Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, and give you a better quality of life with the freedom to smile without holding back!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it’s needed can create long-term health issues that cost you more in the end.
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens
The main difference between treating adults and children or teens is that the jawbones of younger patients are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may make orthognathic surgery possible to align the jawbones. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time, teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, which creates a bad bite and increases the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.
Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs and require different levels of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatments, and your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.
Treatment Options for Adults
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type, and are more comfortable today than ever. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics for a more unique and colorful smile. These colored elastics are changed at each appointment, which is typically every six to eight weeks.
Clear (Ceramic) Braces
Clear braces are a cosmetic option for people who don’t want the look of metal braces. They work exactly the same as traditional metal braces. Clear braces are placed only on the top teeth. When you bite down, your top teeth bite on your lower teeth.
Metal braces are more durable so they are able to withstand strong biting forces better. Your treatment time will be exactly the same with metal or clear braces.
Clear aligners are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable trays that straighten your teeth like braces. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. It also makes brushing and flossing less of a hassle.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.