How does wearing braces as an adult compare to wearing braces as a child?

adult bracesDid you miss out on having the opportunity to have braces as a child but it’s something that still bothers you as an adult?  Well, it’s not too late.  Most adults with healthy bones, gums, and teeth can still have braces placed to improve the alignment of the teeth.  It is true that a child’s teeth move more easily in response to a force because of the malleability of the bones and because everything is in a state of transition during the growing years.  The bones become denser as we age and often it takes longer to move the teeth as an adult.  If the bite is off because of a skeletal problem such as an  overbite, crossbite or underbite, it may be necessary to have braces in combination with orthognathic surgery.  The teeth can be aligned within the separate bony bases but cannot be matched into a perfect bite without growth in your favor.  That is why it is important to allow the orthodontist to evaluate your bite clinically and with the use of a panoramic and cephalometric radiograph and photographs to study your face, teeth and jaw alignment.  If surgery is needed, it is done by an oral surgeon mid-treatment with the braces on.  Orthodontists and oral surgeons work as a team to plan the treatment from start to finish.

Other differences for an adult may be the presence of periodontal disease or missing teeth.  This must be addressed prior to the initiation of braces to insure healthy supporting structures.  A post-treatment bridge or implant may need to be planned into the treatment.

Wearing braces as an adult may make you feel self conscious but there are options now that make it more appealing such as ceramic brackets which match the color of the teeth.  Having your bite aligned and your smile improved can give you a boost of self confidence in all areas of your life.

Got more questions? Give us a call at Whitehead Orthodontics at 988-9678. We’d love to help you have a smile you could be proud of.


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