Braces for adults

The bite can affect several body systems simultaneously – musculoskeletal, digestive, and even respiratory. Its long-term violation leads to pathologies of posture, causes facial asymmetry, can cause problems with the gastrointestinal tract, or provoke sleep apnea. With age, the situation only worsens, so orthodontic treatment is necessary. But, in comparison with adolescent correction, bite correction in adults has several features.

How to put braces on an adult patient

The order of work and the method of treatment depend on the type and degree of deformities, the patient’s age, and the body’s characteristics. In addition to the orthodontist, several doctors can participate in the process, for example, an orthopedic dentist, a dentist-therapist, a surgeon, and an implantologist.

Braces for adults


In an adult, the processes of bone growth have already been completed, so if the cause of the pathology lies in the wrong side of the jaws, then braces are powerless – only orthognathic surgeons can solve this problem. In addition, the braces treatment process takes more time than correcting similar pathology in adolescence.

Patients after 17–18 years of age must undergo a complex preparatory procedure:

  • remove the “eights” (if any);
  • cure caries-damaged teeth;
  • cure periodontal diseases;
  • perform a professional cleaning and, if necessary, remineralize the enamel.

If the jaw is too narrow, sometimes it is necessary to remove one or 2-3 healthy teeth. This is an unpleasant and controversial moment, which, when treated in adolescence, can be avoided due to the effect on growing tissues. In addition, adult patients often have one or more missing teeth. In this case, it is necessary to install additional support structures to fix the braces.

The installation process itself includes several steps:

  1. They remove bacterial plaque, isolate the teeth from saliva and dry them.
  2. The enamel surface is treated with a special adhesive to improve the fixation of structures.
  3. Braces locks are attached to the vestibular surface of the crowns (the one adjacent to the lips). To do this, use dental cement, which is dried with an ultraviolet lamp.
  4. A metal arc is threaded into the installed locks, which, due to the memory effect, returns itself a predetermined shape and begins to create the necessary pressure on the teeth.

After installing the correction device, the patient must adhere to two basic rules related to hygiene and nutrition – treatment success largely depends on this.

First, take care of your teeth with braces should be especially careful. Locks tightly attached to the enamel easily retain food particles, which creates favorable conditions for the development of bacterial flora and the carious process. For the same reason, poor oral hygiene can be a contraindication to installing orthodontic systems.

Secondly, it is necessary to change the diet – after the installation of braces, you will have to give up solid foods, especially foods that create an increased load when biting or have a pronounced viscosity. Hard vegetables and fruits (apples, carrots), nuts, seeds, crackers, caramel, chewing gum, dried fruits, etc., are completely excluded from the menu. When used, the metal arc may move, or a separate bracket may fall off.

Braces for adults

In addition, it causes serious discomfort since, during chewing, the patient may experience pain, unpleasant pressure, and a feeling of loosening teeth. To minimize this effect, you should switch to soft foods. Various yogurts, mashed potatoes, jellies, liquid cereals and soups, and cottage cheese are suitable. As the teeth get used to the new design, the diet is expanded with soft fruits (bananas, melons, watermelons, etc.),

On a note! 

To exclude unaesthetic staining of enamel and structural elements with food coloring, limiting the consumption of tea, coffee, wine, dark berries, beets, and other pigment products is worth limiting. To preserve the enamel, it is desirable to exclude refined carbohydrates, sweet soda, and sour juices.

Why do you need elastic bands for braces?

The basis of systems for bite correction is an orthodontic arch, which through the locking part of the structure, creates a programmable pressure on the crowns of the teeth. In cases where the traction of the arc needs to be strengthened, special elastic bands for braces are additionally used. Their particularly strong and elastic structure creates additional pressure on the problem area, while the final result directly depends on the point of application of forces.

Braces for adults

There are several types of such rubber bands:

  • Ligatures – are included in the structure of the ligature bracket systems of the same name. They play the role of fastening elements between the dental plates and the arch itself.
  • Chains – used to create additional tension when correcting interdental spaces (trem and diastema). To do this, individual rings of the chain are attached to the dental plates of adjacent teeth of the problem area to form an additional force that brings the crowns together.
  • Traction for braces – to form a tight teeth closure when correcting the bite. They are attached to the crowns of different jaws to fix their correct joining with each other.

Unlike the ligatures and chains the orthodontist installs, the patient will have to learn how to put on and take off the traction on their own. They are not put on immediately but 5-6 months after the fixation of the orthodontic arch and are worn for at least 12 hours a day.

When are braces needed?

The whole point of braces is to create pressure on the teeth to align them along the line of the dental arch and form the correct closure of the jaws. Reasons for getting braces can be:

  • large interdental spaces;
  • crowded position of the crowns;
  • the uncharacteristic inclination of individual teeth from the main axis;
  • the presence of a gap when closing the upper and lower jaws;
  • visually noticeable displacement of the jaw forward or backward.

In adult patients, a characteristic reason for installing orthodontic systems may be prepared for prosthetics. It is prescribed in the presence of secondary deformations when, after tooth extraction, adjacent crowns move towards the vacant space and interfere with the installation of implants.

On a note! All contraindications to the treatment of bite with braces in adults are associated with the presence of serious acute or chronic processes. With special care, the bite is corrected for bone pathologies.

How long should I wear a mouth guard after braces?

The result of correction with bracket systems will have to be fixed for a long time as the displaced teeth return to their usual position. To do this, use special caps or retainers, which hold the crowns in place and allow the ligaments to get used to the new state.

An orthodontic cap is a removable structure worn for 10-12 hours a day (enough to wear at night) for 1-2 years. However, with a strong bite resistance, a 24-hour retainer can be shown with the removal only during meals and hygiene procedures.

Braces for adults

On a note! There are times when the retention apparatus has to be worn all your life. Otherwise, the teeth begin to move again to their usual position. This is possible with late orthodontic treatment (for example, in old age), when the ligaments lose their elasticity and ability to adapt to the tooth’s new position.

Result after braces

By changing the position of the teeth, braces affect the entire musculoskeletal system of a person. How pronounced these changes will be depends on the type and degree of deformations present. With serious deviations, a person’s appearance after correction can change beyond recognition. This is because the displacement of bones under the influence of orthodontic structures changes the tone of the muscles and, with them, the individual structures of the face – cheeks, cheekbones, nose, and chin. In other words, the face acquires its natural physiological form, namely:

  • the asymmetry of the oval of the face goes away;
  • the lip line is aligned;
  • the ratio of the face and chin is balanced;
  • the tip of the nose rises;
  • the cheekbones become taller and more pronounced.
Braces for adults

Minor changes may continue after the braces are removed. When the restored dentition begins to work correctly, the load on the musculo-ligamentous apparatus is evenly distributed. With a change in muscle load, the volume and shape of the muscles change. Mostly these changes are positive, but not everyone will like the new look.

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