Straight Talk About Braces for Adults
It's never too late to perfect your smile -- just ask the increasing number of adults who are rushing to the orthodontist.
The Healthy Smile
Dental professionals say there are also health reasons for
having a correct bite.
"With teeth that are in cross bite, teeth that are
misaligned, there is an increased chance of plaque buildup, food buildup in
between your teeth, which is a trickle-down effect because the more food
buildup, the more plaque; therefore, the more concern for periodontal disease
and gum disease," Anglin tells WebMD. Improper bite also means you can't
chew food properly, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems, he says.
So how do you get that Hollywood smile? There are more options
than ever. With traditional braces, you can select metal or clear/ceramic
braces, but there are pros and cons.
"Traditional metal braces -- if the patient has a
significant bite problem or severely crooked teeth -- are slightly more
effective at moving teeth than clear braces. If you came to me and said, 'I
want my teeth as straight as fast as possible,' and you had really crooked
teeth, then I'd say put metal braces on," Sebastian says.
He says clear braces work fine in most cases but there are some
downfalls. The adhesive that holds the bracket in place can stain from dark
drinks and smoking, and they cost more than metal braces.
Often, adults hoping to avoid "metal mouth" go the
"I'm not embarrassed about having [braces] at my age
because you see a lot of people now, young adults, even older adults wearing
braces," says Ivy Horn, a lawyer in Atlanta who is considering
clear/ceramic braces after already wearing metal braces as a teen. "In my
field I do a lot of speaking when I am in court a lot. I just think it would
look better if I had the clear braces rather than the metal braces so people
aren't focusing so much on what's in my mouth but the words that are coming out
of my mouth."
Statistics from the October Journal of Clinical
Orthodontics show that the average cost of an adult set of braces in the
U.S. is $4,800.