The Aligner Revolution

Posted by: Charlie Burrows

Why Are More Adults Getting Braces?


It is now a lot more common than it used to be, to see adults wearing braces, whether it’s older teenagers or full grown adults. More and more adults are using aligners to resolve minor issues such as misalignment and over-bite. Many people choose braces for the aesthetic benefits they give after treatment but it’s actually beneficial for overall dental health and a patients oral hygiene to have straightened teeth rather than crooked teeth, which can cause more bacteria build-up.

Knowledge is a major factor in how many adults are now choosing to wear braces and aligners. Over the years we have become more educated about our dental health and what we should and shouldn’t be doing but we have also become more demanding of ourselves when it comes to how we look, even if it means wearing something which historically, has always stood out. Patients in their 30s and 40s are now wearing aligners to fix common problems with crooked teeth but it helps that they don’t carry the stigma they used to. 

The end result is often a preferable and worthwhile sacrifice for wearing them but of course even that has become less stressful for many patients. The fact is that with advanced technology available now, it’s less invasive and also doesn’t impact patients self image concerns when it comes to wearing clear aligners.


What are aligners?

Clear aligners are used for straightening teeth but unlike older style braces, they are clear and near-invisible, removing the main issue of braces; the unattractive sight of metal rows on teeth.  Due to the unsightly nature of braces unfortunately, many young adults avoided having them fitted, even though they probably needed them to improve their crooked teeth.

With invisalign aligners, this is no longer a concern as these clear aligners are near-invisible and they are perfect for helping to correct orthodontic issues. Transparent and removable, they are extremely effective and with modern technology advancements in orthodontic treatments, patients can feel less self conscious about necessary fittings, such as aligners.


The Invisalign Process

Normally, patients would have their mouth scanned in order to create the fitting for the size of the mouth and teeth. Coloured brackets are used to attach the aligner to the teeth, to ensure stability and that there is no movement. Then it’s a case of having monthly visits for regular check-ups. Following treatment, which can last as long as 12 to 18 months, they are removed.


Why now?

The common assumption was that only children and young adults have braces fitted to fix their crooked teeth however, as described above, with advanced technology and solutions such as Invisalign available to more people, it’s more common to see older people now wearing them.

 This could be because adults, in their 50s and 60s for example, may not have had access to this type of treatment when they were younger. More dentists are reporting that adults are taking up aligners to resolve their dental problems and although we are as a nation, more body conscious than ever before, the Invisalign aligners are ideal for discreet, confidence boosting treatment. The available treatments which have advanced in dentistry are not just in brace technology either, with tooth coloured fillings available which can help you smile with confidence too. Everything seems to be designed with comfort and image-awareness in mind, which makes sense; if patients are embarassed or nervous about treatment solutions like these then the adoption rate would be much lower and we could end up with an ongoing health crisis.


Oral Health Depends on Treatments

Poor oral health can be detrimental to overall health in the long run and that’s why it’s recommended to ensure you brush regularly, with flossing or interdental brushing and maintaining good oral hygiene. However, crooked teeth can actually bring on more oral problems than most people think. It can cause bacteria build-up between slanted teeth which in turn, can create gum problems and eventually gum disease. They can also cause problems with jaw muscles and headaches from excessive wear and tear. Ultimately, crooked teeth can often be because of genetics but malnutrition is also a factor.

Aligners are effectively a solution for not only resolving aesthetic issues with teeth but also to help maintain good oral hygiene and prevent problems in the future which can seriously impact your overall health.

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