Answers to Questions Most Adults Have About Getting Braces for Themselves

Posted on: 14 March 2016


You're almost always able to get braces even when you're an adult, as long as the bones of your jaw are strong enough to support the constant tightening of the wires around the braces. This can mean a more attractive smile overall and in some cases, a healthier mouth. Sometimes very crooked teeth will result in inadequate support for the upper jaw, resulting in stiff muscles and soreness around the head and even the shoulders. Whatever your reasons for thinking of getting braces as an adult, here are some things you should know.

1. Will the braces affect my overall appearance?

The straightening of your teeth can affect your appearance in ways you may not realize, as straightening the teeth can also mean reshaping the jawbone. In turn, the jaw line may become more prominent or the shape of your face may change as well, going from an oval face to square or vice versa, depending on your bone structure. Although it's unlikely that braces will change your appearance so much that it would be bothersome, you might discuss with your orthodontist the extent of change you can expect, depending on how crooked your teeth are and how much they will need to be moved to be straightened.

2. Can braces be put over capped or bonded teeth?

In most cases, braces can be put over capped or bonded teeth without any concern. The braces will nudge the tooth underneath the cap or bonding material into place, and the cap or bonding will simply go with it. However, your orthodontist should examine the cap or bond to note if it's in good shape and won't chip or crack when the braces are applied, so always point these out to him or her during your initial examination.

3. Do adults need to wear headgear?

Headgear may be prescribed with braces to pull back a protruding upper jaw, often in patients with severe overbites. This gear may be needed for adults who are getting braces, depending on their reasons for braces and the alignment of their teeth. If teeth are being extracted before braces are put on, headgear may be needed to keep surrounding teeth from setting into that open pocket in the gums. If you're concerned about headgear, ask your orthodontist, such as Perfect Smiles Orthodontics, if it would be needed and for how many hours per day so you know what to expect when getting your braces.