Taking the plunge into adult braces

If a national TV newsreader has the confidence to undergo adult orthodontic treatment to straighten her teeth – so can you.

Last month the Nine Network’s A Current Affair host Leila McKinnon made a brave, life-changing decision to undergo orthodontic treatment to straighten her teeth and bite.

The 43-year-old had lingual (inside) braces applied to correct an anterior open bite, which meant she found it difficult to chew her food and was rapidly wearing away her back (molar) teeth. When she arrived back to work after the procedure she began to prepare for the night’s show. Before she knew it she was live on air – with a noticeable lisp.

Viewers quickly turned to social media to express their confusion as to why Leila’s speech was impaired. Some even thought she had had a cosmetic procedure, which is understandable because Leila’s braces are completely invisible.

But, Leila was quick to reply on Twitter telling her fans about her new inside braces, who in turn told her she was “really brave” and got behind her decision to undergo orthodontic treatment as an adult.

Even though she made light of her temporary lisp, Leila will be so grateful in the end when – after just a short period of her life – her teeth will be lovely and straight and her bite will be corrected so that her teeth will last a lifetime.

Your teeth are such an important and worthwhile investment in life and a great smile can do wonders for your confidence.  For those of you considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, here are a few tips and dispelled myths to get you started.

What are my treatment options

What are my treatment options?

Orthodontics has come a long way since the days of metal braces.  For a full run-down of options including invisible braces, click here.

How long will it take?

The average time frame an adult will wear braces can be anywhere between 6 months to three years, depending on the type of treatment you choose and the severity of your presenting problems.

Will it affect my speech?

While it’s common for lingual braces to cause a slight lisp, we can assure you that metal and ceramic braces and Invisalign® won’t impede your speech. 

Can I still drink red wine and coffee?

Many of us enjoy a nice drop of wine now and then, but it’s high in acidity and can erode the enamel on your teeth when consumed frequently. Both coffee and red wine could cause slight discolouration on parts of some of ceramic braces. Just make sure you regularly brush your teeth and drinking plenty of water to avoid this.

What foods are off limits?

Slight modification in diet may be required, but that won’t necessarily be a bad thing. Most of the foods to avoid into are usually sticky, sugary treats anyway! According to the ASO’s guidelines, the following should be avoided:

  • Hard lollies;
  • Gum;
  • Nuts;
  • Popcorn; and
  • Some raw vegetables such as carrots, however there are other ways you can still eat these veggies, like steaming them.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely! Not only does orthodontic treatment straighten the teeth, create confidence and a more pleasant appearance, it can also help in preventing nasty tooth decay and other oral health issues. So – what are you waiting for?

What next?

Whether you’re considering traditional braces or a more invisible alternative to braces, only an orthodontist has the training, experience and expert knowledge to be able to offer you the full suite of treatment options and give you the confidence you’re in the best hands. Book a consultation with an ASO member orthodontist to find out which is right for your treatment needs and lifestyle.

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