Braces in Oak Lawn included
Do you have spaces or crowding in your teeth but wonder if you are too old to wear braces? Orthodontics come in a variety of forms to suit the needs of children and adults. Modern braces can be discreet and do not draw the attention you might expect. Fixing your teeth can be made more comfortable with modern orthodontic treatments and can improve your smile and confidence.
What Are Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a treatment used to fix misaligned teeth. The orthodontic treatment is applied and maintained by a dental professional called an orthodontist. Many patients seek the help of an orthodontist to improve the appearance of crooked teeth, but the treatment can also be a part of dental hygiene. Orthodontic treatments can straighten teeth and fix bite alignments that can make the teeth and gums more difficult to clean. Fixing these issues can prevent cavities and gum disease by allowing hygienists and patients to clean their teeth properly.
Can Adults Use Orthodontic Treatment?
Many patients see an orthodontist at an early age, typically around the age of seven. If you are a teen or adult and have not seen an orthodontist, you are not alone as nearly 20% of patients are over the age of 21. Fixing alignment and bite issues in adults is just as important as in children, but many adults are reluctant to wear braces.
When adults think of braces, they are reminded of the image and social stigma of braces as a child. The thought is enough to make many adults wonder if braces are really right for them. Traditional metal braces have evolved since grade school and middle school, and there are new treatments like Invisalign that aim to address the appearance of braces. There are a variety of orthodontic treatments that can make wearing braces more enjoyable for adults and teens.
Why You Might Need Treatment?
The most common reasons to visit an orthodontist are spacing and crowding. These conditions can make it difficult to maintain healthy teeth and properly clean the teeth. Depending on your needs and the condition of your teeth, you may need traditional braces, or you may have more choices.
Sometimes Invisalign’s plastic aligners can address alignment issues faster than traditional braces. The treatment time can also vary depending on your condition, with some treatments lasting only a few months and others lasting 18 to 24 months. Each type of braces will require some level of maintenance and visits to your dentist and orthodontist for adjustments, cleaning, and evaluation. Some of the most common conditions that can be fixed with orthodontics are:
- Open bite
What Varieties of Braces Are There?
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are what come to mind when most people think of orthodontics. They are metal brackets cemented to the teeth and hold a metal archwire that guides the teeth into place. Metal braces are durable but require frequent maintenance and adjustment.
For most patients, tightening of the braces is the least comfortable part of the treatment, but changes in technology have made metal braces quite comfortable. Braces available today are much smaller and less noticeable, and the elastic bands that hold the archwire can be made to blend in well with the teeth.
Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment for adults because it goes unnoticed while you are wearing it. The aligner is made of comfortable and clear plastic. The orthodontist will supply you with several aligners that are form-fitting and gently move the teeth into the correct location.
Your progress is tracked and a computer-generated image can help you understand how your teeth will progressively improve. Invisalign are easy to care for because maintenance is seldom needed and you can remove them for two hours every day to eat and practice normal dental hygiene.
Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces, but they use ceramic brackets instead of metal. Ceramic braces are a great choice for adults because they are less expensive than Invisalign and the brackets can be made to match your teeth so they don’t stand out. Ceramic braces can be used like metal braces, but they are slightly less durable and may stain if you drink coffee or tea often.
Self-ligating braces are an option for adults looking for a more comfortable option when tightening. The braces look similar to ceramic and metal braces, but they do not use elastic to hold the archwire in place. Self-ligating braces use a clip on the metal bracket to hold the archwire, which helps reduce friction when the braces are tightened.
There are two different types of brackets used during the beginning and end stages of the treatment. First, there are active brackets that apply greater pressure to move the teeth into the correct position quickly with a thick archwire. These brackets are used toward the end of treatment. The passive bracket is more gentle and uses a thin archwire to guide the teeth with a greater range of movement.
Find Your Treatment Today
If you are ready to straighten your teeth and improve your smile, visit Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Frankfort, IL for an initial consultation. We offer orthodontic treatments for all ages, including adults looking for a less noticeable solution. If you are looking for orthodontic solutions such as braces in Oak Lawn, Frankfort, or nearby communities, stop by and see how we can help you.