Three Key Differences For Braces For Adults

Dentist Blog

So, you are an adult, and you now want to get braces to straighten your teeth. Okay, but are you aware that braces for adults are quite different than braces for children? In fact, there are some key differences that make the process a little more difficult for you now than if you had braces when you were younger. You should consider the following differences carefully and use them as you weigh your decision about getting braces.

You May Need to Pull a Tooth or Two

As a kid, your orthodontist would have installed what is known as a "spacer bar." This bar connected to two of your back molars, and had a bar stretching in between them. In the center of the spacer bar there was a rod that turned when an adult put the turn key pin into the hole in the center of the bar and turned it sideways or toward the back of your mouth. This made the bar push your teeth out toward the sides and expand the roof of your mouth.

As the roof of the mouth expanded, more room was created for the existing teeth and any other teeth that were due to erupt. Because a child's body and mouth are still growing at this point, making these adjustments in the mouth are not difficult at all. Fast forward to your present age as an adult, and there is no way to make an expander bar work because you are no longer growing! If your teeth are extremely crowded, the only way to create room is to pull a tooth (or two).

Progress Is Slower Because Your Teeth Have Already "Settled"

Once your mouth is at its full adult size, it is more resistant to any forceful changes your orthodontist makes. That means you should expect longer treatment times and slower progress than if you had had braces as a kid. If you are willing to accept the longer treatment program, then you can move ahead with the first steps of treatment.

You May Have to Wear Head Gear at Night and a Retainer Too

While you wear your adult braces, you may have to wear headgear. (Of course, this only applies if you opt for the less expensive, traditional metal braces.) When your treatment is complete and the brackets and wires are removed, you will have to wear a retainer for as long as your orthodontist prescribes it. This is often much longer than a child or teen wears their headgear and/or retainers because your teeth are more likely to slip back into their prior positions.  


24 March 2018