Having braces as an adult can be annoying, especially if you work in a field where your appearance is very important. However, less traditional and more cosmetically acceptable options tend to cost more and have their own issues. Which one to choose — traditional braces or something like Invisalign — depends on your day-to-day life.
The good news about traditional braces is that those clunky, gray metal brackets and space-alien-like headgear of your youth are really no more. Most braces use transparent or whitish brackets and bands that blend more easily with the appearance of your teeth. Some orthodontists offer tooth-colored wires, too. Traditional braces are also more affordable than options like Invisalign.
However, traditional braces still interfere with eating; you have to dice apples, for example, instead of biting right into a whole one. You may have to deal with pokes from wires and return visits to the orthodontist to get those wires adjusted.
In Invisalign, you have a set of trays similar to tooth-whitening trays that you wear constantly, taking them out only to eat and brush your teeth. Because the trays are removable, you can eat normally and don’t have to cut harder foods into tiny pieces. You can also remove the trays before taking pictures. Another advantage is that brushing is a lot easier — you’re not trying to maneuver the brush around any brackets.
However, you have to be careful not to lose the trays. The trays can also make it harder to speak until you get used to having the trays in your mouth. And of course, there’s the cost.
If you need braces, talk to your orthodontist and dentist about the available options. Your orthodontist wants your treatment to succeed and will help you choose the best one.