Dental braces are wire-based appliances that are used to correct crowded and misaligned teeth or jaws. Many people who need dental braces get them during their early teenage years, but adults also can benefit from wearing braces. The goal of dental braces is to properly align your teeth and jaws to create and maintain an even bite and pleasing smile.
For minor corrections, another option is a series of customized, removable appliances called clear aligners or “invisible braces.” They can be more expensive than fixed braces, but may have a more acceptable appearance to some adults. Clear aligners may be effective with regular use, however many people need fixed braces to properly correct their dental problems.
Modern materials and technologies make the experience of having dental braces much more comfortable than in the past.
- 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.