Having your Teeth Straightened as an Adult

Straightening Teeth as an Adult - Invisalign Boston - Boston Dental

One area of our body that gets a lot of attention from others is our teeth. Your teeth and your smile are often the first things that people notice about you. Thankfully, having straight teeth is made possible through the use of modern technology and engineering. When it comes to teeth straightening, most people try to do so during their teenage years so that they can have straight teeth as they enter adulthood. However, some people never get their teeth straightened as a teen and have to do so as an adult.

When it comes to having your teeth straightened as an adult, there are a few complications. The reason being, it is just less of a hassle to straighten your teeth while you are young. Still, older people are allowed to straighten their teeth just like anyone else and many people undergo this process during their adult years. With all of that being said, it is mindful to inform yourself about the process before you go into it.

Why straighten your teeth?

For some people, the thought of straightening the teeth has never even come into mind. For others, getting braces on in the sixth grade was a must. So, what is the big deal with having straight teeth? Well, the teeth are a very glamorous body part. Having straight, white teeth can really add to your overall appearance. While having straight teeth can boost your self-esteem, having crooked teeth can really make you self-conscious. Not having the smile you want can even hurt your social life by causing you to overthink and worry about how you look while you are having a conversation. Another reason why people straighten their teeth is that it looks more professional. When it comes to your career life, you want to look as professional as possible. Finally, straightening your teeth can improve your oral health because it makes your teeth easier to reach and properly clean.

How do you straighten your teeth as an adult?

Straightening your teeth is not something that you can do alone at home. If you want to undergo the teeth straightening process, you need to start by contacting an orthodontist. Orthodontists are people who have the knowledge and training to effectively and safely relocate the teeth in your mouth. Through the use of dental appliances, an orthodontist can completely straighten your teeth in anywhere from a few months to a few years. When it comes to the different dental appliances that are used to straighten the teeth, each option has its own benefits and drawbacks. While there are presumably more options out there, we are going to discuss the three most commonly used appliances today: Metal braces, Clear braces, and Clear Aligners.

Traditional Metal Braces

The most commonly used dental appliance for straightening the teeth is braces. Braces are composed of metal brackets and a metal wire that goes through each of them. The reason why this option is used more often than any other option is that it is the quickest for straightening the teeth. Before you go out and get braces, let’s discuss how they work and the benefits/drawbacks that come with having them as an adult.

How do braces work?

Traditional metal braces work by pulling the teeth closer and closer together until they are straight and there are no gaps between them. To utilize this device, your orthodontist will begin by gluing metal brackets onto each individual tooth. After all the brackets are in place, a metal wire will be fed through each bracket. Finally, a rubber band will be placed around the metal bracket so that the metal wire can be held in place. The tension from the wire will slowly force your teeth to move closer to each other. After the metal wire has lost its tension or after your teeth have moved to a certain extent, a stronger wire will be put in place to add more pressure. This process will continue until your teeth are completely straight. After the process is finished, you will have the brackets removed from your teeth. Immediately after you get your braces off, you will have to make a mold of your teeth. This mold will then be used to create you a personal retainer. This retainer must be worn regularly in order to maintain your newly straightened teeth. If not, your teeth can return to their original state.

What is good about braces?

The good thing about getting braces is that you do not have to do much at all during the process. The only things that you have to physically do to ensure that your braces work properly are show up to your orthodontist appointments and not break your braces. Other than simply keeping your braces in working condition, they are going to do the work for you. Another good thing about braces is that they work rather quickly. When your orthodontist puts your braces on, he or she will tighten them as much as they can safely do so. This is a good thing as an adult, considering you probably want to wear them for the least amount of time possible.

What is bad about braces?

Sadly, there are a few downfalls to having braces. The first and most obvious being- they hurt. In the beginning, your teeth may hurt so bad that you can not eat properly. This is because braces put a lot of force on your teeth. This force is necessary to get them to move, but it can be quite painful to deal with. Typically, pain with braces fades over time and will be much easier to endure as your journey evolves. Another bad thing about braces is that they look cluttered in your mouth. Some adults do not like the idea of having metal brackets covering their teeth for a long period of time. In reality, nobody wants their teeth covered or cluttered. However, the end goal is usually worth the pain and emotional distress. If you want to make your braces seem less noticeable, try picking out light colored rubber bands. Another negative part of having braces is that you may have to change your eating habits. Braces are prone to breakage, and this can prolong the amount of time that you have to wear them. Braces are more apt to break if you eat food that you are not supposed to. You may have to abstain from eating some of the following food while you have braces:

  • Crunchy food like ice
  • Sticky food like gum
  • Hard food like nuts
  • Food that requires a front bite like corn on the cob
  • Chewy food like taffy

Clear Braces

Clear braces are another option for straightening your teeth as an adult. The obvious difference between traditional braces and clear braces is that clear ones are less visible to other people. With that begin said, clear does not mean invisible. The metal wire will be the same and will still be easily seen. Regardless, this option can prove useful for those looking to conceal their braces to an extent.

How do clear braces work?

Clear braces use the same technique that traditional braces use to move your teeth. Besides the difference in bracket material, they work in the same manner.

What is good about clear braces?

Clear braces are less noticeable to those who are looking at you. If you have clear braces, people will be able to tell that there is something on your teeth. However, they will not see a clutter of brackets like they would if you had traditional braces. Essentially, the only reason that people get clear rather than traditional braces is so that they are less noticeable. If you want to straighten your teeth as an adult, this may be the way to go.

What is bad about clear braces?

Clear braces have similar drawbacks that traditional braces have including pain, inability to eat certain foods, and breakage. When it comes to breaking, clear braces are more likely to do so than are traditional braces. This is because clear braces are made from ceramic or plastic rather than metal.

Clear Aligners or Invisalign

If you want to fix your teeth and avoid braces altogether, then you may want to consider getting a clear aligner. Clear aligners are similar to plastic retainers, although they move your teeth rather than hold them in place. Clear aligners are great for adults who want to straighten their teeth because they are not permanent and can be removed.

How do clear aligners work?

Clear dental aligners work to move your teeth in a different manner than braces do. The process will begin with you making a mold of your teeth. The mold will then be sent in and a custom set of clear aligners will be given to you. Each clear aligner will be designed specifically for you, but the location of your teeth on the retainer will be gradually shifted. The first one will shift your teeth a little bit and you will feel some pressure when you wear it. The second one will be a little different than the first, and wearing it will move your teeth even more. The ones that follow will continue to improve your teeth until they are fully straight.

What is good about clear aligners?

The good part about wearing clear aligners to straighten your teeth is that they can be removed. This is great for adults who want to avoid a clutter in their mouth and conceal their straightening process. It is also great for people who want to avoid the hassle of having braces. Without braces on your teeth, it is also easier to clean them. If you choose the route of a clear aligner, you can remove it and have the ability to eat whatever you want.

What is bad about clear aligners?

The downfall to clear aligners is that they only work if you wear them. Sometimes, kids or teenagers who get clear aligners lose them or do not wear them as often as they should. With that being said, orthodontists are more likely to assign clear aligners to adults as they are more dependable when it comes to wearing the aligner daily.

Hopefully, this article has given you an idea about how you should go about straightening your teeth as an adult. Using one of the three options presented here, you can transform your smile and achieve the dental status that you have always wanted.

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