If your teeth are a little crooked or crowded, you might think it’s too late to do anything about it. After all, when we think of braces, we think of that awkward teenager, too self-conscious to smile and show a mouthful of metal. But increasingly, people of all ages are asking their dentists to fit braces – or aligners – to help them achieve that perfect smile. Some dentists report that 50% of the patients they fit braces on are adults, with 60, 70 and even 80 years olds coming in for treatment. And the good news is that you don’t have to look like the geek from an eighties movie to achieve the desired look.
One of the main things that puts many adults off getting braces is how they look. However, nowadays, there are a number of different types of aligners available. The traditional wire model is one option, of course, but there are also newer designs made of ceramic and ‘invisible’ braces that fit behind the teeth.
The latest and most popular design, however, is made of clear plastic, meaning you can barely notice when someone is wearing it. These clear aligners are also removable so you never have to worry about getting food stuck behind. It also means that if you have an important meeting or event, you can take them out for a couple of hours.
Treatment involves using a series of clear aligners – each one made especially for you – that progressively push the teeth back into alignment. For straightforward cases, two or three aligners are usually sufficient and you can see a difference in as little as six weeks. But for teeth that have a lot of gaps or are very crowded treatment can take up to a year.
And whilst you might think that children would respond better to treatment, the truth is, teeth can be adjusted at any point in our lives. As long as your bones and gums are healthy then you can get an aligner fitted.
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