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 dental 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.
Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic treatment:
- A bad bite (malocclusion), causing the upper and lower teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are over-crowded or spaced too far apart. Overlapping tooth contacts can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
- Abnormal jaw pain or pressure
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Treatment Options for Adults
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. We offer a variety of types of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces we use include:
- Clear (ceramic) braces
- Traditional metal braces
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. Treatment of severe jaw imbalances may require extraction of permanent teeth or orthognathic (jaw). Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to have had gum recession or bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Your treatment plan may need to be modified to accommodate for previous loss of bone or gum tissue around your teeth. To that note, patients with straight teeth are less likely to get gum disease, so investing in orthodontic treatment as an adult means investing in the health of your teeth and the longevity of your smile.
- 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, creating a bad bite and increasing 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 a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.
Why should adults 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, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
- Some malocclusions that are left untreated can get worse — continuing to delay orthodontic treatment may lead to more serious dental problems later in life.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics, please contact our practice to schedule a complimentary exam. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.