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Midlife (Dental) Crisis: What You Need To Know About Adult Orthodontics

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Orthodontic treatments may bring to mind images of unhappy teenagers, but braces aren't just for middle schoolers anymore. From 2010 to 2012 alone, over a million adults sought orthodontic treatments for problems from a misaligned bite to crooked teeth. Why are adults flocking to orthodontists in such record-setting numbers? If you're wondering about adult orthodontics, then here's what you need to know.

Fact #1: There are more choices than ever before

Technology moves at an amazingly rapid rate, and the medical field reaps many of its rewards. Advances such as 6-month braces kits (guaranteed to, as the name implies, straighten mild teeth problems in 6 months) and invisible braces (which give all the benefits of metal braces without the unsightly mess of wires and elastic bands) help to reduce some of the more cumbersome or annoying aspects of orthodontics while still giving patients the smile they've always wanted.

Fact #2: They're not just for crooked teeth

Braces are generally thought of as fixers for crooked teeth, but they help with a lot more than that. Jaw and bite issues can lead to stress in the mandibular joints and pressure headaches, which can disrupt daily life. In particular, disorders dealing with the temporomandibular joint -- often called TMJ disorders -- can be exacerbated and sometimes even triggered by an uneven bite, which puts pressure on the jaw. Getting your bite realigned can help ease the pressure on the TMJ, relieving the headaches, clicking noises, and reduced movement that are common with TMJ disorders.

In addition to joint issues, braces can also help to discourage you from clenching and grinding your teeth at night, due to the soreness in the morning that results from grinding or clenching while wearing braces. The retainer that is normally molded and given to you after braces can also act as a sort of guard, protecting your teeth from the harm that could be caused by poor nighttime dental habits.

Fact #3: Braces help keep your teeth cleaner

Your teeth tend to get more stained and harder to clean as you get older, but did you know that part of that can be attributed to overcrowded or crooked teeth? Misaligned teeth can trap plaque and food bits more easily than straight teeth, helping to cause more damage to your smile. Braces can smooth out your teeth, keeping them cleaner with very little effort on your part. You'll also avoid possible gastrointestinal problems that can crop up from not being able to chew your food completely due to a misaligned bite.

For more information about the great benefits of braces, contact a company like Port Orchard Dental Care Center.