Why it's done

Dental braces offer corrective treatment for:

  • Overcrowded or crooked teeth
  • Too much space between teeth
  • Upper front teeth that overlap the lower teeth too much — either vertically (overbite) or horizontally (overjet)
  • Upper front teeth that bite behind the lower ones (underbite)
  • Other jaw misalignment problems that cause an uneven bite

Proper alignment of your teeth and jaws may improve not only the appearance of your teeth but also the health of your mouth and the way you bite, chew and speak.

Adults and braces

If you're an adult with braces, you may need to wear them longer than a younger person would, but they can still produce similar results — for example, to correct crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw. Because your facial bones are no longer growing, however, there may be some problems that can't be corrected with braces alone.

March 09, 2016
References
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  2. Understanding your options. American Association of Orthodontists. https://mylifemysmile.org/. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  3. All about orthodontics. American Association of Orthodontists. https://mylifemysmile.org/why-you-should-get-orthodontic-treatment. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  4. Soft drinks and orthodontic treatment — A recipe for disaster. American Association of Orthodontists. https://mylifemysmile.org/why-you-should-get-orthodontic-treatment. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  5. Why do people get braces? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=w&iid=322&aid=1304. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  6. Can adults wear braces? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=c&iid=322&aid=1303. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  7. Guideline on management of the developing dentition and occlusion in pediatric dentistry. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. http://www.aapd.org/policies/. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  8. Chen W, et al. Root resorption of self-ligating and conventional preadjusted brackets in severe anterior crowding Class 1 patients: A longitudinal retrospective study. BMC Oral Health. 2015;15:115.
  9. Possible biomarkers for root resorption in people with braces. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchResults/ScienceBriefs/Archive/SNIB2009/August/RootResorption.htm#. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  10. Dowsing P, et al. Emergencies in orthodontics part 1: Management of general orthodontic problems as well as common problems with fixed appliances. Dental Update. http://www.dental-update.co.uk/issueArticle.asp?aKey=1353. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  11. Dowsing P, et al. Emergencies in orthodontics part 2: Management of removable appliances, functional appliances and other adjuncts to orthodontic treatment. Dental Update. http://www.dental-update.co.uk/articleMatchListArticle.asp?aKey=1366. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  12. Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 16, 2016.