A top den­tal spe­cial­ist an­swers ques­tions about adult den­tal braces

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr Howard Holmes

IF you’re con­sid­er­ing or­thodon­tic treat­ment as an adult, you’re not alone. Re­cent re­search con­ducted by the Aus­tralian So­ci­ety of Orthodon­tists (ASO) re­vealed that over a third of Aus­tralians (39%) don’t like their teeth. Not sur­pris­ingly, over the last five to ten years there’s been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of adults un­der­go­ing treat­ment.

Or­thodon­tic treat­ment has come a long way since the days of big, chunky me­tal braces and the stigma once associated with hav­ing braces is all but gone. If you’ve ever con­sid­ered hav­ing or­thodon­tic treat­ment to fix your crooked teeth as an adult but you’re un­sure where to start, here are the top five ques­tions asked about adult braces and adult or­thodon­tic treat­ment in gen­eral:

1. What are my treat­ment op­tions?

Con­tem­po­rary or­thodon­tic treat­ments are de­signed to be as un­ob­tru­sive and prac­ti­cal as pos­si­ble so you can get on with your life. While the smaller me­tal braces used nowa­days are still an ex­tremely ef­fec­tive way of straight­en­ing teeth and achiev­ing a per­fect smile, or­thodon­tic treat­ment op­tions for adults now in­clude Ce­ramic (clear) Braces, Lin­gual (inside) Braces and re­mov­able Clear Align­ers (for ex­am­ple In­visalign / Clear Cor­rect and oth­ers). You can read more here.

2. How long will treat­ment take?

The av­er­age time frame an adult will wear braces or align­ers can be any­where be­tween six months to three years, de­pend­ing on the type of treat­ment you choose and the sever­ity of your pre­sent­ing prob­lems.

3. Will it af­fect my speech?

While it’s com­mon for lin­gual (inside) braces to cause a slight lisp at first, we can as­sure you that reg­u­lar me­tal and ce­ramic braces and clear align­ers won’t im­pede your speech.

4. Can I still drink red wine and en­joy my favourite foods?

Many of us en­joy a nice drop of wine now and then, but it’s high in acid­ity and can erode the enamel on your teeth when con­sumed fre­quently. Both cof­fee and red wine can cause slight dis­coloura­tion of ce­ramic braces so con­sump­tion should be kept to min­i­mum if you want the braces to stay nice and clear. Mak­ing sure you reg­u­larly brush your teeth and drink plenty of wa­ter will also help avoid this stain­ing.

Slight mod­i­fi­ca­tion in diet may be re­quired, but that won’t nec­es­sar­ily be a bad thing since most of the foods to avoid are usu­ally sticky, sug­ary treats any­way! Ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian So­ci­ety of Orthodon­tists’ guide­lines, the fol­low­ing should be avoided:

• Hard sweets • Gum • Nuts • Pop­corn • Some raw veg­eta­bles such as car­rots (how­ever steam­ing is to­tally fine).

5. Is it worth it?

Ab­so­lutely! Not only does or­thodon­tic treat­ment straighten the teeth, cre­ate con­fi­dence and a more pleas­ant ap­pear­ance, it can also help pre­vent other long term oral health is­sues such as un­even or ac­cel­er­ated tooth wear and gum dis­ease. So, what are you wait­ing for?

Whether you’re con­sid­er­ing tra­di­tional braces or a more in­vis­i­ble al­ter­na­tive to braces, only an or­tho­don­tist has the train­ing, experience and ex­pert knowl­edge to be able to of­fer you the full suite of treat­ment op­tions and give you the con­fi­dence you’re in the best hands. Book a con­sul­ta­tion with an ASO reg­is­tered spe­cial­ist Or­tho­don­tist to find out which is right for your treat­ment needs and lifestyle.

Dr. Howard Holmes BDSc (Hons) MDSc (Ortho) AOB Cert FADI FICD is a reg­is­tered spe­cial­ist or­tho­don­tist, and spokesper­son for the Aus­tralian So­ci­ety of Orthodon­tists (ASO). For more in­for­ma­tion on the ASO, please visit:

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