For many adults today, their number one problem with their smile is the straightness — or more specifically, the lack thereof. Whether you had braces when you were younger and need realignment, or you’ve never undergone teeth straightening before, there’s a way to achieve the results you want.
The Challenges of Straightening Your Teeth as an Adult
While it’s completely possible to get the straighter teeth you desire when you’re an adult, it’s more challenging than straightening teeth as a child or even as a young teenager. When you’re an adult, your alignment is already fully set, while children’s mouths are easier to correct because still developing. For that reason, orthodontists like Dr. Reddick offer early orthodontic treatment to their young patients. If you’re an adult it may require more time and effort to get the desired teeth straightening results. Most adults need to use teeth straightening systems, whether braces or clear aligners, for at least 18 months, and in some cases for longer.
The Teeth Straightening Options for Adults
There are two common options for straightening teeth as an adult, and the choice between them depends on your exact degree of misalignment and the specific type of misalignment. Dr. Reddick will do a full evaluation of your teeth and overall oral health, including X-rays, to determine which teeth straightening option would be the best fit for you.
Metal or Ceramic Braces
For patients who have more severe alignment issues, for example, a major overbite or a crossbite, traditional braces are typically the best option. The good news is that traditional braces don’t have to mean you’ll have a “metal mouth” anymore.
Ceramic braces have clear brackets that allow you to wear braces without feeling self-conscious about smiling. No matter which type of braces you have, braces are an easy way to straighten teeth as an adult because they’re a low maintenance option. You’ll only need to come in for regular check-ups with Dr. Reddit so he can make any necessary adjustments.
The average time for wearing metal or ceramic braces is usually 18 to 24 months, but that may change during the course of your treatment. Dr. Reddick will closely monitor your progress and let you know if you can get your braces off earlier than predicted.
Clear Aligners: Invisalign
The other popular option for teeth straightening as an adult is clear aligners, a system called Invisalign. Invisalign is usually best suited for patients with mild to moderate alignment issues. Invisalign aligners are made from clear plastic, and they’re made especially for your mouth. The aligners snap directly on top of your teeth, and then gently and gradually move them into the right position. Every two weeks, you’ll start using a fresh set of aligners. This ensures that the progress is steady.
Invisalign is removable — one of its major advantages — but it’s very important that you wear the aligners as directed by Dr. Reddick. In most cases, Invisalign should be worn almost around the clock. The aligners can be removed for eating and for brushing your teeth, but other than that you should be wearing them.
The average time for wearing Invisalign as an adult is about the same as that needed for teeth straightening with traditional braces — usually anywhere from 18-24 months. Teenagers usually wear Invisalign for only around a year on average.
After Adult Teeth Straightening: Maintaining Your Results
After braces or Invisalign, you’ll have the smile that you want — but it’s vital that you maintain it properly, too. Dr. Reddick typically recommends that adults wear a retainer after teeth straightening. Retainers are unobtrusive and easy to use today. They can make all the difference in terms of keeping your teeth in their newly straight positions.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step Towards Straighter Teeth?
Do you feel like you’re finally ready to take the next step towards straighter teeth? Dr. Reddick and the Melbourne Orthodontics team are here to help Melbourne, Florida patients with all of their orthodontic care needs. If you want straighter teeth, at last, contact us to arrange a consultation with Dr. Reddick anytime. Dr. Reddick and the Melbourne Orthodontics team are looking forward to seeing you soon.