Are orthodontic treatments effective for adults?

While braces are effective during developmental stages when facial bones are still growing, braces are still highly effective for correcting orthodontic problems in adults. More adults than ever are opting for removable braces as a way to improve their appearance, reduce the oral health risk presented by hard-to-clean crooked teeth, and relieve problems associated with TMJ dysfunction.

What problems can adult braces correct?

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Under-bites
  • Overbites
  • Cross-bites
  • Open bites

What are some types of orthodontic treatments?

  • Fixed appliances: Commonly known as braces, these orthodontic treatments consist of applying metal or clear ceramic brackets to the teeth and attaching wires to them. These appliances apply a gentle pressure to the teeth to guide them into their proper positions. They are adjusted at certain intervals and remain in place until our orthodontist removes them.
  • Removable appliances: These appliances perform functions that braces alone cannot and are often only used during a portion of your orthodontic treatment. Headgear, face masks, and retainers are commonly-known removable appliances.
  • Invisalign: Consisting of clear plastic aligners that overlay the teeth, Invisalign is a virtually-unnoticeable method for straightening teeth and is ideal for image-conscious adults. You will be given a series of aligners that are changed about every two weeks and gently move your teeth in increments.

Why do I Need Braces?

If your teeth are crooked or overlapping one another, you are at a heightened risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Crowded and crooked teeth are more difficult to clean, especially in the spaces between teeth. When teeth are not sufficiently cleaned with proper oral hygiene, plaque hardens into calculus deposits called tartar. This substance collects along the gum line and eventually creates periodontal pockets that separate the bond between the tooth and the gum tissue. Improper oral hygiene also contributes to acidic environments in the mouth that erode tooth enamel, thus making teeth susceptible to dental caries. With orthodontic treatment, teeth are straightened and promote a healthier environment in the mouth.

Removable Braces also correct bite misalignments that may cause difficulty with eating and talking. An uncorrected malocclusion may contribute to abnormal speech patterns, teeth grinding, or TMJ dysfunction.