Though many people get braces in their teens and pre-teens, alignment problems can be an issue at any age. So braces for adults are quite common. Contrary to popular belief, there is no “window” of time in your life when you have to gets braces if you are going to get them. But there are some differences between getting braces as an adult vs. getting them as a kid or teenager.
When is the Right Time? Braces for Adults vs. Braces for Kids
When it comes to the actual hardware, every set of braces is specifically crafted to the individual’s mouth. The process of fitting and customizing those braces is basically the same for adults and kids.
Adults often need more time for braces to work, however. They also have other more problems, like gum disease, more often. By contrast, a child’s teeth move and adjust more easily, and usually have braces on for less time. For this reason, many people consider having their kids get braces, rather than letting issues sit until adulthood.
The amount of time you have braces on may also affect the cost of treatment. This means that getting braces as an adult can be slightly more expensive than for kids — although the individual price varies, depending on how much work needs to be done.
The biggest factor in deciding the right time to get braces is a psychological one. Teens and adults, for example, might be very self-conscious about braces, where children would be less so. Adults might also want to avoid braces if they engage public speaking, or if they plan on having a wedding, job interview, or other important event. (When this is the case, adults often opt for Invisalign, since the trays are removable).
Types of Braces for Adults
There are a few different options for adults seeking to correct an alignment issue with braces:
- Traditional metal braces are made of the stainless steel brackets and wires.
- Ceramic braces are much like metal braces, but they use tooth-colored or clear ceramic brackets (and sometimes tooth-colored wires) that blend more naturally into your teeth
- Lingual braces use the same metal brackets and wires used in traditional braces, but the brackets and wires are installed on the inside of your teeth to keep them hidden.
- Invisalign consists of a series of customized, clear BPA-free plastic tray aligners that are removable.
You should discuss with your orthodontist which type of braces is best for you and your lifestyle.
Tips for Adults with Braces
The professionals here at MyOrthodontist have written a lot of advice over the years for people with braces, and for those just considering them. We recommend taking a look at that general advice.
There are a few tips specifically on braces for adults:
Find an orthodontist you can work with –
Not just an orthodontist you like. Sure, bedside manner counts. But so does find an orthodontist who is professional, and who can work within your budget.
Recognize the self-consciousness –
We won’t tell you “Don’t worry about how your braces look, or what people will think.” We can’t tell you how to feel! If you feel self-conscious about braces, talk to your orthodontist and discuss your options. If you’re not the self-conscious type, that’s great! Know that you will join the hundreds of thousands of people who got braces in their adulthood.
Watch what you eat and drink –
For kids, the temptation is hard for sticky candy. But many things that adults like can be bad for braces too: Corn-on-the-cob, dried fruit, jerky, nuts, popcorn, chips, and so on. Coffee, tea, and wine can stain ceramic braces, too.
Get back into that childhood routine –
As children, we’re taught to brush twice daily. As adults… we sometimes exercise our freedom to skip a brushing or two. But good oral care is critical for keeping your mouth healthy and making sure that the procedure is fast and successful. So now is a good time to get back into the routine.
Be ready for on-the-go –
If you travel, during the day or overnight, you might be caught without a toothbrush or waterpick. No need to panic: Just rinse your mouth as best you can and brush when the opportunity arises.
Don’t put it off for any longer –
Moving teeth with braces take time. Don’t delay! The sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll see results and be able to enjoy your new smile.
If you want to find out more about braces for adults, come in for a consultation with MyOrthodontist. We have decades of experience with braces and would love to help you through the process.