Most people associate braces with teenagers. However, if you’re an adult and want to improve your smile, it’s not too late. Braces can be for both teenagers and adults, and you may be surprised at newer forms of alignment correction that resolve many of the concerns patients have about traditional braces.
If you think it’s time to update your smile, here are five things you should know about straightening your teeth as an adult.
- Consider Invisalign
Invisalign is a system of clear aligners that straighten teeth without having the appearance of braces. Many patients love Invisalign because you can take the aligners out to eat and brush teeth. However, they require more responsibility than braces, since the patient must make sure to wear the aligners for 23 hours a day for them to be effective.
As an adult, you will be well prepared for the responsibilities that come with getting Invisalign. If you don’t want to look like you’re wearing braces, then Invisalign might be a good choice for you.
- Discuss Existing Dental Work
Some adults have had a missing tooth replaced with a bridge or an implant. If you had a dental implant put in as an adult, know that this could potentially interfere with getting orthodontic work done to fix your teeth. The dental implant won’t move with methods like Invisalign, so if you are looking to have major corrections done, your implant could be problematic.
Your dentist can evaluate your implant and figure out what should be done with it to align your teeth. If your implant is where it needs to be once the teeth are aligned, then the implant’s placement may not be an issue at all. In this case, you could still use a method like Invisalign to fix your teeth.
However, if the implant is not in the correct spot, your dentist may need to move the implant at some point while the braces move your natural teeth. Either way, you can still fix your teeth’s alignment – you just need to plan ahead with your dentist first.
- Find Out How Long You’ll Need Braces
Some people have a goal in mind when they get braces as an adult, such as having straight teeth for photos on their wedding day. If you have a goal, you’ll need to take into consideration how long you’ll need to wear braces before they are taken off.
For example, many people need to wear braces for 1 ½ to 3 years. If you will need to wear braces for a long time, then you may want to use Invisalign, since the trays can be taken out for special occasions like your wedding photos if your teeth are not aligned in time.
- Be Prepared to Wear a Retainer
After your braces come off, you’ll be able to enjoy a healthy, straight smile. However, you do need to know that your work isn’t quite over. You’ll need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth aligned properly for about six months after you have your braces removed, and then you’ll still need to sleep with a retainer after that as well.
Most people find retainers comfortable and convenient. Commit to wearing yours now so you can enjoy your smile for years to come.
- Prevent Future Dental Issues with Braces
Straightening your teeth goes beyond just having a great smile. Braces will also help prevent future oral health issues. For instance, teeth that are pressed up against each other tightly can cause plaque buildup that is hard to clean. Plaque buildup can lead to problems with decay, and your tooth enamel could wear down prematurely. Realigning your teeth could lead to better oral health later in life.
If you are serious about getting braces as an adult, reach out to Beck Pearce Dental for a consultation.