Over the last 15 years, braces have evolved and are now clearer and more aesthetically pleasing. Since the brackets of the braces are smaller and no longer resemble train tracks running across your teeth, it is easy to understand why many adults have opted for adult orthodontics. However, many people are still unsure about braces, so here are the answers to a few of the most common orthodontic questions that patients ask:
I had braces as a child. Why do I need them again as an adult?
If you don’t wear a retainer as recommended, or if your jaw has grown wider since your orthodontic treatment, your teeth might return to its original position, causing you to need braces again. Orthodontists have recently realized that retainers need to be worn much longer than previously recommended, to prevent teeth from moving back to the way it was before the orthodontic treatment. This means that even adults who followed the orthodontist’s instructions as a child may require braces again.
Why do adults choose to get orthodontic treatment?
As we grow older, our teeth begin to shift due to injury, tongue thrust, or simply the natural growth of our teeth and jaws. Some adults who had straight teeth as children might find that their teeth have become overcrowded or crooked, causing jaw pain, difficulty cleaning their teeth properly, or a displeasing smile.
Other adults get orthodontic treatment because they had crooked or overcrowded teeth as children, but their parents couldn’t afford to pay for braces.
How do I adjust to life with braces?
You might experience some discomfort while speaking or eating after you receive your braces. Food and plaque can get trapped between your teeth and gums, so it is imperative that you follow a strict oral routine of brushing, flossing and rinsing twice a day. Good oral hygiene may also prevent decalcification and stains on teeth.
Which foods should I avoid?
Avoid hard foods such as candy, nuts, popcorn and raw carrots, as these can damage or dislodge braces. Other foods to avoid are caramel, toffee, gum and any other sticky food that might stick to the braces and the teeth, causing cavities or damage to the brackets.
Do I need to see my general dentist during orthodontic treatment?
Going to an orthodontist does not substitute a regular dental check-up. You have to schedule regular dental appointments with your dentist to ensure that you are receiving proper care and cleaning of your braces.
Contact us for an Orthodontist in Cape Town who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental irregularities.
Oral B “Braces for adults”
WebMD “Straight Talk about Braces for Adults”
Delta Dental “Can Adults Wear Braces?”