Although we usually think of braces as a hallmark of teenage years, there are many reasons that adults could benefit from a straighter smile. The perks of aligning your pearly whites go far beyond vanity. Braces align your bite, enhancing your ability to chew food and even alleviating some speech impediments. Straight teeth are much easier to clean; better brushing and flossing reduces the potential for cavities and periodontal disease.
However, for many adult patients, the idea of wearing braces carries a sort of stigma. The team at Falmouth Dental Arts encourages all of our patients to have a healthy smile. We want to help you at every step of the journey, no matter your age! Let’s take a look at the three major types of dental braces:
- Conventional: Conventional braces consist of a single bracket, mounted to the front of each tooth with dental cement. Wire is strung through the brackets, and the shape and tension of the wire gradually moves teeth to the desired, aligned shape. Brackets can be metal, clear, or ceramic. Conventional braces boast the shortest average treatment time. However, they also are the most noticeable of the three types of braces, which can be a deterrent for some patients. With customizable rubber band options and shiny silver, conventional braces can add some extra sparkle and flair to your smile. A healthy mouth is the best accessory of all!
- Lingual: Lingual braces apply the same general concept to orthodontic alignment: brackets are cemented to the teeth, and metal wires work to straighten teeth. However, lingual brackets are cemented to the back of the tooth, not the front. This option eliminates the immediate image concerns. However, because they require a little more customization and time than conventional braces, lingual braces are typically the most expensive brace option.
- Aligners: Like a perfect mold of your teeth, aligners are customized clear trays made from an elastic thermoplastic material. Aligning treatments consist of multiple removable trays and enamel-colored “buttons” which are affixed to your teeth. The buttons allow the trays to snap into place and gradually leverage your teeth into the desired configuration. Typically, trays are switched every two weeks. However, aligners require the highest degree of patient discipline because their success relies on the patient remembering and keeping the trays in place for most of the day (typically 20-22 hours per day). Since they require more responsibility, aligners are a good option for adults. Many adults prefer aligners because the clear material is much less visible than conventional options.
Invisalign is the most recognizable brand of dental aligners. Falmouth Dental Arts now offers Invisalign treatment for our patients. If you think that you could benefit from braces of any kind, discuss the options with your doctor during your next visit. They’ll be happy to discuss the pros and cons of each option with you. If you are a candidate for Conventional or Lingual braces, you will be referred to one of the trusted local orthodontists.
Please note: our office opened on June 1 with new protocols and procedures in place to keep you and our staff safe. You can also read the full list of these updates on our COVID Protocol Page, easily found in the top menu bar of our website, so you know what to expect before your next appointment. If you are overdue for your appointment, rest assured we will be in touch soon as we catch up with our backlog. We do look forward to seeing you again. Thank you for being our patient!