There's a common misconception out there that traditional braces are only viable for the young. Once you've reached a certain age, it's essentially off the table as a treatment option— which often prevents people from seeking necessary dental work in the first place.
This is entirely incorrect. Braces are more than worth it for adults for a wide range of different reasons.
For starters, traditional braces are an incredibly effective way to correct issues like a bad bite. It's also a perfect opportunity to prevent the further development of health issues that can rear their ugly heads at any age, including but not limited to things like earaches, chewing problems, headaches, bone erosion, chronic jaw pain, TMJ, face pain and many others.
Traditional braces also bring with them a number of cosmetic benefits - particularly in that you will finally get to enjoy that exceptional smile you've always wanted for yourself. This, coupled with the higher self-esteem that you'll have after treatment has finished, make it a worthy choice for many, many people out there.
Timeframe For Adult Braces
One of the most important things to understand about traditional braces is that the timeframe for treatment will actually vary depending on the specifics of your situation. Things like your own unique bite issues and needs will absolutely impact how long you have to wear them.
Having said that, most adults wear traditional braces for approximately two years.
Oral Hygiene with Braces: What You Need to Know
As is true in general, oral hygiene is absolutely essential once you have been fitted with traditional braces.
This is because it's far too easy for food particles to become trapped inside and around the brackets and wires, which can lead to a host of uncomfortable issues down the road.
But don't worry— managing your oral hygiene while wearing braces isn't nearly as difficult as it sounds. During your initial appointment, Dr. Shih will go over in great detail all of the effective brushing and flossing techniques you can use depending on which particular type of braces you choose.
Foods To Avoid With Braces
As stated, certain types of food particles can become trapped inside the brackets and wires of your braces, thus leading to additional oral health issues moving forward. Likewise, there are types of foods that can damage or even outright dislodge the brackets and/or the wires, thus unnecessarily delaying your treatment due to an issue that could have otherwise been avoided.
All of this is to say that there are absolutely certain types of food that you should avoid while wearing braces, so these dietary restrictions are ones that you should be aware of before you make your decision.
Overall, you should try to limit (or eliminate) your intake of very hard foods like hard candy, for example. Very crunchy foods like nuts or pretzels are also not recommended. In general, you should probably avoid any type of food that you need to bite into for the duration of your treatment, with apples being a classic example.
So yes, traditional braces will bring with them something of a lifestyle change depending on your diet and what you like to eat. But again, when you finally get to see that perfect smile after your treatment has finished, you'll come to the same conclusion that most people do: all of that effort was more than worth it in the long-run.