What you need to know about Adult Braces


There is increasing interest and demand for adult braces, and I get so many questions about braces I thought I would put it in this article for you all. I hope it helps, if there is anything I have missed out or you would like to know, please get in touch. x

What are adult braces?

Adult braces are braces designed to straighten teeth in adults. They may be no different to the ones that you would normally see teenagers wear (metal brackets and wires). There are also discreet options such as clear ceramic brackets and tooth coloured wires, removable braces and removable transparent positioners (clear aligners), or braces that fit behind the teeth and are totally invisible when you smile.

Some adult braces are designed to straighten only the front teeth, the teeth that you normally show when you smile, whereas others are for comprehensive treatment to straighten not only the front teeth but also to correct the bite.

Who wears adult braces?

Today, many adults make the decision to straighten their teeth, to improve their smile and boost their confidence. Some adults wear braces to improve the position of their teeth to improve the hygiene as it is easier to clean teeth that are straight. When teeth are crooked, it makes it difficult for the toothbrush to clean effectively, and plaque tends to collect in those areas. Some people had braces as teenagers but found that the teeth relapsed, and want them straight again. Other adults have braces before cosmetic treatment such as veneers and crowns. Straightening the teeth to get them into a more ideal position often reduces how much preparation to your natural tooth is required, which is better for the health of your teeth. It also can mean that your new veneers or other restorations last longer if the bite is corrected into a more favourable position.

Braces are no longer just for teenagers. Many celebrities have braces these days which has made it socially acceptable and commonplace. We have had several patients in their 60s who are having their teeth straightened.

Fearne Cotton proudly shows off her clear ceramic fixed braces

What’s the difference between the different types of braces?

A fixed brace consists of a brackets and wires that are fitted to the front of the teeth and cannot be removed (except by the dentist). You can have metal braces and metal wires (some people prefer these), or you can have clear plastic or clear ceramic braces with tooth coloured wires which are more discreet. The advantage of fixed braces is that treatment is usually quicker as there are no compliances issues.

Gwen Stefani wore a fixed metal brace to get her perfect smile

Niall Horan had clear ceramic braces to get his perfect smile - what a fantastic result

6 Month Smiles is a type of clear fixed brace designed to quickly straighten your teeth. Most cases finish in 6 months (hence the name) but some people finish their treatment in as little as 3-4 months. Some trickier cases can take upto 9-12 months.

For more complex cases that are likely to take 12+ months, it is better to have the stronger ceramic brackets or metal brackets.

Lingual braces are fixed braces fitted behind the teeth so that they are not visible at all when you smile. They can made from metal or custom made in gold. The benefit of these are that no one will know you are wearing braces.

Perrie Edwards shows us her lingual braces

A removable brace is one that you usually remove before eating and cleaning. Some removable braces are completely transparent (clear aligners) – these are very discreet and a great option if you are conscious about wearing a fixed brace.

I bet you never realised Justin Bieber was wearing clear aligners, a type of removable transparent brace

The Inman Aligner is a type of removable brace, which gently squeezes the teeth into position. It is designed to straighten a few front teeth, so it is great if you have mild crowding and want a quick result as they can straighten teeth in as little as 6-8 weeks.

How long will I need to wear adult braces for?

This depends on the complexity of your case, and what kind of changes you want to make to your smile and bite. Treatment can vary from as little as 6 weeks for simple cases or over 2 years for more complex cases.

How many appointments do I need?

After your initial consultation, you will require an appointment for the records, this usually involves taking photographs of your teeth, xrays, taking impressions and measurements. You will then need an appointment to fit the brace / aligner. You will need regular review appointments to check your progress and carry out any adjustments / tightening as necessary. Normally these are every 4-6 weeks. Once treatment is completed you will need to have an appointment to remove the brace and fit your retainers.

Do braces hurt?

Initially wearing a brace will be strange and a bit uncomfortable. The teeth can feel tender and you will want to eat soft foods initially. If you are wearing a fixed brace, sometimes you can feel the brackets or the wire rubbing on the inside of your cheek and you may get an ulcer which can feel sore. You can use orthodontic wax or silicone in these areas to cover the areas that are rubbing. You will find that your mouth quickly adapts and you will get used to them quickly.

What can I eat with braces?

When you have a fixed brace, you have to be careful to avoid hard and sticky foods as this can cause the brackets to break or debond from your tooth surface. This will slow down your treatment.

If you have a removable brace, there are no real dietary restrictions as you have to remove your brace before you eat but remember to clean your teeth before you wear the brace again. It is best to only drink water while you are wearing a removable brace and remove the brace if you drink any other beverages especially sugary drinks.

It is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene with every type of brace.

Will I need to wear retainers?

After all braces treatment, we advise retainers for life. This is usually in the form of a fixed retainer fitted discreetly behind the teeth, and removable retainers to wear at night time. This is to prevent the teeth relapsing and crowding again.

How much are adult braces?

The fee for braces treatment will vary depending on the complexity and the type of brace you choose. We offer many options and can help you find the best option for you. We also offer flexible payment plans including 12 months interest free finance making braces treatment affordable and accessible to more people.

If you have any other questions, please call us and one of our team will be happy to answer your queries.

CALL TODAY to book your free consultation on 0161 327 2878

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