While traditional metal braces may be fine for teen-agers and young adults, at this stage in your adult life, metal braces may not be a viable option. But proper balance lets your jaw move smoothly along its joints, and allows teeth to evenly disperse the pressure of your bite to minimize impact and avoid damage.
Occlusion describes the manner in which your teeth fit together. When your jaw is closed, your upper front teeth should protrude ever so slightly in front of your lower front teeth. The chewing surfaces of your teeth should also align comfortably with the chewing surfaces of their opposites.
Malocclusion describes teeth that aren’t aligned properly. When imbalanced, teeth can become excessively worn. The jaw’s joints can also become damaged, leading to debilitating discomfort in the form of TMJ disorder.
Ideally, teeth grow straight up and down in their sockets and are properly aligned. But that is not always the case. Determining the nature of your malocclusion is the first step to effective orthodontic treatment, and will determine the extent of treatment you’ll need.
Upper front teeth should naturally extend between 3-5 mm in front of their bottom counterparts. Patients whose front teeth extend above 5 mm suffer from a condition commonly known as an overbite.
If the lower teeth extend in front of the upper teeth, then the patient suffers from an underbite.
A crossbite describes when one or more teeth grow diagonally (at an angle) instead of vertically.
Discrete Braces for Adults
Many adult patients hesitate to start braces because they don’t want to wear metal brackets and wires on their teeth. Orthodontics by Crutchfield offers discreet adult orthodontic options, including OBC Clear, Suresmile Clear aligners, and Invisalign clear braces that trade brackets and wires for clear plastic aligners.
All clear aligners consist of smooth, comfortable acrylic. This allows patients to participate in sleek and virtually invisible orthodontic treatment. To make these braces, technicians create a set of aligners that fit over teeth like a retainer. Each custom-made aligner should be worn for approximately two weeks and will move your teeth in increments. Total treatment can take 6-18 months.
Clear aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed for easy eating and daily hygiene.
Damon System is another revolutionary orthodontic technology that creates beautiful smiles in less time. No elastic or metal ties, the Damon Brace uses a passive, less friction system that facilitates faster tooth movement and enhances facial aesthetics without extraction or surgery.
Damon clear braces, on the other hand, are completely inconspicuous and use tie-less braces that don’t require tightening. They are gentler on the teeth but work just as fast, if not faster, than traditional braces. Because they require fewer adjustments, Damon clear braces require fewer visits and shorter treatment time.
The Damon Smile System is a great option offering clear, discrete brackets for some patients.
Don’t let your age discourage you from balancing your bite. We are happy to talk with you about your treatment options!
If you are curious or ready for braces, please come in for answers. Call our office at 703-263-0575.