Are you thinking about braces but figure that since you're an adult, you've probably missed your window and you're too old to get the smile you've always wanted?
We're here to say no, you're not too old, and now is the time to talk to us about adult orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can be as successful for adults as it is for adolescents, and while many factors go into an orthodontic treatment plan, age is rarely one of them.
To be honest, at least 30 percent of orthodontic patients are adults.
But, I'm Done Growing
While it is true that you're done growing, and it is a fact that it's easier to guide growth in kids versus remodeling it in adults, that doesn't mean orthodontic treatment is out of the question when you're out of your teens.
The bottom line is that adults' teeth can be moved, too, using the same physiological process that moves teeth through bone in children.
Your teeth move in response to force over time during your orthodontic treatment. Also, as an adult, you have denser bone tissue than a child or a teen, so your treatment may take a little longer, but you will still end up with a beautiful and healthy smile.
How Is Adult Orthodontic Treatment Different?
The most significant difference in orthodontics for adults compared to children/teens is that adults are no longer growing, as we mentioned previously. So, treating adults may take a little longer than treating younger people because of the increased bone density.
Additionally, adults may have a little more going on when it comes to the health of their teeth and mouth. For example, you may have dental restorations like fillings, missing teeth, misshapen or worn teeth, gum disease, or jaw health issues.
You may also have some bad oral habits, including smoking, clenching or grinding your teeth, or tongue thrust, affecting treatment outcomes.
These factors may mean you need a little more treatment than others, but we will coordinate a highly personalized treatment plan to ensure your oral and dental health issues are treated first.
Will I Have Braces?
Maybe! But braces aren't just for teens. We offer different treatment options to help move your teeth into their ideal positions, including oral appliances, braces and aligners.
Our approach to orthodontics is known as Controlled Arch Orthodontics, which starts with a modification phase to help balance the needs of the teeth in relation to the entire body and considers the joints and airways as well. Controlled Arch Orthodontics can help improve your smile by ensuring enough room in your jaws for all your teeth. Using this approach means that we don't solely focus on the aesthetic appearance of your smile but on your overall health, too.
Using an advanced approach to orthodontics means treatment that is more comfortable and less noticeable than ever.
How Long Does Adult Orthodontic Treatment Last?
Again, treatment varies from patient to patient. Your treatment plan and length of treatment will be explained to you during your consultation. During that time, regular visits will allow us to monitor your progress and make adjustments when necessary.
Is It Worth It?
Yes! Better functioning for biting, chewing, breathing and speaking are worth it. So is improved oral and dental health, an easier time keeping your teeth and gums healthy, and having greater self-confidence.
It's not too late. The opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile has not passed you by, and you're never too old to get the smile you have always wanted.
What About Orthodontic Treatment for Kids?
It's never too early to start thinking about your child's orthodontic needs. Your child's dentist will often be the first to notice problems during regular visits and may suggest that you see an orthodontist for an exam regarding jaw or tooth-alignment problems.
While there is no set age for a child's first orthodontist visit, we recommend getting in sooner rather than later and definitely before age 9 when jaw and head growth stop. Some orthodontists say kids should see an orthodontist once their permanent teeth start coming in, around age 7. Usually, by this age, issues such as uneven bite and overcrowding will become evident.
Here are some things to look for that indicate your child is likely to benefit from early orthodontic treatment:
- Early, late or unusual loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Food or texture aversions
- Mouth breathing (chronic and outside of illness)
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Crowded, misplaced or impacted teeth
- Overbites, underbites and crossbites
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- A recessed chin
- Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
- Crooked teeth or misaligned teeth
- Teeth that do not meet correctly or teeth that do not meet at all
- Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion in comparison to the rest of the face
Learn more about how our orthodontic appliances and other orthodontic treatment options are different from traditional metal braces and how they can help improve the appearance of your smile and face and prevent tooth decay, bone loss, and jaw and airway problems.