Braces for Adults
When you think about braces, you probably think about young teenagers in middle school. While most people who wear braces are in their early teens, they are not the only ones. Adults can benefit from braces as well. In fact, about one million Americans over the age of 18 wear braces, and Amborn Orthodontics can help.
Why braces?When you have crooked teeth (a misaligned bite or malocclusion), it does more than affect your smile. Crooked teeth can significantly impact your oral health. Your teeth may be faced with uneven wear. You may experience jaw pain, due to a condition is known as temporomandibular disorder. You are also at an increased risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
There are many reasons that adults choose to get braces. One reason is that you have had crooked teeth for your entire life, but your parents could not afford orthodontic treatment. You may get braces because you want straighter teeth and a better smile for a new job. Perhaps you are only just getting around to it. Finally, you may opt to get braces because your teeth have shifted naturally as you grew older, and you are just now starting to experience the symptoms of having misaligned teeth.
Is treatment different for adults?For the most part, braces for adults provide the same benefits as they do for younger patients. However, certain considerations must be made. If you have had teeth pulled in the past, that can sometimes present an issue. Your extraction sites may be unsuitable for your teeth to be moved into. You are at a higher risk of root resorption. Your bones are also harder, and no longer growing, which means that it can take longer for your teeth to adjust to their new location. For this reason, many adults require braces for a longer period, often ranging between 18 months and three years.
Adjusting to Life with BracesWearing braces does take some time to get used to. You may experience some discomfort, as the wires begin to move your teeth. It can also take some time to adjust to eating and speaking with braces.
You will need to practice good oral hygiene while wearing braces, as foods are more likely to become lodged, increasing your risk of developing cavities. Make sure you brush and floss regularly, and use mouthwash. With good oral hygiene, you can limit decalcification or white spots that often occur on the teeth as a result of braces.
You will also need to be careful with what you eat while wearing your braces. Certain foods can damage wires and dislodge brackets, and this damage can then lead to a longer treatment period. It is important to avoid foods such as:
|Sticky foods (gum, soft caramels, taffy)
|Candies (especially hard candies). You should limit your sugar intake to avoid cavities as well
|Corn on the cob
|Hard fruits and vegetables such as whole apples and carrots
If your teeth are crooked, and affecting your oral health (and your smile), you may be a candidate for braces. Contact Amborn Orthodontics at (503) 967-9887 today to learn more and schedule your appointment!