Braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment. They can straighten your teeth to prevent or treat dental crowding. They can also be used to widen a bite that's too narrow or to remedy malocclusion. You don't need to give up on achieving a straight, perfect smile just because you didn't have braces as a teenager. Adult braces are just as effective at treating orthodontic concerns. Here are four things you should know about adult braces:
1. You may have to wear them for two or more years.
The average length of orthodontic treatment is 12 to 36 months. However, adults may need to wear braces for longer. Teenagers have bones that are still growing, which means their jawbones and teeth are more malleable. As an adult, your bone structure is already set. You can still achieve the results you want from braces, but the change may be more gradual. Your orthodontist can give you a more precise estimate for your length of treatment.
2. You can choose discreet options.
Braces are highly visible with their shiny silver-colored brackets. There are other options available to you if you'd rather shape your smile more discreetly. Ceramic braces work the same way that traditional braces do. Your dentist will attach the brackets to your teeth using the same method. However, ceramic braces utilize brackets that are made of white ceramic. These braces are harder to spot, especially when paired with tooth-colored wires.
3. You will have to modify your diet.
There are certain foods you should avoid while wearing braces. Taffy, caramel, gum, and other sticky treats should be avoided for the duration of your treatment. These treats can get stuck on your braces and pull something loose. You should also avoid eating popcorn or whole apples, which can damage your braces. If you choose ceramic braces, try to steer clear of red wine, soda, and coffee. These dark beverages can stain your ceramic brackets, leading to unwanted discoloration.
4. You will need to change your dental care routine.
Plaque can still accumulate on your teeth while you're wearing braces, so it's important to clean the surfaces of your teeth and the spaces between them. It can be difficult to floss while wearing braces. Instead, you may want to invest in a water jet device to clean between your teeth. Your orthodontist can recommend tools that will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy during your orthodontic treatment.
For more information, speak with a professional about adult orthodontic treatments.