Adult Orthodontics: is it Too Late to Get Braces?

Orthodontic work can give you a nicer smile, but dentist Dr Paul Major explains it may also improve tooth function, gum health and sleep apnoea. Today there are more treatment options than ever before. Here are three of the more popular.

Adult Orthodontics: is it Too Late to Get Braces?
photo: istock

Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are attached to the back of your teeth instead of the front. Because the backs of teeth have a lot of individual variability, they’re custom made.
PROS They don’t show. The custom design means a perfect fit.
CONS They can irritate the tongue and interfere with speech initially. Treatment is a bit slower than conventional braces.

Self-Ligating Braces
Each bracket has a tiny stainless steel or nickel-titanium alloy clip to hold the wire instead of a rubber band so a consistent pressure is maintained throughout.
PROS With no rubber bands, they’re easier to clean.
CONS With more delicate parts, they may be more prone to breakage.
FYI Self-ligating braces provide slightly less discomfort than traditional braces, but may be a bit slower to achieve results.

Clear Aligners
These clear plastic trays fit over your teeth, repositioning them as you replace each tray with the next one in your customised series.
PROS They are almost invisible and can be removed for eating and teeth cleaning, although you have to keep them on at night.
CONS They’re easy to remove, so require more compliance. If you take them out often, they won’t work to their full potential.
FYI They’re best suited to those whose teeth don’t need a lot of correction around the foundation but who may need their alignment adjusted.

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