Straight teeth and an aligned bite can help you to reduce the chances of dental problems and improve your smile. Straighter teeth will mean that you get less of a build-up of plaque, which can lead to gum disease.
Another benefit of having straight teeth is that you will be able to chew your food easier without having to worry about getting bits of food stuck in them. Having straighter teeth will also mean that you can speak better.
The best way of addressing issues with the straightness of your teeth is through orthodontic treatment. But what are the different orthodontic options available? In this article, we’ll look at the best orthodontic options for adults.
Why You May Need to Explore Orthodontic Treatment Options
Adult options for orthodontics help treat problems with a bad bite. This is also called malocclusion. There are several different types of misaligned bite. These include crossbite, open bite, and overjet. Crooked teeth are often synonymous with bad bites, and braces will fix both at the same time.
Even if your teeth look as though they are straight, it may be possible that your jaw is not aligned correctly.
Where this is the case, a dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment to protect your teeth from additional wear to the tooth enamel, help with chewing and speech problems, and also more serious jaw problems.
Issues with your jaw could have been there since birth, or an injury may have caused them. Other causes include losing baby teeth too late or too early and sucking your thumb.
What Are the Different Orthodontic Options for Adults?
There are several different types of orthodontic treatment that are available, but the options that will be available to you depend on what exactly needs to get corrected. Here are some of the most common adult options for orthodontics.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are made up of metal brackets. This is the most common type of brace used. Over the years, these have become sleeker and more comfortable. Brackets are typically made from stainless steel.
Traditional braces have a wire running through the groove of the braces. This wire will pull your teeth into the correct position by delivering a constant and gentle force.
The wires are then held into position using tiny rubber bands known as ‘ligatures’ or ‘o-rings.’ Wires are typically made from metal alloys. In some cases, patients may need to have metal bands to encircle the back teeth.
Traditional Ceramic Braces
In addition to metal braces, it is possible to get ceramic braces. These are tooth-colored, which makes them stand out less. These are fitted to your teeth, and wires are then threaded through the grooves in the brackets. Again, these are held on using ligatures.
With this type of brace, the brackets are made using ceramic or porcelain material. The wires will be generally made of metal alloys and will gently pull your teeth into position.
Self-Ligating Ceramic Braces
Self-ligating braces are also tooth-colored, which makes them stand out less. These are fixed to your teeth, and a wire is then threaded through the brackets. A built-in clip on each bracket will hold the wire in place, and the wire will gently pull at your teeth.
As with traditional ceramic braces, the brackets are made out of porcelain, and the wires are usually made out of metal alloys.
Self-Ligating Metal Braces
Self-ligating metal braces are made up of brackets fixed to your teeth and wires that are pulled through the slots in the brackets.
Many patients will also have metal bands that will encircle the back teeth. Each of the brackets will have a built-in clip that will hold the wire in place.
Typically, metal braces are stainless steel, and the wires are metal alloys and will gently pull at your teeth.
Invisible Braces aka Clear Aligners
Invisalign braces are set of clear, custom-made removable trays. The braces are pliable, made from a material designed to fit snuggly around your teeth. They are specifically made for your teeth.
You will be responsible for putting in your own aligners, and you will need to use a series of different aligners during the course of your orthodontic treatment.
Every new set of Invisalign aligners that you get from your dentist will apply a slight adjustment to your teeth. Each aligner is worn for between two and three weeks and will move teeth by a fraction of a millimeter each time.
The number of aligners that you will need to correct your misaligned teeth will depend on your orthodontic needs.
Because the aligners are removable, you will be able to take them out while eating, brushing, and flossing.
Partial Orthodontic Treatment
You may not need a full set of braces to deal with your orthodontic problems. Sometimes, just one or a few teeth will need to be adjusted to improve the look of or to prepare your teeth for dental work, such as having dental implants fitted.
In cases such as this, your dentist may recommend that you have partial orthodontic treatment. This is sometimes referred to as ‘limited treatment.’
This treatment will correct more of an isolated area of your mouth. As such, you will require less hardware and less treatment time.
Choosing the Right Orthodontic Options for You
If you have crooked or misaligned teeth, you will want to know which orthodontic options are available to you.
At Upland Dental, we'll help to identify the right treatment option for you.
Contact us today to arrange a consultation.
Upland Dental Implant and Orthodontics