Adults and Braces

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Why are more adults getting braces?

As braces have become less bulky and visible in recent years, more and more adults are wearing them, for a variety of reasons. Some adults want to correct functional problems with their teeth or jaws before they cause serious or further damage. Others want to feel better about their appearance by addressing long-standing cosmetic concerns. Bear in mind that even "cosmetic" problems can cause real damage over time. Maligned teeth and jaws can contribute to premature wear, advanced tooth decay and gum disease.

New techniques and the advent of clear, less noticeable braces means that adults are increasingly turning to braces to correct:

  • Gaps between teeth (spacing)
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overjet
  • Underjet
  • Crossbites

How do I know if adult braces are right for me?

If you think you might benefit from braces, ask your dentist to recommend an orthodontist: a specialist trained to fix problems with teeth that are not aligned properly. The orthodontist will look at your teeth and perhaps take X-rays to study the underlying bone structure. Based on what he or she finds, a treatment plan will be recommended. While braces are a popular option for fixing malaligned teeth, an orthodontist can tell you whether you may benefit more from other types of orthodontics, such as removable retainers, headgear or aligners.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Top Oral Care Tips Related to ADULT ORTHODONTICS

  • Flossing – creating a flossing routine is important during orthodontic treatment. Dental professionals may recommend interdental brushes or floss to make getting in between teeth easier.

  • Brushing routine – using fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush ideal for cleaning teeth with braces. Begin brushing at a 45-degree angle at the gum line using small circular motions. Then place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket. Finally, reposition the brush – now angling the toothbrush up - to brush the bottom of the bracket as well as the wire.

  • Fluoride mouthwash – after brushing and flossing, you may choose to rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to help prevent cavities and white spots.