Around 50 percent of the population would greatly benefit from some degree of orthodontic treatment. Braces are used for both realigning the teeth and correcting a jaw problem, and are the most popular form of treatment. They were once used almost exclusively on adolescents but now are growing number of adults are choosing to wear braces to improve how they look.
Metal braces can effectively realign the teeth to create a straighter and more pleasing appearance. The flip side is that they are extremely uncomfortable when they are first put on. The patient will eventually become use to the braces and they should cause less irritation, but the wire will need tightening every few weeks which may necessitate a few days of taking pain killers to alleviate the pain again.
The other down side of metal braces is their unattractive appearance. In the past, many people who needed braces may have refused treatment because they feared they would be bullied. But recent advancements in technology have led to the development of invisalign (invisable) braces. They are made from clear plastic and fit neatly over the teeth so they are unnoticeable, and can also be removed to eat, drink and for teeth cleaning. Another advantage is they do not cause the pain that metal braces do.
The negatives of invisible braces are that they are only effective for minor problems with tooth alignment, and they can be more expensive than metal braces. This is because several invisalign braces need to be produced, with each one being used for just a few weeks, so that the teeth can slowly be coaxed into alignment. If you are in the UK, you will have to pay for private orthodontic treatment as only metal braces are available through the NHS.
Your third option is ceramic braces, and they are popular among adult patients. They are strong, stain resistant and blend in with the teeth so they are less noticeable than their metal counterparts. While they will still cause some discomfort, they are still much more comfortable and cause less irritation than metal braces.
What ever braces you choose, you will need to be particularly careful with your oral hygiene. Orthodontists recommend you avoid all fizzy, sugary drinks while treatment is still ongoing. Smokers may also want to quit the habit before paying out for expensive treatment, as nicotine can cause irregular yellow staining if you are wearing braces. A few sacrifices will be worth it when you see the results of your orthodontic treatment.