When you think about braces, what type of image pops into your head? More than likely, you conjured up an image of an adolescent with a mouth full of metal. But, that’s no longer the case, at least not exclusively.
“Many used to think that braces were only for teens, almost a rite of passage,” says Dr. Nima Hajibaik. “But that isn’t always true anymore, as more adults are realizing the benefits braces can provide. In fact, adults make up nearly half of all orthodontic patients today.”
Why is that? Dr. Nima believes there may be a few reasons.
First, adults may not have had the best orthodontic treatment when they were children, if any at all. And if they did, they may have been lax about their follow-up care, such as retainer wear, following their treatment.
Another reason is to boost their self-esteem. Smiles are important – they are often the first impression we give to others, and if we hide ours because we don’t like it, what kind of a message is that sending to others?
But adults also realize that a smile is about much more than just aesthetics – a straight smile is a properly functioning smile, which means less oral health problems.
“Crooked and misaligned teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to decay,” says Dr. Nima. “Not only that, a misaligned bite can place abnormal wear on the teeth, leading to the possibility of teeth chipping and breaking. And all of that equals lots of time in a dentist’s chair.”
As more people are realizing the benefits of a straighter smile, we’re also seeing great leaps in braces technology. Gone are the days of metal mouths, and in are sleeker, smaller brackets that don’t stick out as much, along with increased options for ceramic, clear and invisible aligners. Specialists, such as the orthodontists at Orthodontics LA in Encino, design adult braces that look and feel great in any social setting.
“Today, there is an option that can fit in just about everyone’s lifestyle, and everyone’s price range,” says Dr. Nima. “Clear and invisible options are more standard now, so the prices are very similar to those of standard metal braces. But even those won’t make your smile stand out – they’re smaller and sleeker, and more efficient than ever before.”
Self—ligating brackets offer faster treatment times, meaning you can have your straight smile in no time. Lingual braces fit on the tongue side of teeth, making them almost invisible to the eye. And clear aligners, such as Invisalign, offer a comfortable way to straighten your teeth without impeding on your lifestyle, or letting everyone know.
If you’re ready to discover the power of a beautifully straight and properly functioning smile, contact Dr. Nima’s office today.