Adult Braces: Are They Right for You?
We typically assume that patients in need of braces are children or teenagers. However, if an adult never corrected a misalignment in the past, their dentist or orthodontist might recommend adult braces.
Has an oral health professional suggested that adult braces might be necessary to correct a misalignment of your teeth? If so, it’s best to listen to their advice, as undergoing treatment now can result in better overall health in the long run. In the meantime, the following guide will help you understand why adult braces may be right for you.
Adult Braces: Options to Consider
Adult braces come in a variety of forms. They include:
- Metal braces: Traditional braces use metal wires and brackets. An orthodontist may recommend such braces to correct a wide range of different types of malocclusions.
- Gold braces: Gold braces work the same way that metal braces work. The only difference is their color. Some find that the gold or “champagne” hue of these braces blends in more naturally with the color of their teeth, allowing for a subtler effect than traditional braces.
- Clear brackets: Clear brackets are even more discreet than gold braces, making them a popular choice among adults who might associate the appearance of braces with teenagers or kids. Clear brackets can offer a more “mature” effect.
Additionally, some patients may be candidates for Invisalign. Unlike braces, Invisalign allows patients to correct misalignments by wearing clear plastic aligners that push their teeth into place. An Invisalign aligner is, as the name implies, virtually invisible in a patient’s mouth.
That said, Invisalign isn’t for everyone. According to a study in the journal Progress in Orthodontics, Invisalign is effective as a form of treatment for mild to moderate dental misalignments. More severe malocclusions may require braces. Your orthodontist can assess the severity of your misalignment to determine whether Invisalign is a viable option for you.
Reasons to Get Adult Braces
Take your orthodontist seriously if they recommend getting adult braces. Adult braces can guard against such health issues as:
- Tooth decay, as overlapping teeth can be difficult to thoroughly clean
- Sleep issues
- Tooth damage, as a misalignment can result in excessive wear on certain teeth
Additionally, getting adult braces can correct a misalignment that might currently have a negative impact on your appearance. By proceeding with treatment, you can improve both your health and your confidence.
Speak With Your Orthodontist About Adult Braces
Remember, the best source of information on this topic is an orthodontist. A professional who has the opportunity to examine your dental misalignment will be able to thoroughly explain the benefits that adult braces can offer to you.
Learn More About Adult Braces in Dona Ana County, NM
At Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists, in Las Cruces, NM, we offer braces to patients of nearly all ages. If you’re a candidate for adult braces, we’ll gladly answer any questions you may have about your treatment. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 575-522-1500 to request an appointment.
10 Foods To Avoid With Braces
Getting braces to correct a misalignment of your teeth offers a wide range of long-term benefits. They may include (but aren’t limited to):
- Improving your smile’s aesthetic appeal, which could improve your self-confidence.
- Allowing you to more easily brush and floss your teeth, which can result in better oral health.
- Promoting easier speaking and chewing.
- Guarding against jaw pain, headaches, and other forms of discomfort that misalignments can lead to.
These are all reasons to move forward with treatment if a dentist or orthodontist recommends braces. That said, during the time that you’re wearing braces, you might need to avoid certain foods.
Common examples of foods you might be unable to eat while wearing braces include:
Hard and Chewy Candy
To optimize your oral health, you should already strive to limit the amount of candy you eat. The sugars in candy can increase your chances of developing cavities or other such dental and oral health issues.
Avoiding hard and chewy candies is particularly important when you’re wearing braces. Eating these sweets can put your braces at risk of being damaged.
Certain Raw Vegetables and Fruits
Fruits and vegetables may play a role in a balanced diet, but some of them, like carrots and apples, may be relatively hard when eaten raw. Like hard candies, these can damage braces.
Avoid eating hard pretzels, extra crispy chips or crackers, and other such hard snacks until your braces are off.
Soda and Juice
Soda and juice might not damage your braces, but you should still limit your consumption of such beverages while your braces are on. Because thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth is challenging when you’re wearing braces, the sugars in these beverages could be more likely to cause dental decay than they already are.
Hard and Chewy Breads
Various types of hard and chewy breads can get caught in braces or damage them. Examples include bagels, hard rolls, and pizza crust.
Some nuts are too hard to eat while wearing braces. The wires of your braces might bend if you were to eat these nuts during treatment.
You typically don’t need to avoid meat entirely with braces. However, you should avoid particularly chewy meats, like jerky.
You might also benefit from cutting meats into small pieces. Doing so can help you chew them more easily and thoroughly with your braces on.
Chewing gum can be quite the hassle for someone with braces! Along with getting caught in braces, gum can warp the wires. Gum might also promote dental decay if it contains sugar. Guard against these issues by refraining from chewing gum with sugar while your braces are on. Sugarless gum is ok to chew.
Do you often find yourself chewing on ice in your beverages? Try to put a stop to this habit when wearing braces. Patients often don’t realize that chewing ice is among the most common causes of braces damage.
Don’t snack on popcorn until your braces are off. Popcorn can easily get stuck in braces and might also damage their wires.
Foods You Shouldn’t Eat With Braces: Speak With our Orthodontist
The above list isn’t necessarily exhaustive. Your orthodontist may provide more information about foods you should avoid while wearing braces.
Yes, changing your diet during the time you’re wearing braces can be a hassle. Just remember, the long-term benefits of correcting a smile with braces are more than worth this minor inconvenience.
Learn About Orthodontic Treatment in Las Cruces, NM
At Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists, offering orthodontic treatment in and around Las Cruces, NM, we’re happy to thoroughly answer all questions our patients have about protecting their braces. If you believe you’re in need of orthodontic care, contact us online or call us at 575-522-1500 to schedule an appointment.
What Age Should a Child Get Braces?
If you have young children, you may be wondering what the appropriate age is to start considering braces for them. This is a good question as choosing the right age to bring a child to a dentist or orthodontist can make solving any dental issue much easier than waiting until they are older.
Below, we’ll look at the common ages most professionals believe children should start braces and what the reasoning is behind those recommendations.
When Should A Child See A Dentist?
For young children, professionals recommend they see a dentist for their first appointment at the age of 1. This assumes there are no signs or symptoms of a dental issue that may be present which would warrant an earlier visit.
Then, at the age of 7, your child should see an orthodontist as well as a dentist presuming there are no signs of an orthodontic issue that might warrant an earlier visit. It’s during this visit that a determination can be made regarding any braces or other treatments that may be needed.
When Should A Child Start Braces?
Generally, the age most professionals recommend for the comprehensive (final) phase of braces is between 10 and 14 years old. Of course, children all grow up differently and at different rates. But it’s between these ages that most children have their adult teeth but have not yet reached full growth.
The timing for braces needs to fit the child’s development as well as the child’s ability to tolerate braces and the responsibilities that come with them.
Some children will need two phases of treatment. These patients may have an early (interceptive) phase of partial braces at a young age and then, when they’re older, have a comprehensive phase of braces.
Options For Braces At Different Ages
Traditional metal braces are the most common option that people are aware of when it comes to children. However, new technology like ceramic braces or Invisalign can be used with younger patients.
Invisalign uses replaceable plastic trays known as aligners to straighten teeth. These can be worn and removed by the patient. So parents need to decide if their child is at an age where they can handle the added responsibility of having to care for Invisalign aligners over standard metal braces. Treatment time can be extended without full compliance so this is an important consideration.
More Information On Braces And Children
Deciding when and what kind of braces a child may need is an important decision and one that can lead to increased overall dental health for a lifetime.
If you have a young child and need advice on when to start braces, contact our team at Legacy Smiles. We specialize in treating children and teens with braces and we offer a variety of options for each individual patient.
Contact Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists today to learn more about braces and what treatment options are available for your family.