Are you one of the many people who suffered through braces in your teenage years only to find that your teeth became crooked in adulthood? Or did you never get around to wearing braces and have lived with crooked teeth all your life?
It’s almost never too late to straighten your teeth. In fact, about 25 percent of orthodontic procedures are done on adults.
Straightening your teeth in adulthood is about much more than vanity because crooked teeth can wear down more quickly and affect your overall health, according to Rebecca Koenigsberg a dentist at Gallery 57 Dental in New York City.
Here are four things to know if you are thinking of straightening your teeth:
Crooked teeth pick up more stains. One of the main mechanisms for keeping teeth clean is the lip rubbing over them. When one tooth sticks out more than the others, it keeps the lip from rubbing over the front of the other teeth, and they stain faster.
All teeth wear over time, but crooked teeth can lead to uneven wear. Irregular bottom teeth will wear the edges of the top teeth, which becoming increasingly jagged as time goes by.
Crooked teeth can trap bacteria. When teeth are in the proper position, fewer bacteria accumulate, and the gums are healthier. Straight teeth are also easier to clean and trap less food.
Metal wire braces straighten adult teeth just as well as teenagers’ teeth and can be the most cost effective way to align teeth.
However, many adults don’t like the look of braces, so clear orthodontics have become an increasingly popular choice for adults who want straighter teeth. These aligners are practically invisible. The most popular brand for clear aligners is Invisalign, though other brands are available.
How Invisible Straightening Works
It’s easy to get started. Your dentist will fit you with a series of clear aligners that shift your teeth slightly until they are straight. Patients are usually given two or three sets of aligners so that they only have to see the dentist every six weeks. You can remove them at any time, but they need to be worn about 20–22 hours a day.
Time and Cost
Treatment time is about the same as with traditional braces, taking anywhere from three months to a year and a half. The cost is also similar to traditional braces, ranging from $3,000 for minor tooth movement to $6,500 for more complicated cases.
Beautiful, straight teeth are an option at any age. Call your dentist for more details on obtaining the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
This article was sponsored by Gallery 57 Dental.
Gallery 57 Dental
24 W. 57th St., Suite 701
(Between 6th & 5th Avenues)