Sometimes adults can feel like the opportunity to get a gorgeous, healthy smile has passed them by. Most think that only children and teenagers get corrective orthodontic treatments, but it’s simply not true! While adolescence may be the best time to get braces or aligners, that doesn’t mean that’s the only time you can get straighter teeth. Adult orthodontic treatments are extremely effective in correcting crooked teeth, overbites, and a host of other oral issues adults have. There is no age limit when it comes to orthodontics!
At Mateer Orthodontics, we personalize solutions for patients of all ages that can be created to suit any situation. Many adult patients have now approached us either to seek treatment or just talk about the questions and concerns about being an adult with braces.
Why Seek Treatment?
Everyone wants a beautiful, healthy smile and having questions and concerns about how your smile looks is always a good reason to visit an orthodontist. By discussing your situation with a friendly, experienced professional like Dr. Mateer is a wonderful way to ensure your dental health is on-track. Even if you walk away with a clean bill of health, you know you have covered your bases.
Changes During Adulthood
Like pretty much everything that happens with age, change is always possible, and that includes your teeth! Most people are under the misconception that teeth stop developing and shifting around once adolescence is over. It’s definitely a crucial time for your mouth, but it isn’t the only factor affecting your adult smile. Injuries, regularly applied exterior forces, and even natural factors can lead to adult changes in the mouth. These factors can lead to painful things like jaw pain, misalignment, and severe bites.
There’s No Better Time Than Right Now
There are a number of reasons that a patient might have delayed orthodontic treatment. It’s possible they couldn’t or didn’t want to see an orthodontist when they were younger. It’s also possible their oral issues are just now presenting themselves. Perhaps they are seeking treatment for aesthetic reasons, or they’ve been referred by their dentist in the interest of oral health. Bad bites and misaligned teeth can lead to severe issues like tooth decay and gum disease. That’s why we encourage patients of any age to receive the treatment they might have put off so that they can keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible!
What Are the Concerns?
Adult orthodontic treatment does need to be undertaken a bit differently than adolescent treatment. The entire landscape of the mouth is different. There are just some extra considerations that need to be taken into account when treating adults that aren’t in play for their younger counterparts.
Sometimes when an adult patient has had a tooth extracted, it is hard to treat the area with an appliance. This isn’t an issue for all patients, but it is for some. When this happens, we guide the teeth to their correct alignment using a small, custom-made piece of prosthetic bone.
Since adult bones have had more time to develop, they are harder and have a more challenging time shifting into their desired spots with treatment. At times this means that orthodontic solutions will take longer than they would for younger patients, but not always. Treatment duration varies from person to person, and your orthodontist will be able to tell you more about your specific situation.
Braces and aligners are known to cause a bit of soreness for all patients, but thanks to modern orthodontic techniques, pain is becoming more and more rare with treatment. Now, you can expect some soreness for the first few days of treatment as you adjust to your braces or aligners, but so long as you keep up with proper maintenance, pain shouldn’t be an issue.
People want to look attractive, and for many, traditional braces are just not the look most people are going for while they are a very effective and cost-efficient option. There are a some other more discreet alternatives that offer the same level of effectiveness.
Treatment Options for Adults
During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will do a thorough examination and discuss your personal situation with you. He or she will also go through all your treatment options. You may be surprised to know most adults deal with one or more of these issues:
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Gapped teeth
- A bad bite
At Mateer Orthodontics, we can treat these instances with a few noninvasive techniques.
One of the best options for busy adult patients, conventional metal braces are more sanitary, effective, and comfortable then they have ever been. Patients report that they become accustomed to wearing the brackets and wires quickly. So long as you take care of your braces, they’ll be removed in no time, and the only evidence that’ll remain is your new beautiful, straight smile.
Braces with clear or tooth-colored brackets are an option many people forget about, but they are an excellent option for those who would like their treatment to be a bit more discreet. For patients who select these clear braces, it’s important to know there are a bit more sensitive than their metal counterparts, so you’ll need to be extra careful when chewing sticky or tacky foods.
Invisalign clear aligners are a popular choice for many adult patients because they are almost invisible and totally removable. It allows them to eat and drink whatever they choose without the worry of foods getting stuck.
The Invisalign system involves of a series of custom-made thermoplastic tray aligners the patient replaces every two weeks on average. Progressively, these BPA-free aligners guide the teeth into their proper alignment. The treatment can consist of anywhere from 12 to 48 trays, but most patients have a relatively short treatment. Your orthodontist will give you the actual estimate once you discuss your treatment plan.
Ready to Get Started?
We want to assure you that there is no better time than now to get a straighter and healthier smile, and there’s no such thing as “too late!” If you’re looking to get orthodontic treatment and you’re past the adolescent age, the best place to start is by contacting us for your initial consultation. From there we can talk about your needs, concerns, and possible treatment plans to create a beautiful, healthy smile! We hope to see you soon!