Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. In fact, a lot of the orthodontic patients we see at Greenspoint Dental in Houston are adults!
Being that a lot of adults didn’t have access to an orthodontist growing up, or their parents just couldn’t justify paying for braces, adulthood is a great time to take your oral health into your own hands. Our Houston providers see patients in their 30s, 50s, and even 80s who are finally taking steps to achieve the straighter smile they always wished they had. Nobody is ever “too old” to straighten their teeth.
If you’re still feeling like the underlying motivation to get braces isn’t one where you can justify seeing an orthodontic provider, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind:
Crooked Bites Can be a Real Headache
Do you suffer from migraines, frequent headaches, or TMJ disorder? One of the biggest contributing factors could be your crooked teeth.
When your teeth bite together or you’re chewing throughout the day, teeth need to come into contact with each other in a certain manner. If that relationship doesn’t happen, your jaw needs to modify its movement so that the teeth can fully occlude (bite against each other.) Gradually, these tiny modifications really begin to strain the muscles and joint around your temporomandibular (jaw, or “TMJ”) joint.
Now picture yourself months down the road, after having to modify your jaw movement thousands of times each day. Eventually, the abnormal use is going to catch up with you. Most people notice this as muscle fatigue or headaches around their TMJ. Wearing a splint can help to alleviate some of the pain if you’re prone to grinding, but it won’t eliminate the problem if it’s caused by a bad biting relationship.
Here’s where braces come in: as the teeth are realigned, your jaw re-learns how to bite and chew. Those muscles that were being strained or overused can now function normally, preventing them from becoming fatigued. That’s exactly why so many people with TMJ disorder benefit from undergoing orthodontic treatment with our Houston dentists!
Protecting Your Investments
Maybe you’ve had a lot of dental work done in the past. Whether it’s a dazzling set of porcelain veneers or a few crowns on your back teeth, you want those restorations to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, a crooked or misaligned bite isn’t going to function the way a “normal” bite should. As such, pressure points can cause specific teeth or your existing restorations to wear down, wear out, or even fracture. If you’re prone to clenching and grinding, it’s even worse!
Using orthodontic appliances to bring your bite into a harmonious relationship can remove the excessive strain and pressure to key points throughout your mouth. When it does, your existing dental work and healthy teeth can last longer without needing to be repaired so often.
You might almost compare it to having your tires unbalanced on your car. The more you drive it, the more severe that abnormal wear becomes on your tire tread. It can cause the whole car to drive differently, and you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. Getting all four wheels balanced means that your tire will last the time that it should, without throwing the others off so much.
Is your bite unbalanced? Here are just a few things to look for:
- “Flat” or worn-down teeth
- Crowns that are chipping away
- Fillings that keep falling out
- A jaw that is sore, clicks, or pops
- Teeth that feel sharp to your tongue
A Confidence Builder
It goes without saying, but having a beautifully straight smile will — by nature — make you want to smile more frequently. When you show off your pearly whites in social environments or at work, it makes a great impression. From having more friends to scoring that next promotion inside of your company, getting braces is actually an investment in your future personal life.
After straightening their teeth, many adults tell our Houston dentists that they wish they had done so sooner. From the emotional to the psychological impacts a beautiful smile can have, the results alone are life changing. The payoff is more than worth the sacrifice of wearing braces for a short length of time.
A Comprehensive Approach to Better Oral Health
When your teeth are misaligned, crowded, or crooked, it makes them more challenging to clean. Even if you have impeccable oral hygiene and floss every day, there are going to be some areas that just naturally harbor more bacteria. As a result, those teeth are at a significantly elevated risk to develop both cavities and periodontal disease.
In fact, orthodontic treatment is considered to be an effective way for individuals to address problems like chronic tooth decay and gum disease. By aligning their teeth and eliminating those “hiding places” for bacteria, it’s easier to care for and maintain your oral health as a whole.
Short Term Ortho is Always an Option
You’re completely set against wearing braces for a year. You say, at the most, you’re willing to give it three to six months…but that’s it. Ok, while that might not be enough time to realign your entire bite, it’s still enough time to make a big impact on your teeth.
We call short-term braces “cosmetic” orthodontics. That is, they serve an aesthetic purpose as opposed to a functional one. Usually, that means just straightening the teeth at the front of your mouth…the ones people see when you smile in photos.
For people who have generally healthy bites and no major dental concerns, “fast” braces treatments are usually completed in about three months.
Recovering from a Missing Tooth
Let’s say you’ve lost a tooth and eventually plan to get an implant. Those weeks turn into months, and those months turn into years. What’s happened in the meantime? The rest of your teeth have started to shift all out of place, creating a chain-reaction across your entire smile.
You had no clue this would happen. In fact, now you’re ready to get your implant but the dentist says there’s not enough room. At this point, your best option may be to straighten and realign your other teeth so that everything is back in place. Your orthodontic provider can even make it so that the space is still open where your missing tooth once stood, so that an implant can be installed at the completion of your treatment.
“Metal Mouth” is No Longer an Excuse
At Greenspoint Dental in Houston, our orthodontic providers have alternatives to conventional metal braces. For instance, you might decide that Invisalign is the way to go — with completely removable, clear orthodontic aligners — or opt for a ceramic orthodontic system, with brackets that blend in with your teeth! Both of these alternatives are extremely effective.
Plus, if you opt for alignment systems (Invisalign) for your treatment, you can still eat or drink whatever you want. These removable braces give you the freedom to:
- Take your aligners out during meals, so that nothing breaks
- Brush thoroughly and floss without additional oral hygiene aids
- Make it seem as if you’re not wearing braces at all
- Whiten your teeth at the same time, if you like
- Enjoy shorter, fewer follow-up visits with your orthodontic provider
Nobody’s Smile is Identical to the Next
Everyone’s orthodontic experience is unique. Maybe you have one rotated tooth or didn’t wear your retainer in college. But one thing is for certain: the way you straighten your teeth isn’t going to be the same as your neighbor’s. You need an orthodontist or orthodontic dentist who treats your case uniquely…mapping out a game plan from the very beginning, so that you know exactly what to expect before you even start the treatment.
So maybe your friend got braces or Invisalign and they told you it was a huge headache. Did they keep their appointments? Did they wear their aligners as directed? The success of your treatment greatly depends on how well you comply with the home care instructions. Being sure to wear all of your appliances appropriately and care for them as directed will ensure the best outcome possible.
Book a Consultation. It Won’t Hurt a Bit!
At Greenspoint Dental in Houston, we’re happy to sit down with you, discuss your aesthetic concerns and review which alternatives might be appropriate to help you finally capture the straighter smile that you deserve. During your consultation, we’ll go over what needs to be achieved with your bite, likely take a set of x-rays for further evaluation, and present a couple of different options for you to choose from. You have just as much input on the experience as we do.
Ready to get started? Call our in-house orthodontic team and enjoy convenient visits right here in our Houston family dental office. Flexible financing programs are available, so that you can straighten your teeth without blowing the monthly budget! Ask us how.