The challenges adults face when it comes to braces are a bit different than those of children and teens. Fortunately, with the wide range of low profile braces options that are available these days, we can help our adult patients overcome these challenges!
The Social Challenges
Because braces bring to mind strong associations with teenagers and children, many adults feel that their braces will look a bit jarring on a full grown adult. Adult patient also often express concerns that they'll look unprofessional at work as a result.
And of course, there are the more general social challenges that affect children and teens too: the somewhat limited food choices, getting food stuck in braces, and having pictures taken that will feature rather obvious orthodontic appliances.
Of course, for orthodontic treatment to be successful, the patient must be fully committed to the process, and that process involves time, attention and sometimes, discomfort. you'll need to attend regular adjustment and checkup appointments, spend extra time carefully cleaning your teeth, brackets and wires, and you'll experience periods of soreness and discomfort as your teeth shift into their new positions.
For busy adults with families to take care of and full time jobs, it can feel like just another obligation on an already full plate.
Some Treatment Options & Solutions
The field of orthodontics has changed significantly over the years, and these days there are plenty of treatment options that address many or all of the concerns that our adult patients rightly have.
Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners that are changed out bi-weekly by the patient during treatment. There are two main benefits to this treatment option: that the aligners are completely clear, and that they are removable.
These two qualities mean that the aligners are nearly inperceptible when worn, and that they can be removed to eat, and to brush and floss teeth. And, the fact that you switch out the aligners yourself means you don't have to visit the orthodontist as often. For these reasons, the make life much easier for orthodontics patients than traditional braces do!
Lingual braces are very much like traditional braces. They're made of metal, and they look just about the same, too.
But there's one important difference that changes the game completely: they're placed on the backs of the teeth, facing into the mouth. This means that other than the occasional glimpse when you're talking or laughing, most people won't ever see your braces.
Again, self-ligating braces are similar in appearance to traditional braces, and they're also placed on the fronts of the teeth in the same way. However, self-ligating braces have a much smaller profile that regular braces, because they require no ties or elastics to work. This also means they're much easier to keep clean, and that you'll need fewer appointments at the orthodontist's office for adjustments!
Translucent braces aren't really see-through as such. Rather, the brackets are made of a tooth-coloured ceramic material that very closely matches the natural colour of your teeth. This allows them to blend in extremely well, and almost appear translucent. Altogether, they create a much less obvious "braces" look that traditional metal braces do.