person holding up dental model with braces on the teeth and angling a toothbrush toward the bottom gums

Adult Braces: Are They Right for You?

Braces aren't just for teenagers. Adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment, particularly if they never had braces when they were younger. If you feel self-conscious about the way your teeth look or have trouble keeping your teeth and gums clean, adult braces might be right for you.

Why Do Adults Need Braces?

Adults need braces for many of the same reasons teenagers get braces. Braces can help to straighten crooked teeth. They can also help to correct your bite. If you often bite your inner cheek or lip or have difficulty making certain vowel or consonant sounds, braces might be a good choice for you.

Some of the issues adult braces can help correct include:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Large spaces between teeth
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Open bite (the front teeth don't touch when the back teeth do)

Braces can help you feel more confident about the way your smile looks, but braces do more than just improve the aesthetics of your smile. They can also improve the function of your teeth and gums and can lower your risk for cavities and other problems.

When your teeth and bite are properly aligned, it's easier to clean between the teeth and around the gums. That reduces your risk of tooth decay and helps improve your breath.

Correcting bite issues also reduces stress and strain on the teeth and jaw. You're less likely to grind the teeth and are less likely to have pain or discomfort in the jaw.

What Types of Braces Are Available?

If the word "braces" makes you think of a mouth full of metal, think again. Many of the options available for adults today are designed to be less visible but just as effective. Some of your options for orthodontic treatment include:

  • Aligners: Aligners are clear trays that you wear on top of your teeth for up to 22 hours a day. The trays gently push your teeth into alignment. You're meant to replace the trays with a new set every few weeks, as your teeth change position.
  • Lingual braces: Lingual braces are placed on the back of the tooth so that they aren't visible when you open your mouth or smile.
  • Conventional braces: Conventional braces use wires that are attached to the front of the tooth with cement to straighten the teeth. The wires can be metal or ceramic. Many adults choose the ceramic option, as it can match the color of their teeth, making it less visible.

How to Tell if Adult Braces Are Right for You

Whether you had braces as a child or not, they might be the right choice for you as an adult. Your teeth continue to move as you get older, so it might be the case that teeth that were once in perfect alignment no longer are.

Braces might be a good option for you if you've noticed that your teeth are crooked or overlap each other. You might have also noticed that one or both of your front teeth stick out. If you notice discomfort while you chew or bite down on food, braces can help.

The best way to see if adult braces are right for you is to make an appointment with an orthodontist. If you are ready for an orthodontics evaluation from a caring and trusted professional, contact Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics today at 212-877-7177 .