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Braces as an Adult

Braces as an Adult

Are you considering getting braces as an adult? You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that adults make up a large percentage of today’s orthodontic patients in Melbourne. Whether it’s traditional teeth straightening treatments or a subtle ceramic or aligner option, adults make excellent candidates for braces at every stage of life. Adults are never too old to enjoy straighter teeth. In fact, being an orthodontic patient as an adult is helpful to your dental team since you’ll likely be more invested in the success of your teeth straightening treatment.

Maybe you never had the chance to wear braces as a child. Or you did but didn’t wear your retainer. Investing in your smile as an adult can help prolong the health of your teeth, gum tissue, and the bone that supports them. Not to mention assist with your diet and appearance. When your teeth are properly aligned, they function and perform better, allowing your smile to last longer overall.

How Do Braces Work?

No matter which type of braces you get, they work by physically moving and repositioning the teeth in your mouth over a slow, carefully mapped-out process. As pressure is applied, the bone around your tooth roots ‘remodels’, allowing the tooth to be realigned without damage to the root or bone. Since the extent of tooth movement determines how much time is involved, the average adult braces case can range anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

Some types of braces work differently than others—such as those that require brackets vs. aligners—so the treatment time will vary from one person to the next.

Man holds put on invisible braces. Invisalign plastic removable braces

Do Braces Hurt?

Any pressure that is applied to your teeth can cause some soreness. As such, it’s not uncommon for braces to occasionally cause minor discomfort, especially when wires or bands are changed out. Working with an experienced orthodontic provider will ensure a gentler process where tooth movement is planned for the least amount of discomfort possible.

If you’re wearing traditional braces that use brackets and wires, it’s normal to experience some irritation as you adjust to them. The inside of your mouth may rub against these appliances until the skin ’toughens up’ a bit after a couple of weeks. It’s best to keep some orthodontic wax on hand to cover any irritating areas that poke inside your mouth. Symptoms improve with time, but if they don’t, be sure to come back to have your braces adjusted.

Most soreness from braces is temporary. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Motrin or Tylenol on the date of any ‘adjustments’ to lessen the brief irritation if needed.

Do I Need Braces?

Braces offer health and aesthetic benefits, making them an excellent treatment for adults of all ages.

Are there health benefits of straightening my teeth?’

Yes. Statistically speaking, crooked and crowded teeth increase a person’s chances of getting cavities, worn-down enamel, developing gum disease, or having TMJ disorder. By aligning your teeth properly, you can help prolong your oral health, not to mention cut back on potential oral disease in the future.

In addition to having healthier teeth, achieving a more symmetrical smile can help you better enjoy their overall look.

What if I have missing teeth?’

People with missing teeth can also get braces to help address tooth spacing, including planning for dental implant treatment. Since teeth often collapse in on one another, opening specific spaces with braces can create adequate room to install a dental implant or bridge in that area.

‘What types of issues do braces treat?’

Braces and clear aligners can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Aesthetic concerns
  • Overbites, underbites, and open bites
  • Reducing worn enamel or broken dental work
  • Part of your periodontal care plan
  • Improving your oral hygiene routine

Types Of Braces

At Hawthorn Road Family Dental, we offer Invisalign braces as an excellent discreet teeth straightening option; however, there are many more types of braces aside from Invisalign, such as metal, ceramic, lingual and self-ligating braces.

Some of the most common types of braces for adults include:

Invisalign and Clear Aligners — Removable, clear aligner trays are excellent for adults who want a discreet orthodontic treatment. You can complete your entire teeth straightening process without any visible metal braces. Instead, the fitted aligners snap over your teeth and gently move them as you change out the trays every two weeks. The transparent design makes them almost impossible to see whenever you’re smiling. Depending on the type of clear aligners you choose, you may even be able to preview a digital ‘before and after’ of your tooth movement prior to beginning treatment.

Traditional Metal Braces — Conventional braces work well regardless of how minor or complex your tooth movement needs are or your age. Whether you’re 8 or 68, you can get traditional braces. You’ll be fitted with brackets and wires—with the option of wearing colourful bands if you choose—and incorporate additional appliances if needed. Additional appliances include power chains (bands connected to one another) to close gapped teeth or expanders to widen your jaw. Traditional braces allow more freedom for managing complex bite concerns, but they also work well for people who only require minor tooth movement.

Ceramic Braces — Almost identical to traditional braces are ceramic braces. But there is one key difference. These appliances are made of tooth-coloured ceramics, similar to white fillings or crowns. Since they match your tooth enamel, they are far less noticeable when talking or smiling around other people. Even though your friends might be able to tell that there’s something there if they talk to you several times a week, your braces aren’t as obvious. You can still pose for photos without drawing attention to your mouth.

Lingual Braces — A completely hidden style of braces, lingual orthodontics use brackets and wires but are bonded to the tongue-side (lingual) surface of your teeth. This approach makes them practically invisible to everyone else, but they work the same way as conventional teeth straightening treatments. However, it’s important to keep in mind that having the appliances on the tongue-side surface can make cleaning them a bit more complicated since you can’t see them. Eating also takes a bit of practice.

Self-Ligating Braces — These unique braces have a special ‘trap door’ built into them, allowing the archwire to ‘float’ between teeth rather than being banded into place on each tooth. This design allows for the same tooth movement process as traditional braces but eases the tension and pressure on specific teeth. As a result, they tend to be a bit more comfortable than conventional orthodontics, which uses brackets and wires. You won’t see any visible bands or wire ligatures holding the band to the bracket, either.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

One of the biggest factors determining whether adults get braces in Melbourne is the cost. On average, cost of braces can vary from $2000, up to $9000 depending on the patient’s age, the selected type of braces & the overall complexity of the case.

Braces pricing isn’t always clear-cut from one type of braces to the next, or even from one individual to another. Although this can be frustrating to a prospective braces patient, there are practical reasons why this is the case.

What Impacts the Cost of Braces?

First, the cost of braces is influenced by the complexity of your treatment needs. For example, someone with minor crowding in a few front teeth may only need to wear orthodontic appliances for six months or so. In comparison, someone with complex bite misalignment may require therapy for closer to 18 to 24 months. The time and type of equipment needed to complete the treatment impacts on the total cost. Second, the price of braces and aligners varies from one brand to the next.

Thankfully, our Caulfield North dentist can provide an estimated price for your braces or aligners before you begin treatment. Once we have assessed your situation, performed a thorough exam, and determined which type of braces are best, you will be able to see an accurate price for braces that work well for you.

If you have insurance, part of your treatment may be included under your plan. We will coordinate this coverage with your policy so that you know what is covered before you get your braces.

Adult Braces in Caulfield North

Hawthorn Road Family Dental offers Invisalign treatment in Caulfield North. If you want a straighter and healthier smile, ask how we can help. Contact us today to reserve a no-obligation adult teeth straightening consultation and find out if you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign. We’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have. All ages are welcome.

Dr. Mahima Krongold

Dr. Mahima Krongold

Dr Krongold has been practicing dentistry for over twenty years. She has background experience dealing with a diverse range of dental issues, which vary significantly from individual to individual. Her experience has been built upon by her endless thirst for practical and technological advancement in the field of crowns, implants, bridge work, root canals, endodontics, teeth whitening and cosmetic work. Dr Krongold is a family dentist with three children. Children's dentistry is a specialised area for her, particularly encompassing oral hygiene and dental comfort.

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