Category Archives: Braces and Orthodontics

When to Get Braces: As an Adult

1. Adults show better compliance with oral hygiene when wearing braces. The thing we love most about treating adults with braces is that they follow instructions so much better than teenagers do! Not only does this make treatment easier but because adults tend to brush better and consume less sweets so they end up with less dental problems while in braces. We see many kids and teenagers who have wear braces for a few years and end up with multiple cavities or even occasionally a root canal infection. This happens far less frequently in adult patients due to their better compliance, less sugar consumption and generally better oral hygiene.

2. Adults have a lesser chance of relapse. You may have heard of people who wore braces twice or even thrice. In almost every single one of these cases they wore braces as a teenager but didn’t wear their retainers and ended up having to do a second round of braces to correct the ensuing relapses. Adults have stiffer bones which reduces relapse rates and since wisdom teeth have either been removed or settled in place they also cause less problems in adults.

  • Having softer and flexible bone allows teeth to shift easier during treatment but it also allows them to collapse into their original position easier as well.
  • Teenagers also face a problem with their wisdom teeth coming out and pushing on other teeth. Wisdom teeth come out in late teens or twenties and not only can they hurt you but they also make other teeth more crooked. Since many teenagers typically don’t remove their wisdom teeth until it starts hurting we see relapses happening all too often.
  • If you take your braces off and fail to remove the wisdom teeth right away or soon afterwards, assuming that they need to be removed, then there’s a good chance your remaining teeth will shift over time. It is also very important that teenagers continue to wear their retainers consistently as instructed to prevent their teeth from relapsing particularly when they are still young.

3. Adults are better candidates for clear-braces. Teenagers typically don’t comply with wearing the clear-brace trays for 22+ hours a day as they are supposed to. This is why they are almost never offered clear-braces as an option for orthodontic treatment. On the other hand, adults who need braces to close smaller gaps or fix minor relapses are great candidates for wearing clear-braces. Adults show much better compliance with wearing their clear-trays as well as showing up for regular orthodontic visits. And adults can actually afford these more expensive types of braces.

NEXT >> When to Get Braces: How to Decide

When to Get Braces: As a Child or Teenager

Benefits of Clear Braces (Invisalign or ClearCorrect)

Different types of braces: Clear vs. Metal braces

You may be considering receiving orthodontic work to straighten your teeth. Chances are you’ve been trying to decide between removable clear-braces, such as Invisalign or ClearCorrect, or traditional metal bracket and wire braces. It sounds great to have clear braces which you can actually remove when you want to eat or brush.

However, is it really as simple as it sounds? What are the qualifications for wearing clear braces? How much more does Invisalign treatment cost over traditional metal braces? Ultimately, which is the more suitable solution for my case? Here are some facts that can better help guide you in making the right decision.

Pros of Clear Braces (Invisalign or ClearCorrect)

There’s two major flaws when it comes to wearing clear braces: They are more limited in their range of treatment, and they cost much more than traditional braces. However if you both qualify for and can afford them, then clear braces an excellent way to straighten teeth. Here is why clear braces are such a great treatment for so many:

Clear braces look better and are easier to use

Let’s be honest, if you don’t want a whole bunch of metal showing when smiling, then clear braces are for you. Most working professionals in their twenties and thirties opt to go for Invisalign or ClearCorrect for this exact reason. This is a good time to wear clear braces should you qualify for them:

  • Adults tend to comply better with instructions. This is exactly the reason why teenagers aren’t offered clear braces as a treatment option.
  • Working professionals find it worthwhile to discreetly wear their clear trays and not have to show metal brackets and wires at work.
  • You probably need to have a job to be able to afford clear braces treatment. Having dental insurance can come in handy. Your dental insurance might pay a portion towards your orthodontic treatment, which makes it much more affordable. Financing options are usually available if you have good credit.

It’s definitely nicer to be able to wear braces while having the ability to remove them when necessary. This makes eating and cleaning your teeth much, much easier. However before you get too excited we should note that you must wear your clear trays for at least 22 hours a day. So don’t expect to go without wearing them for too long!

Clear braces are more forgiving to your teeth

It is much easier to maintain good oral health with removable braces. Unfortunately the same can not be said of metal braces for the following reasons:

  • Wearing metal brackets and wires makes it much more difficult to clean your teeth by yourself. In fact, flossing your teeth is no longer an option when wearing metal braces.
  • Metal braces can interfere with your dental cleanings. It’s much more difficult for your dentist or hygienist to give you a thorough dental cleaning when in braces, no matter how hard they try. This is a good time to note that it’s highly recommended to obtain regular dental cleanings when wearing braces. In fact, it’s probably a better idea to increase the frequency of your checkup and cleanings just to play it safe.
  • Wearing metal brackets can stain your teeth. It’s not uncommon to notice a chalky or stained appearance on your teeth after you’ve removed your brackets.
  • Metal brackets can disguise cavities underneath them since the metal can obstruct and block out cavities on the X-ray. As a result it is not unusual to end up with several cavities or even your first root canal when you’ve been wearing metal braces for too long.
Easier orthodontic visits

If you receive removable clear braces, typically all of your trays are produced upfront and then handed to you on subsequent appointments. All you need to do from here on is continue to wear your trays in the order that they’re given to you. On the other hand, treatment with metal braces requires more frequent office visits. Appointments also tend to be longer and more difficult as well.

NEXT >> Pros of metal braces (Brackets and wires)

Deciding between clear or metal braces

When to Get Braces: As a Child or Teenager

You have been dreaming of straighter teeth for a while now. You finally have the time and resources to get the braces you’ve been wanting so bad. But it dawns on you that maybe you are just too old to be wearing braces. After all most people who have braces seem to be teenagers and seldom do you run into a grown-up with braces on their teeth. Is it really better to have braces on earlier in life? Or could you still get receive them as a grown up without any problems?

Pros of Wearing Braces as a Child or Teenager

1. It is easier to move teeth in teenagers since the bones are softer. Children and teenagers have softer and more flexible bones since they are still growing and their skeletal growth palates haven’t fused yet. This means the teeth will move easier and quicker within the upper and lower jaws. Moving teeth is always easier on children and teenagers and gets more difficult on adults. Adults have stiffer bone and moving their teeth is more challenging which may limit your orthodontist treatment to an extent.

2. It is more socially acceptable to wear metal braces as a teenager. When you are in high-school or junior-high many of your classmates have braces on just like you do. Wearing braces is cool and easier to deal with at this age. As an adult you might not want to show the brackets and wires on your teeth.

  • As an adult you may be a candidate for clear-braces which disguises better and is also easier to wear. Many adults opt to go for the clear-braces over the traditional metal ones based on how discreet they look.
  • This is the other reason you don’t see as many adults with braces because many that have them are often wearing the clear-braces which are far less noticeable.

3. There are more existing dental work on adults which can complicate treatment. Children and teenagers may have a few fillings on their teeth or at most a crown or two here or there. Minor amount of existing dental work doesn’t really interfere with putting braces on. But as you age you may end up with more extensive dental work like crowns and implants on your broken and missing teeth. Some of these restorations will interfere with receiving braces.

  • If you have a crown on a tooth it can be difficult to move it or you may require a new crown once you are done with your braces.
  • A fixed dental restoration to replace a missing tooth, such as a bridge or a dental implant can be very challenging to deal with and having them may exclude you from being able to receive braces altogether.
  • If you have extensive dental treatment already but still insist on straightening your teeth you may have to look into cosmetic dentistry as an alternative. A cosmetic dentist may be able to place veneers to cover your teeth and correct the smaller gaps and discrepancies to help both straighten your teeth and make them white and beautiful at the same time. Not everyone qualifies for veneers and not every dentist can do them. So do some research to find a qualified cosmetic dentist or prosthodontist to see if you can place veneers to correct your bite and get a nicer and more beautiful smile all at once.

NEXT >> When to Get Braces: As an Adult

When to Get Braces: How to Decide