Dental Braces – Not Just For Children And Teenagers

Modern orthodontic treatment for older Burton patients

Some of our more ‘mature’ patients may think that dental braces are only worn by children and teenagers and that, if you have crooked teeth later on in life, you have missed out and will just have to put up with it. Although it is true that many teenagers do need to have braces fitted, this doesn’t exclude the rest of us from having our teeth straightened too.

Uneven teeth can cause quite a few problems. The most obvious of these being the fact that it affects your appearance, especially where unevenness is significant. This isn’t the only issue though as uneven teeth can cause wear and may even cause breakages due to the pressure being exerted where it shouldn’t be.  It is worth remembering too that even just a few crooked teeth can cause other teeth to ‘drift’ into any spaces, potentially causing an accumulation of crooked and uneven teeth.

Correcting an uneven smile

At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton upon Trent, we believe that everyone should be entitled to consider having a nicer smile and that includes our older patients too. Although we may envisage braces being worn by the younger generation, there are now a wide range of adult orthodontic treatments available which enable many of us to have a great looking, even smile. There are a number of different systems that are available to use, the choice of which will be most effective will be decided following your initial examination. A number of factors will be taken into account including the severity and position of any crooked teeth.

There are three main categories of orthodontics which can be used if you want to have your teeth straightened.

Traditional braces

These are probably the most widely known type of dental brace and the ones that some of us who were teenagers many years ago will remember, perhaps none too fondly!  Although this type of brace can correct crooked teeth effectively, the metal wires and brackets that are used make them very visible indeed. There is also an increased risk of food becoming trapped in the braces which can be quite difficult to remove. This difficulty in keeping your teeth clean can mean that problems like tooth decay and gum disease are more likely.

Cosmetic braces

Most cosmetic teeth braces are similar in some respects to traditional braces in that they also use a system of wires and brackets. The main differences here are that the materials used are much finer, without compromising strength, and are also produced in natural tooth colours. This means that they blend in much better with your teeth and it is less obvious that you are wearing them at all. Unfortunately, the potential problem of trapped food remains and you will need to be more diligent when you clean your teeth when wearing them.

In general, this type of brace tends to be used on the ‘social six’ teeth at the front of your mouth that you reveal when you smile. As these teeth are single rooted, the treatment period can often be relatively short compared to where teeth at the back of the mouth need correcting too.

Transparent aligners

This last type of orthodontics abandons the use of wires and brackets altogether and offers an additional degree of comfort for anyone wishing to have an attractive even smile. Instead of wires and brackets, they use a series of transparent ‘trays’ that fit directly over your teeth. These are made from impressions and scans that are taken of your teeth to ensure a comfortable fit. Like all braces, they work by applying gentle pressure to the teeth to encourage them towards their desired position. You will receive a series of these trays with each one designed to correct the positioning just a little more than the previous tray. Generally, each set is worn for a few weeks before being replaced until such a time that your teeth have been straightened.

There are a number of advantages to this system, in addition to the fact that their  transparency makes them less visible. They are also designed to be removed by the patient when they are eating a meal and when you need to clean your teeth. Not only does this make it easier to eat whatever food you like without worrying if it will become stuck in any wiring, but also means that it is easier to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

This type of system is generally used where a larger number of teeth, including rear teeth, need to be corrected.

Whatever your age, if you are unhappy with how your teeth look, whether uneven, discoloured or damaged, Mike Allen’s Dental Practice is here to help you to restore your smile. Simply call our Burton dental clinic to arrange an appointment to see one of our dentists on 01283 845345. We look forward to seeing you!