, we have seen a massive upturn in the popularity of adult braces in the last decade or so. If you didn’t have braces when you were younger, or your teeth have moved out of position because you didn’t keep wearing your retainer, you may well have thought about braces for adults.
As orthodontists see ever growing numbers of adults seeking braces, it’s not surprising that many adults have questions about orthodontic treatment, especially as there are also many common myths about braces for adults. If you are unsure about what you have heard about braces, here is a list of what not to believe.
“I’m too old for braces to be effective”
If you have heard a myth that orthodontic treatment is not as effective for adults as for children and teens that are still growing, this is not at all true. Providing that you have healthy teeth, there is no age limit for braces treatment - if your teeth are misaligned and you would like to correct this to feel better about your smile, then adult braces can be extremely effective in realigning your teeth.
Braces work in exactly the same way for adults as they do for younger people, gently moving teeth into the desired position over time, as pressure is put on the tooth from one side, causing the root to push against the alveolus (the part of the jaw bone that holds out teeth). Over time, this wears away the bone, allowing the tooth to move and for new bone to build up in the vacant space.
The only benefits of adult braces are cosmetic
It is certainly true that getting braces on the teeth as an adult can help to change the way your smile looks, but there are many more benefits to orthodontic treatment. For example, straight, evenly spaced teeth are easier to clean as your tooth brush and floss can reach all areas of the tooth. The ability to more effectively clean your teeth helps to promote excellent oral hygiene and prevents the build-up of plaque, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It’s also important to remember the strong links between oral health and your general health.
Improving the alignment of your teeth also has many functional benefits. Braces can help to improve your ability to breathe, speak and chew properly, reduce abnormal wear of your teeth, and make protruding teeth less likely to be damaged in the event of an accident or injury. Braces also help to balance bite force to alleviate headaches and jaw pain, and improved alignment helps to provide space for dental implants if you have missing teeth.
Even the cosmetic benefits of braces for adults have more significant meaning. A straighter smile can help to boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Braces are uncomfortable and bulky
When you think of braces in the 70s or 80s, the image in your head is of bulky metal devices, leading to a very uncomfortable and painful experience. Orthodontics is continually advancing and modern braces are designed to be smaller and more comfortable to wear. Fixed braces use smaller, smoother brackets that do not rub on your mouth so much. The forces used to move your teeth are also lower than in the past, so soreness is reduced when fixed braces are tightened periodically.
In addition to traditional fixed braces, there are also modern, more discreet options available for adults who feel self-conscious about braces, including:
- Invisalign adult aligners - Invisalign are clear, removable aligners that fit over your teeth like a gum shield. They are practically invisible and can be taken out to eat and clean your teeth.
- Radiance Plus braces - Radiance Plus is a discreet brace using brackets and wires made from translucent sapphire crystals for a more comfortable experience.
- Iconix aesthetic braces - Iconix braces use stainless steel brackets with a champagne hue for a white gold look, helping you to keep showing off your smile whilst wearing braces.
Adult braces in London
If you are interested in braces for adults and have questions about how braces can benefit you, call us on 0203 973 9334 to book an initial consultation to discuss the best orthodontic treatment for you.
We are happy to address any concerns you may have and debunk any myths you may have heard about wearing braces as an adult.