Adult Braces: What Are Your Options?

Braces aren't just for kids. Adults are getting these orthodontic devices in record numbers. Between the years 2012 and 2014, the number of people over the age of 18 seeking orthodontic treatment rose by 16 percent, according to research by the AAO. That's 1,460,000 patients. If you're soon to be one of the growing number of adults getting orthodonture, check out what your options are when it comes to straightening your smile.

Traditional Metal Brackets and Wires

Those metal braces that you remember from your youth are still around. These use brackets that are attached to your teeth and wires. Even though they may look like the braces of old, modern orthodontics have come a long way. Unlike the big brackets that were used years ago, today's version is much smaller. That's not the only change in the metal bracket and wire version. Heat-activated arch wires use your own body heat to move your teeth quickly and with less discomfort than traditional wires. Even though this type of device is majorly noticeable it's also typically the most affordable.

Clear Trays

If you don't want a mouth filled with metal, clear trays offer an almost invisible option. These clear plastic aligners work to move your teeth gradually, using a series of trays. Along with being barely noticeable, you can remove the trays to eat, play sports or for any other reason. That doesn't mean you can take them out and keep them out for long periods of time. But, removing them periodically for shirt amounts of time isn't likely to ruin the teeth-straightening process.

Lingual Braces

This option looks just like the bracket and wire version. So what's the difference? Instead of attaching them to the front of your teeth, the orthodontist puts them on the insides. This is ideal for patients who don't want to show their braces off at all. Even though other people won't notice them, you will. They often take longer to get used to and are more difficult to keep clean. That said, the trade-off is often worth it when it comes to how your smile looks during the orthodontic process.

Ceramic Options

If you don't mind the bracket and wire type of set-up, but are looking for something that's less visible, these may be the right choice for you. Ceramic braces use brackets and wires. But, the brackets are clear. Instead of metal, they're made from a transparent ceramic material. This makes them less noticeable than the traditional type.

Adults wearing orthodontic devices is becoming increasingly more common. If you're looking for a straighter smile and healthier mouth, you have plenty of choices. From traditional metal braces to almost invisible versions, you have an array of options that your orthodontist can help you to pick from.