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Braces For Adults: Should You Consider Them?

Braces For Adults: Should You Consider Them?

Dr. Michael Layton
December 15, 2014

Orthodontic braces are dental devices used to align and straighten teeth. Besides improving dental health, they help you attain a correct bite. Dental braces are used to correct malocclusions, overbites, underbites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth and other imperfections of the teeth and jaw. The main advantage of braces is correcting the aesthetic appearance of a persons teeth and jaw bones.

Braces for adults are slowly becoming more commonplace. Perfectly aligned teeth are getting more important in society as personal appearance factors into things like interviews, auditions and meetings. While no one wants to look like they’re in their teenage years again with braces that glisten and shine, there are better options available. In this post, we’ll talk about why more and more adults are getting braces, the types of braces available and what orthodontic solutions exist.
child with braces

Why People Require Braces?

Malocclusion is caused by the following:

  • Extra teeth, impacted teeth, missing teeth or abnormally shaped teeth
  • Misalignment of the jaw bone after an accident
  • dental disease

Different classifications of malocclusion

  • Class I malocclusion: The upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth.
  • Class II malocclusion: The clinical name is retrognathism or overbite, the upper jaw and teeth overlap the bottom jaw and teeth.
  • Class III malocclusion: The clinical name is prognathism or underbite, the lower jaw protrudes or extends forward.

For a proper bite the top and bottom of a persons teeth should align when the mouth is closed. People with missing, crowding or protruding teeth have a misaligned bite that can lead to other problems later on. A bad bite will make it difficult to chew certain foods, causing tension and pain in the jaw. People who have crowded and crooked teeth are more susceptible to cavities and gum disease like gingivitis. Dental problems like gingivitis can progress to more serious diseases like periodontitis if not treated in time.

Putting aside the dental health implications of why braces are important is not the only factor to consider. A large part of the reason for many people purchasing orthodontic braces is wanting to have a straight aesthetically pleasing smile.

Getting Fitted For Braces

First Visit: A consultation with a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) will entail having X-rays, photos and impressions of your teeth taken. Your DDS will take this information to plan your dental treatment.

Second Visit: Your DDS will explain if braces are right for your condition. Orthodontic separators are rubber bands placed between the molars at the second visit. Separators are circular rubber bands about a centimeter in diameter placed between the top and bottom molars. Your DDS will determine how many separators you require. The separators stay between the teeth for one to two weeks as they slowly move the teeth apart. Separators create enough space in the mouth so that dentists can fit a tooth brace or molar band in between or fit an expander with metal rings.

Having separators between your teeth can be a temporary painful process, that can be mitigated by pain relievers or prescription drugs.

Third and Fourth Visits: Orthodontic bands are cemented and brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth.

Follow up Visits: Over the next 4 to 8 weeks, adjustments are made to the braces using wire changers.

Definitions of Brace Parts

Arch Wires: The arch wire is attached to the brackets, used to guide the movement of the teeth into the correct position.

Bands: These orthodontic bands wrap around each tooth to provide an anchor for brackets made of stainless steel, or transparent or tooth colored materials.

Brackets: These are the small squares that you see bonded to the front of a persons teeth with braces. To hold brackets in place a special dental bonding agent is used. Traditional brackets are made of metal.

Buccal Tube: These tiny small metal parts are welded to a molar, a buccal tube keeps arch wires and other small appliances in place.

Rubber Bands: Also known as elastics, these bands attach to the hooks on your brackets situated between your upper and lower teeth. Another set of rubber bands are called ligatures these hold the arch wires to the brackets.

Ties for Braces: These can be made of metal a transparent or tooth coloured material.

During your dental visits these are just some of the terms your DDS will go over with you regarding braces.

Different Types of Braces

Metal Braces: The most common type of braces people are familiar with, made from stainless steel.

Ceramic Braces: These braces are made from composite materials and are more expensive than traditional braces. Available in clear ceramic material that is more popular with adults.

Lingual Braces: These aesthetically pleasing braces are attached behind the teeth, more expensive than traditional metal braces. Also known as incognito braces. Not all dentists are trained in the installation of lingual braces.

Harmony Braces: The latest in dental technology is having your teeth digitally scanned in a 3D model. CAD/CAM software is used to map out a treatment plan to straighten your smile.

Invisalign Braces: The best option for many people with mild malocclusion problems is Invisalign braces. These transparent braces are virtually invisible and the aligners are removable. The benefit of Invisalign braces is having the option to eat whatever you want when you want. Foods that can not be consumed by traditional brace wearers are not off limits to Invisalign wearers as the removal aligners can always be popped out for eating. Although the cost for the transparent aligners is higher than traditional braces many people prefer them. Consult with your dentist or DDS if you are interested in this type of teeth correction or are simply assessing whether braces or Invisalign is right for you. Transparent aligners are great for people in the public eye who are sensitive about wearing traditional braces.

Considering Bracesteen with braces

If you have any of the following dental problems your DDS may recommend corrective braces for you to wear. The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) lists some common problems that require professional correction.

    • Overjet - the upper teeth protrude
    • Deep bite - the upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth
    • Underbite - the upper teeth fit inside the arch of the lower teeth
    • Open bite - when the back teeth are touching there is an opening between the lower and upper front teeth
    • Gap - noticeable gaps between the teeth, especially the two front teeth
    • Crossbite - when your upper canines do not line up with your lower teeth


  • Crowding - overcrowding and overlapped teeth

Treatment Time

Having a straight perfectly aligned smile is more than just aesthetics its about your personal health.  Straight teeth are also easier to clean and maintain. Beauty is more than just skin deep and we can help. Contact us here.

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