Braces for Adults: An Overview
Many people incorrectly assume that braces are something that only children and teens get when it comes to correcting dental issues that they’re experiencing. In reality, the reverse is true – a significant number of patients are actually adults because the types of problems that braces are perfect for correcting can develop at literally any age.
The most obvious of those problems have to do with crooked teeth, but braces are worth it for adults for a myriad of other reasons, too. Not only can they help correct things like a bad bite, but they also prevent the development of health issues like:
- Chewing problems
- Bone erosion
- Chronic jaw pain
- Face pain
- TMJ and much, much more
Of course, this is all before you even get into the cosmetic benefits that come with braces – of which there are many. This, coupled with the fact that you’ll almost instantly get higher self-esteem as soon as your treatment ends, means that adult braces are more than worth the investment for most people. You’re also far more likely to wear your retainer after treatment (if necessary) as an adult than you are as a child, meaning that the benefits you see will essentially be permanent.
The Timeframe for Adult Braces
The most important thing to understand about your treatment is that no one can really tell you in advance how long you will need to wear traditional braces. This is because every mouth is unique, and certain types of problems take longer to correct than others.
Having said that, most people can expect to wear braces for anywhere between one to two years. But again, the patient’s specific bite issues and needs will play an important role.
After your initial consultation, Dr. Knecht will be able to give you a more accurate estimate based on your particular assessment.
Oral Hygiene and Braces
While oral hygiene is always important, it is especially so once you have been fitted for braces as an adult. It is very, very easy for food particles to become trapped inside the brackets and wires, which could damage them or cause other issues that you would absolutely do well to avoid.
But do not worry since this is not as scary as it sounds. During your appointment, Dr. Knecht will explain all of the most effective brushing and flossing techniques to you in great detail. Dr. Knecht will also help make sure that you know exactly how to properly care for your braces depending on the specific type that you choose.
Foods to Avoid With Braces
In the vast majority of situations, you will likely find that getting fitted with braces as an adult does not change your diet in any particular way. However, there ARE certain foods that you should probably avoid for the duration of your treatment. This is because they could damage or dislodge the brackets and the wires, which would ultimately hamper your progress.
Any very hard food like hard candy, for example, is something you are going to want to avoid while you have braces. Likewise, very crunchy foods such as popcorn could cause problems, so you are most likely going to want to leave them off the menu for the time being. Also, any food that you need to bite into like an apple is something that is not recommended while treatment is still occurring.
Once again, Dr. Knecht will go over all of this with you in great detail so that you know what dietary changes you can expect while wearing your braces.