Straight teeth not only make it easier to maintain healthy teeth and gums, it gives a person more confidence. Having a beautiful smile means you aren’t afraid to be yourself in front of people and cameras. But if you have crooked teeth, and you never had braces as a child or teen, is it too late to get straight teeth as an adult?
Teeth can be moved in an adult’s mouth. As long as the gums and the underlying bone structure are healthy it is possible to straighten the teeth over time with braces. The great thing is that orthodontic treatments have advanced beyond traditional braces. If you’re trying to picture yourself with ugly wires in your mouth there’s no need to worry. There are clear alternatives like Invisalign that are barely noticeable and that do not require any changes in lifestyle.
Why is Adult Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
Crooked and misaligned teeth can actually affect your health. Gum and bone loss and erosion of the tooth enamel are just the beginning. There can also be jaw pain and headaches. If the condition of your teeth makes it difficult to properly clean them, the resulting bacteria can cause gum disease and tooth decay. These oral problems have been shown to cause other health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.
What are Clear Braces?
Invisalign makes clear, plastic braces that are called aligner trays and are worn over the teeth. Wearing them puts a slight pressure on your teeth that slowly moves them into position over time. Since they are clear, they are not very noticeable and they are easily removed for short periods of time to eat and clean your teeth, though they should be worn at least 20 hours a day in order to be effective.
They movement of your teeth takes place in stages. Every two weeks or so a new set of aligners replaces the old to continue changing the placement of your teeth until the goal results are achieved. Aligners are created to specifically fit your unique set of teeth using dental impressions that are made by your orthodontist. Invisalign works with your orthodontist to create simulations to make sure the molding is correct and will fit your teeth and mouth.
Why Are Alignment Trays a Good Choice for Adults?
- The aligners are comfortable to wear, as the slight pressure caused is mild and easily handled.
- There are no wires and metal to worry about scratching your mouth or making eating and cleaning your teeth difficult.
- The aligners are easily removed for meals and for brushing and flossing your teeth. There are no restrictions on what you can eat or worries about plaque buildup as there are for traditional braces.
- The aligners are easy to clean. Simply brush and rinse with water or use the available cleaning kit.
- They are practically invisible and you won’t feel self-conscious about smiling and talking to people. In fact, as your teeth start to straighten, you may find yourself smiling more often.
How Long Does the Treatment Last?
The aligners are generally worn for about a year, plus or minus several months depending upon the condition of your teeth and how diligent you are about wearing them each day. During this time you would wear about 30 different aligners that move your teeth over time.
After the treatment it will be necessary to wear a retainer to make sure your teeth stay in the desired position. The retainer should be worn all day for about 6 months after your treatment, and then only at night in order to keep your teeth from drifting.
What Conditions Can Be Treated?
Aligner trays can be used to treat mildly crooked teeth as well as a variety of more serious dental problems including:
- Overbite: the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth.
- Underbite: the lower teeth extend past the front teeth.
- Gapped Teeth: open spaces occur between teeth that leave the gum exposed and unprotected.
- Open bite: teeth are unable to come together when biting, making chewing and speech difficult.
- Crossbite: the upper and lower jaws are misaligned.
- Overly Crowded: there are too many teeth to fit properly within the jaw, causing crooked teeth.
Is Invisalign the Best Option For Me?
While the aligners can fix many dental issues, there are some things they will not be able to correct. It’s best to consult with an orthodontist to determine which issues are most affecting you and how treatment will fit with your lifestyle and desired outcomes. Keep in mind that using alignment trays requires commitment from you to wear them everyday for most of the day in order to see results. Skipping some days will only increase the treatment time.
That being said, these clear alignment trays are comfortable and easy to wear. They do not interfere in sports – no injuries from wires and brackets. They are easy to care for and clean. They do not interfere with eating or brushing your teeth as they are easily removed.
The type of braces needed for each patient is determined after a thorough examination from an orthodontist in Centerville. For orthodontic treatment Fairborn residents trust, visit King Orthodontics where there are two orthodontists, including:
Call today to schedule an examination for orthodontic treatment that leads to improved dental health and higher self-esteem.
King Orthodontics, 400 East Dayton, Yellow Springs Rd. Fairborn, OH 45324 Phone: (937) 878-1561 Fax: (937) 433-9530
King Orthodontics – 6460 Far Hills Ave, Centerville, Dayton, OH 45459 Phone: 937 433 0830