For most people, braces are a part of life. Most children wear braces some time between middle school and high school. But not every kid wears braces. Whether it was because your parents lacked the funds for braces, or your teeth were straight as a child and did not become crooked until later in life, or you simply didn’t want them when you were younger, there are some adults who still do not have straight teeth.
If you are considering starting braces or another teeth-straightening program, there is still hope. Just because you are older does not mean you cannot benefit from braces. In addition to improving your appearance, braces may also improve other areas of your health, such as neck and spine alignment, reduce headaches, and improve breathing.
Benefits of straight teeth
There are a variety of benefits that having straight teeth can bring. The first benefit is aligned teeth. Aligned teeth are easier to clean, have less chance of becoming infected, and can help reduce minor aches and pains, such as frequent headaches.
On the non-medical side, your perceived attractiveness will go up, and consequently, you will gain confidence in yourself. Some people find that with straight teeth, they are able to do better in their career.
Drawbacks of braces
Although there are some great benefits to braces, there are also some drawbacks. A big drawback is the cost. Braces typically cost between $5,000 and $10,000. That is a large chunk of money that could be used for a down payment on a car or house, for example.
Wearing braces is painful, because it actually shifts the position of your teeth in your jaw. Because it forces the teeth to move, it could weaken your teeth and damage the roots. You may also have to have some teeth pulled to correct the alignment, which is painful and can alter the structure of your face and jaw.
Alternatives to Braces
If you are considering straightening your smile, but want something other than traditional braces, these four alternatives are worth looking into.
Invisilign trays are clear trays that go over your teeth and realign the teeth and jaw. They are best for fixing gaps and crowded teeth. They have difficulty fixing teeth that have different height positions and may be unable to rotate turned teeth.
This is something a cosmetic dentist can do to fix slightly crooked teeth. A good candidate for this procedure would be someone who had braces earlier in life and the teeth slowly moved out of alignment again. The dentist will basically shave the teeth to help them align properly once more.
Veneers are plates that are placed over natural teeth to give them an even appearance. Usually the dentist shaves away some of the natural tooth to allow the veneer to adhere to the tooth. Veneers will work for certain crooked smiles, but it will not work for turned teeth or teeth that are resting on top of each other.
Advanced Lightwire Functionals
ALFs are a new form of braces that looks similar to a retainer. The wire is adjusted inside the mouth so that the teeth are gradually positioned into the correct place. This procedure focuses on aligning the entire jaw, rather than simply moving teeth. The gentle pressure is less painful than traditional braces.
Cosmetic dentistry is popular in today’s world, because everyone wants to look and feel a little better. If you missed out on braces as a child, and feel that straight teeth would improve your life today, there are still plenty of ways to straighten your teeth that have minimal impact on your life.