Orthodontic appliances that are barely noticeable have been developed to give adults more discreet choices when it comes to orthodontic treatment. And many adults realize that investing in a smile makeover can have significant benefits, socially and professionally. Straightening teeth can be an important part of that confidence-boosting makeover process.
Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there’s no such thing as being too old for braces. However, orthodontic treatment for adults is different in two important ways:
- The growth and development of the jaws is complete in adults, so changes in actual jaw structure can’t be accomplished with orthodontic appliances in the way they can with a growing child.
- Periodontal (gum) disease is more prevalent in adults than in children. While you are wearing the orthodontic appliances, gentle forces will be applied to your teeth so they can move through their surrounding bone. Periodontal health plays a key role in all of this. If the gum tissues are not healthy during orthodontics, bone loss can result and weaken the long term prognosis of your teeth. Any gum disease must be brought under control before orthodontic treatment begins. To maintain your periodontal health, you will need to make sure to have regular, professional cleanings during orthodontic treatment while maintaining good oral hygiene at home.
TYPES OF ORTHODONTIC APPLIANCES
All orthodontic appliances work essentially the same way: by employing light, constant force to move teeth into proper alignment. But how we apply these forces can vary, as numerous innovations have become available in recent years. Some of the newer, less visible orthodontic appliances have been designed to blend more easily into an adult’s personal and professional lifestyle.
Metal, or traditional, braces are the most common type of dental braces used in orthodontic treatment. Metal brackets, durable and more comfortable than ever before, are bonded to the front of each tooth and act as anchors holding the archwire in place. The archwire is a strong, thin wire that gently guides each tooth into its proper alignment using consistent pressure over the course of treatment. Each bracket is paired with elastics to help adjust your bite and jaw position.
Self Ligating Braces
Reach Orthodontics offers In-Ovation, or self-ligating braces, which are made from the same materials as traditional braces. They use a specialized clip instead of elastics in order to help move your teeth into the correct position. This clip helps reduce the amount of pressure being placed on your teeth and decreases the number of adjustments because there are no elastics to replace.
Lingual Braces offer the most unnoticeable form of orthodontic treatment because they are attached to the back (tongue side) of the teeth, where they cannot be seen at all. Working just like traditional braces, lingual braces straighten your teeth within the same amount of time metal braces would.
Clear ceramic braces work the same way as traditional braces, but offer a cosmetic alternative to the metal. The clear brackets are bonded to the front teeth and the archwire is secured with white or clear elastics for a less noticeable look. Ceramic braces are slightly less durable than the traditional metal brackets due to the material composition. Therefore, they are offered to older children, teens and adults who have cosmetic concerns or who are looking for a discreet way to align their smile.
Reach Orthodontics offers ClearCorrect, a clear aligner system used to straighten teeth as an alternative to traditional braces. ClearCorrect straightens teeth using a series of clear, custom-made, removable aligners that gradually move teeth a little bit at a time, eventually correcting the teeth and smile to elicit a new, revitalized look.