Orthodontics isn’t just for kids! About a quarter of all orthodontic patients are adults. Orthodontic treatment does more than just straighten your smile; it can improve oral health and boost confidence! Don’t let your age stop you from achieving your dream smile!
You may have already had braces in the past but your teeth may have shifted back to their original positions from not wearing retainers, or you may have never received orthodontic treatment before and are just looking to enhance your smile. Either way, orthodontic treatment will likely benefit you. Misalignments tend to worsen with age, so the sooner you seek orthodontic treatment, the better!
Common Alignment Issues Corrected through Orthodontic Intervention as an Adult:
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Spaced teeth
- Open Bite
There are several treatment options for adults, including practically invisible straightening options if a shiny metal smile isn’t right for you!
Traditional Braces: Traditional metal braces are excellent at correcting a full range of alignment issues. Braces are strong and durable, have quick treatment times, and are generally a more affordable treatment option. If you don’t mind having visible brackets on your teeth, traditional braces may be a fantastic choice to straighten your smile.
Removable Clear Aligners: Clear aligners are growing in popularity among teens and adults because they can straighten smiles practically invisibly. These clear plastic trays are removable, allowing for regular cleaning and eating habits. You will receive a new aligner every two weeks and visit the orthodontist’s office about every six weeks to ensure your treatment is on track. Typically, treatment time for aligner patients is 12-18 months. Aligner patients do have to commit to wearing their aligners for at least 22 hours a day to keep their treatment on track.
Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional braces, but they use clear brackets. Ceramic braces are still visible but draw much less attention than metal brackets.
Differences in Orthodontic Treatment for Adults Versus Kids
Ages 10-14 is the most popular age group that receives orthodontic treatment because all the permanent teeth have erupted and the jaw is still growing.
The most significant difference between orthodontics for adults and children is that adults have fewer treatment options. Children’s jaws are still growing, so several types of oral appliances can be part of their treatment plan to create more space on their mouths, such as palate expanders and space maintainers. The jaws are fully developed by age 17, so these less invasive options are off the table for adults. However, orthodontics can still correct a wide range of complex alignment issues in adults through alternative methods.
If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease or gingivitis, it is crucial to inform your orthodontist before starting treatment. Successful orthodontic treatment relies on healthy gums, and braces and clear aligners can potentially damage your smile if you have these conditions.
You are never too old to improve your smile! Adults often make some of the best orthodontic patients because of their commitment to treatment. Schedule an orthodontic consultation with us and start your journey towards your dream smile.