Approximately 4 million Americans currently wear braces. Of that number, a full one-quarter are adults. There a number of reasons why an adult might need orthodontic treatment. Some may have needed braces as a child, but family circumstances got in the way of treatment. Others might be concerned about maintaining a polished, professional appearance at work or having an attractive, appealing smile in general. We designed this guide as a helpful resource for teens and adults interested in getting straighter teeth and a better-looking smile with adults braces.
How Do Braces Work?
Traditional braces are made of two fundamental components: the bracket and the archwire. The bracket is usually made from metal or ceramic and is bonded directly to the tooth surface with resin. The archwire is threaded through the brackets and provides force when tightened. This force exerts pressure on the jawbone underlying the teeth, changing the way they sit along the dental arch.
Benefits of Adult Braces
Straightening the teeth can help your smile look better and stay healthier, since properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and don’t accumulate harmful plaque like crooked, overlapped, or crowded teeth.
Discreet Braces for Adults
Your orthodontic needs will be determined by your unique oral health needs. However, your orthodontist can offer a number of discreet options, including:
Tooth-colored brackets are crafted from dental porcelain and are color matched to the shade of your natural tooth enamel. Tooth-colored brackets blend in with your smile and are nearly unnoticeable in pictures and from a normal speaking distance.
Invisalign aligner trays fit over your teeth, much like a sports mouthguard. Unlike a sports mouthguard, Invisalign trays are clear, lightweight, and nearly invisible. Invisalign aligners move the teeth by applying gentle pressure. Aligners are changed every few weeks and must be worn pretty much all day. Luckily, you can take out your aligners to eat, drink, and brush your teeth, so you can enjoy a higher level of freedom than with traditional braces. Unfortunately, Invisalign might not be the right solution for serious orthodontic issues.