Straighten Up And Fly Right: It's Never Too Late For Braces

Every smile is unique, and while no one should ever be ashamed of theirs, many people find themselves wishing for straighter teeth even as they get older. If your teeth were never corrected as a child or previous work or trauma has left you with less than perfect pearly whites, you may feel as though it's too late to do anything about it. Luckily, nothing could be further from the truth. There are a wide variety of options for adults seeking healthier, straighter teeth, and it's never too late to improve your smile with adult braces.

It's Not Just Cosmetic 

Correcting your smile can do wonders for your confidence, but it's not the only reason to consider orthodontic corrections. If left untreated, crooked teeth or teeth that are out of alignment can cause a number of health problems. Over time, problems with crooked teeth tend to get worse, and these problems can lead to everything from decaying teeth to gum disease to painful headaches. Teeth that are even slightly misaligned can also interfere with the ability to chew properly, making eating painful or uncomfortable.

Options for Adults

It's not all bad news, however. Orthodontics might be more commonly associated with children, but plenty of adults have their teeth straightened every year. If you're suffering from crooked teeth and looking for options, you actually have plenty. While the most important thing you can do is schedule an appointment with an orthodontist as soon as possible, arming yourself with a little knowledge is never a bad idea.

Traditional braces are sometimes used for adults, but because many people find them unpleasant or unattractive, subtler options are now available. Of these, the two most common are clear braces and clear aligners. Clear aligners are more commonly known by the brand name Invisalign, but this is far from the only product of this type available on the market.

What's the Difference?

Clear braces are simply that: traditional braces that are designed to be difficult to spot. Not all clear braces are transparent. Some clear braces are made of ceramic and colored to match the natural color of your teeth. Whatever the material, clear braces are used in the same way as traditional braces. They aren't removable, but they do tend to do a much better job of blending in with your teeth. Although not completely invisible, many adults find that they are very unobtrusive.

Clear aligners are an alternative to clear braces. Unlike traditional braces, these are removable mouthpieces that are designed to be replaced on a regular basis (usually at least once or twice per month). Clear aligners are significantly less noticeable than even clear braces, but they can be costly, and they cannot correct all orthodontic problems. Their primary advantage is how difficult they are to notice on most patients as well as their ability to be removed as needed.

Making the Leap

Whatever option ends up being right for you, there is no need to continue to suffer from crooked teeth. Scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist that specializes in working with adults is a great way to discover the pros and cons of the various options available to you and get started on the path to healthier teeth and a straighter smile.