If you’re an adult considering orthodontic care and braces, you’re not alone. More than 20 percent of people who wear braces are adults like you. If you happen to be among the ranks of adults who are considering getting braces again, you might feel very alone, and pretty irritated. Wearing braces once as a teenager was difficult enough, and the idea of re-upping your time with braces is understandably less than appealing.
Luckily, for many adult Texans, orthodontics has come a long way since you were a teenager. Now, there are options such as clear aligners—an almost-invisible alternative to metal braces—as well as lingual braces, which are worn behind your teeth. These are great options to consider for adults who aren’t excited by the idea of metal braces. The best way to know for sure whether you need braces, and to understand all of the options available to you, is to go in for a consultation in an orthodontic office. Only a trained orthodontist can help you to understand your orthodontic care needs and help you make the right decisions for your future dental health.
Your orthodontic specialist can help you determine if one of these options are right for you.
If you’re still trying to decide whether or not to seek advice from an orthodontist, here are some reasons you might need—and need to consider—getting braces again.
You didn’t wear your retainer.
Orthodontic care is a multi-step process, and it doesn’t stop with braces. But if you were a normal teenager, you probably didn’t put much emphasis on wearing your retainer. Braces help move your teeth into the optimal position and direct healthy growth of your jaw, along with overall dental health. But once your braces come off, wearing your retainer as directed by your orthodontist helps to encourage your teeth and jaw to maintain those new positions as your mouth continues to grow. Without your retainer, your teeth might have moved back to their original position.
You wore your retainer as directed, but it turns out you needed to wear your retainer longer.
Like other sciences and medicines, orthodontic care is constantly changing and improving. Recently, orthodontic specialists have discovered that patients need to wear their retainers for longer than previously believed. For some patients, continuous long-term use of a retainer may be necessary. This means that, even if you wore your retainer precisely as directed, you may not have worn it long enough, allowing your teeth to move and become crooked again.
Your mouth grew and changed over time, necessitating additional orthodontic care.
Getting braces when you’re young helps to direct the healthy growth and development of your teeth and jaw throughout your younger years. But your mouth continues to form and develop as you grow older, and for some, this can mean a complete repositioning of the teeth.
You had an injury or another dental problem.
For some adults who had braces, other dental problems—or even injuries—may necessitate repeat orthodontic care. Bruxism, or teeth grinding caused by stress, can put pressure on your teeth and jaw, causing permanent changes that need orthodontic support to fully correct over time. An injury to the mouth or jaw in a car crash or other serious accident can also have an impact on your teeth, making them crooked or otherwise in need of cosmetic braces or other orthodontic support.
All of these examples could be reasons why you should consider getting braces again. Don’t worry, your trip to the orthodontic office for a consultation won’t be in vain. Your visit will give you the opportunity to discuss your unique needs with an orthodontic specialist who understands why you might need braces a second time, and you will learn all of your available options.