Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Treatments, General Dentistry

Braces for adults. It’s very normal!

Braces for Adults at Hutt Dental Hub - Dentist in Lower Hutt

Do you have crooked teeth but assume braces are out of the question for adults? Does the mere thought of wearing braces make you feel self-conscious, to say the least? You might need to re-think your perception of adult orthodontics because these days, more adults than ever are wearing braces. Some will even undergo treatment at the same time as their children, so don’t worry about being self-conscious or embarrassed about wearing braces. There is certainly no social stigma about wearing braces. In fact, it’s pretty fashionable, but because modern adult braces are so discreet, it’s likely many people will not even realize you are undergoing treatment. It can be your little secret unless you choose to enlighten them. However, wearing braces as an adult is far more than just a fashion statement because it can benefit you enormously.

Benefits of Adult Orthodontics Include:

Improved Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

One of the most immediate benefits of having adult orthodontics is the potential boost to your self-esteem and self-confidence. When you know your smile looks great, it can boost your confidence in a way few other things can. Conversely, when you know your teeth look wonky or are overcrowded or overlapping, it can make you hesitant to smile and talk with others. When you don’t feel confident in your appearance, it can prevent you from reaching your full potential socially and professionally. Life is short enough as it is, so you want to make the most of every moment, and a beautiful smile can help you realize this aim.

Improved Ability to Keep Your Teeth Clean

Is flossing a chore and something you avoid because it’s so tricky? Often, when teeth are packed in tightly or are overlapping it’s difficult or nearly impossible to fit a piece of floss comfortably in between teeth to clean them properly. When you are unable to floss easily, you are far less likely to complete this essential daily task, allowing plaque and food debris to build up on your teeth and gums, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease. Both these dental diseases significantly increase your risk of tooth loss and in the case of gum disease, can even affect your overall health.

When your teeth are straight and aligned correctly, flossing will be a breeze, so not only will your smile look nicer, but it should be healthier too! Also, orthodontics can be used to close or minimize spaces in between teeth. Not only does this look better, but it can be healthier because often these spaces will trap food, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

Modern Treatment Is Discreet and Quick

As we mentioned before, modern orthodontics is incredibly discreet, and here at Ivory Dental, we use a system called Six Months Smiles1. Instead of heavy, ugly metal brackets and wires, this system has clear brackets and thin tooth-colored wires which once in the mouth are barely noticeable. As you might have guessed from the name, the average treatment time is just six months, although more complicated cases may take up to 9 months to complete, while more straightforward orthodontic problems could take less time. Every case is unique!

Six Months Smiles is a fixed braces system, and it is cosmetically oriented. This means it mainly concentrates on correcting problems affecting the teeth you show when you smile and talk with others so it may not be suitable for correcting more extensive orthodontic problems. Because the system is so quick, it’s more affordable than other systems. These braces are designed to use low forces, moving the tooth and the tooth root at the same time in a treatment that is relatively comfortable.

Who Should Consider Treatment?

These braces are suitable for correcting problems with crowded and overlapping teeth, and for closing or minimizing awkward spaces in between teeth. They can also correct overbites and open bites and can generally be used to create a more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing smile. If you hate the appearance of your front teeth and have some that are rotated, or which are tipping out of place, these could be the braces for you.

How Does Six Month Smiles Work?

Initially, you will need a consultation with Dr. Benjamin Hull here at Ivory Dental to decide if this treatment is appropriate for you. Your teeth must be generally strong and healthy and free from disease, and they shouldn’t have any large fillings that could weaken them. It is crucial that your teeth are strong enough for treatment because they are being asked to move positions. Once we have determined your suitability and have discussed this treatment with you, we can move onto the planning phase. To do this, we will take a dental impression of your teeth. There is no need to worry as we don’t use traditional, old-fashioned goopy tray impressions!

Instead, we take high-quality 3-D digital impressions2 that are far more comfortable, and which provide a much higher degree of accuracy. Instead of wearing a tray for several minutes, your mouth is scanned by a tiny handheld camera, creating a digital 3-D model of your teeth in a very short while. The 3-D model is used to decide precisely where each bracket is to be placed on your teeth to create the correct tooth movements. Next, the digital treatment plan is brought into the real world and is used to create a specially made appliance which is used to fit your braces. It’s a procedure that is very quick and precise.

Once your braces are in position, the tooth-colored wires are fitted to the brackets, and your teeth will begin to move. You will need to come and see us regularly just so we can check treatment is progressing as we have planned, and so we can make any necessary adjustments.

Looking after Braces

While you are wearing your braces, it’s crucial to take care of them properly, ensuring that you brush and floss after each meal to remove any food and plaque. There is no need to be concerned as there are special tools you can use to make cleaning around brace brackets much easier, and it’s only for a very short while! Before you know it, your braces will be removed, and you can begin enjoying the results of treatment and all the benefits of adult orthodontics.

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