Orthodontics at Any Age
The Role of Braces in Oral Health
At Brocks Gap Orthodontics, it’s never too late to get the smile of your dreams. Braces and other orthodontic devices can be used at any age, although it may take longer to move your teeth as an adult since your bones are harder and no longer growing. Due to their age, adults can have conditions that younger patients don’t have to deal with, which can include gingivitis or insufficient bone between the roots. Those issues will need to be addressed prior to, or in conjunction with, orthodontic treatment.
The advantages of braces are not just aesthetic. Crooked teeth can make it harder to floss and brush, which can lead to a buildup of food particles and plaque. Orthodontics also address malocclusions, which encompasses crossbites, overbites, underbites, open bites, and the crowding of teeth.
The process of getting braces begins with an oral exam and a series of X-rays. Next, impressions are taken to examine the bite. We often also recommend the removal of wisdom teeth.
Next, brackets are fixed to your teeth and then a flexible wire, known as an archwire, attaches the brackets to a ring-like band that encircles the molar teeth. Over the course of treatment, there will be periodic adjustments that consist of bending, tightening, adjusting wires, and/or adding rubber bands to the braces to gradually put pressure on the teeth to shift them into the desired positions.
In severe or complex cases, headgear is sometimes used, as are TADs, or temporary anchorage devices, which are little screws that are placed through the gums into the jawbone to provide continuous pressure to move the teeth.
Taking Care of Braces
You should maintain your standard dental hygiene habits of brushing and flossing. However, with braces, there is also an added layer of care required. Since you have dental appliances on your teeth, there are more ways for food particles and the like to get stuck, so it is important to develop extra diligent brushing and flossing habits. Water picks and dental floss picks can also help get to hard-to-reach places. Expect, as well, to watch what you eat, and be careful with hard and sticky foods.
You can have standard braces at any age. If you don’t want metal braces, either practically or aesthetically, there are other options, as well, like Invisalign.
But, once you’re done with your orthodontic treatment and you’ve celebrated your beautiful, new smile, there is still some maintenance required to make sure your teeth don’t shift back to how they were before.
We’re here to help. Contact Us!