Braces are no longer just for kids and teens. In recent years, more and more adults have been seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles and correct bite issues. If you are considering getting braces as an adult, there are a few things you should know before getting them. Here are some of them:
1. There Are Different Types of Braces
Whenever people think of braces, they imagine the traditional metal brackets and wires. Nowadays, however, there are several other types of braces available, including clear ceramic braces, lingual braces that are attached to the back of the teeth, and clear aligners like Invisalign. Be sure to discuss your goals and preferences with your orthodontist to determine which braces are best for you.
2. Treatment Time May Be Longer
Adults typically have denser bone tissue than children and teens, which can make the orthodontic treatment take longer. Depending on the severity of your case, you may need to wear braces for 18-36 months or longer. However, the end result will be worthwhile.
3. It May Be More Expensive
The cost of adult braces will depend on the kind of braces you choose, the length of treatment, and other factors. In general, orthodontic treatment for adults may be more expensive than for children or teens. Fortunately, some orthodontists provide payment plans or financing options to make treatment more affordable.
4. You’ll Need to Make Adjustments to Your Diet
While you have braces, you’ll need to avoid certain foods that can damage or dislodge the brackets or wires. Sticky or chewy foods like caramel, taffy, and chewing gum should be avoided, as well as hard foods like popcorn, nuts, and hard candy. The orthodontist will provide a list of foods to avoid and tips for maintaining good oral hygiene during treatment.
5. You May Experience Discomfort
Braces can be uncomfortable at first, and you may experience soreness or sensitivity after adjustments. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help alleviate discomfort. Your orthodontist may also provide you with wax to place over the brackets and wires to alleviate irritation on the inside of your mouth.
6. Oral Hygiene Is Key
Keeping your teeth clean and healthy is essential during orthodontic treatment. Food particles can become trapped in the brackets and wires, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily, using special tools like interdental brushes or water flossers to clean around the brackets and wires.
7. You Can Still Play Sports
If you play sports or are physically active, you can still do so while wearing braces. However, you may need to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces from damage. Your orthodontist can recommend a mouthguard specifically designed to fit over your braces and provide the necessary protection.
8. Retainers Are a Must
After your braces are removed, you’ll need to wear a retainer to maintain the results of your treatment. The orthodontist will provide instructions for wearing and caring for your retainer. Failing to wear your retainer as directed can cause your teeth to shift back out of alignment.
Getting braces as an adult can improve your smile and boost your confidence. However, you also need to be aware of the potential challenges and commit to good oral hygiene and follow-up care to ensure the best possible outcome. If you’re considering braces, talk to your orthodontist about your options and what to expect during treatment.
At Solarte Orthodontics, we offer a wide range of orthodontic treatments for adults, including traditional braces, clear braces, and Invisalign. Our experienced family orthodontists will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs and provide personalized care every step of the way.
Call us today at (703) 368-9777 (Manassas) or (703) 787-2273 (Herndon) to arrange a dental appointment! We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile!