Are adult orthodontics worth it?
What to consider when thinking about having aligners or braces
Though many people think of braces as a treatment that’s “just for kids”, in fact there are more and more adults who are choosing to straighten their teeth a little later in life.
Whether you “missed out” on having your teeth straightened as a teen, or you’ve developed new oral health issues since, it's never too late to enhance your smile and overall dental health.
Let’s take a look at whether adult orthodontics are really worth it.
The benefits of straightening your teeth as an adult
Why would you choose to have orthodontic treatment as an adult? Well, there are many advantages to having a straighter smile:
1) Enhanced aesthetics
Let’s start with the obvious: having a beautiful, straighter smile will give you a boost to your confidence and self-esteem. You may even notice it positively impacting personal and professional life.
2) Better oral health
Straighter teeth are far easier to clean, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. And when your teeth are properly aligned, you’ll experience less wear and tear too.
3) Relief from ongoing pain
Misaligned teeth can often cause chronic jaw pain, and headaches from issues with your bite. Orthodontic treatment can alleviate this pain.
Should you choose braces or invisible aligners?
Braces are a very powerful tool that enable your dentist to move your teeth in a wide variety of ways, and where a lot of teeth movement is required. This means they can be more versatile than removable aligners.
However, since braces are particularly useful when you need to change the shape of the jawbone, they’re often more appropriate for teens rather than adults.
By contrast, Invisalign is not only more discreet, it’s far more comfortable to wear than metal braces with their hard edges. Invisalign is all rounded corners and softer plastic. And because Invisalign is removable, you can simply clean your teeth as normal.
Find out more about braces vs. Invisalign here.
Is having orthodontic treatment as an adult painful?
It depends on the type of orthodontic treatment you opt for. Traditional metal braces can be quite uncomfortable, especially at first. It will take time for your lips and cheeks to toughen up around the metal wires and brackets.
With invisible aligners, the story is completely different. Since there is no metal, they are far more comfortable to wear, with no rubbing or ulcers to worry about. Aligners such as Invisalign move teeth much more gently than braces, and you won’t have pain when you eat, since you are able to simply remove your aligners!
Are there any potential complications with adult orthodontics?
If orthodontic treatment is carried out incorrectly, there can be risks. That’s why your treatment needs to be well planned and well executed by an experienced dental team.
For example, if your teeth are moved too forcibly and too quickly, your gums and bone can be damaged. The teeth foundations can be damaged, causing your gums to recede. And if a tooth is forced into an overload situation, the nerve of the tooth could die.
There is more chance of all of these problems with metal braces, which apply more force than Invisalign. With their gentler pressure, clear aligners have less chance of causing such issues.
Before your treatment begins, your dentist should have a very good idea of the state of your teeth, and be able to determine both what’s possible and what should be avoided.
Will I have to make lifestyle or dietary changes during ortho treatment?
You might have asked this question because you’re familiar with the way metal braces impact what you can eat. And it’s true – some foods, like noodles or even mangoes, can easily get stuck in your braces’ metal wires and brackets.
It’s also a good idea to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks you consume while wearing braces. This is because your teeth are more difficult to clean with braces, which can lead to tooth decay or gum disease with too much sugar intake.
All of this is different with Invisalign. With aligner therapy, you're free to eat and drink normally, since you take the aligners out to eat and brush your teeth. As long as you wear them for around 22 hours a day, you’re free to take them out for the remaining two hours a day at mealtimes.
At the start of your aligner treatment, you may notice that harder foods such as almonds may be challenging to eat, since your teeth will be slightly tender as they are gently moved. But as your treatment progresses, you’ll find these harder foods are easier to eat.
Find out whether adult orthodontics are for you
Thanks to modern invisible aligners like Invisalign, having orthodontic treatment as an adult is easier than ever. If you’d like to know more about potential treatment plans, costs, and how your orthodontic treatment could work, get in touch with the Wickham Terrace Dental team on 3831 3031 or contact us online now.