Braces for Adults
You may have noticed that some people have uneven and crooked teeth. Either their teeth overlap on one another, protrude out of alignment, or there is too much space in between their teeth. All of these conditions are classified as malocclusions or bad bites.
Bad bites can be the result of pre-existing conditions or habits such as thumb sucking or excessive use of pacifiers during childhood. Other disruptive habits such as teeth biting on teeth while talking or breathing through the mouth can also lead to malocclusions.
In the early years, our jawbones and teeth bones are still growing and developing. Any kind of external pressure, ailment or deficiency can disrupt teeth and jawbone development and result in badly positioned teeth.
While most dentists would recommend that bad bites such as crooked teeth, protruded teeth and tooth spacing should be corrected with the help of dental braces in pre-teens and during teenage years, braces can be worn at any age because our jawbones are constantly growing.
There are many kinds of braces that can be worn by adults to treat their misaligned teeth.
Invisalign are clear or transparent, custom-made dental braces that are worn instead of traditional braces when the bad bites are minor and patients are seeking a more comfortable and removable option as compared to traditional braces. Invisalign are also commonly known as clear aligners because they are invisible from a distance and work as a discreet solution for aligning your teeth.
Just like traditional braces, they exert constant but gentle pressure on your teeth and jawbones to bring them back into position. But unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is worn only during the day and must be removed while eating, brushing, flossing and sleeping. They are to be soaked in lukewarm water every night and must be placed in their case when not in use.
Invisalign is custom-made to fit perfectly over the patient’s teeth. They are made from transparent medical-grade plastic and hence are more expensive than traditional braces, especially since they have to be replaced after every 3 months. However, if you want to wear braces but not show the world that you are wearing them, then Invisalign is ideal for you.
Lingual braces work and look just like traditional braces, but the one and only major difference is that instead of being fixed on the front of your teeth, they are fixed at the back of the teeth so that they remain invisible to viewers.
Just like traditional braces, lingual braces are comprised of metal wires and metal brackets to exert pressure on your teeth and jawbones.
However, it is to be noted that many patients complain of injuries and a lisp after wearing lingual braces. This is mainly because when we speak, our tongue touches the back of our teeth to produce certain sounds. Because of constant contact between our tongue and metal braces, the soft tissue of our tongue can become injured and to prevent that from happening, we will avoid pronouncing certain words the right way so that our tongue does not touch metal braces.
Ceramic braces are a more aesthetically pleasing option for treating bad bites as compared to metal braces. The wires and brackets of ceramic braces are made to match the color of your teeth so that they become less visible to viewers.
Generally, ceramic braces are more effective than clear aligners like Invisalign but compared to traditional braces, ceramic braces are less effective, less durable and can take a very long time to treat the misalignment. They can break more easily and need frequent maintenance and adjustments.
Self-ligating braces look and work a lot like traditional metal braces, but the only difference is that instead of a connecting rubber between the metal brackets and metal wires that are used to firmly hold the metal wires in place, self-ligating braces have special metal brackets that can directly hold the archwire in place.
This makes them look more aesthetically pleasing as compared to traditional dental braces because the colorful rubber bands are no longer required for stability.
If you have decided to correct your bad bite and wear braces, or if you have a braces emergency, visit us at Dr. Amy James and Associates Orthodontists. Amy James, DMD, MS and can help you find the best and most aesthetically pleasing dental braces for your needs. Call us today at (856) 528-8311 to book your appointment.