Often seen primarily in the mouths of teenagers, for years braces have been seen as a painful and embarrassing dental treatment reserved for children of a certain age and developmental stage. However, more and more people are undergoing teeth straightening treatments later in life, and the truth is braces are an appropriate teeth-straightening and bite-correcting method for people of all ages.
Things to consider
There are a few things to consider when getting braces as an adult, the first of which is to find out all the information you can while making your decision. If possible, get multiple opinions from dental professionals. A good place to start is by talking to your dentist; secondly, consult with an orthodontist to determine which type of braces will best suit you.
You can choose from traditional metal braces with brackets or clear braces that are shaped and feel like the traditional metal braces. Another option would be invisible braces such as Invisalign. As mentioned, consulting with your dentist and an orthodontist will help you to determine which route will be the best for you.
Where can I get treatment?
While orthodontic treatment is available for NHS patients, it is only an option for people under the age of 18 and who have a clear need for the treatment. If you are an adult wanting to have orthodontic treatment, you will have to pay out of pocket for it from either an NHS orthodontist or a private orthodontist.
What are the effects of wearing braces?
It is also important to consider the impact braces will have on your self confidence and self esteem. As with teenagers, wearing braces can be an emotionally painful experience, especially if one feels picked on or treated differently because of the dental treatment. While adults do not tend to face bullying from peers in the same way, adults with braces have reported dips in self confidence and self esteem while wearing braces. It is important to take this into consideration—your smile is often the first thing people notice when they see you.
One last thing to consider when thinking about braces is how long you would like to have them on for. Traditional metal braces can take up to four years to correct mouth problems, while new technology has led to an abundance of braces offering complete treatments in just months. Determine how fast and how intense you would like your treatment to be before making your final decision about getting braces as an adult.
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