Did you know that according to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five patients receiving orthodontic treatment today is now over the age of 21? Braces (and other orthodontic options) aren’t just for teenagers anymore!
We’ve seen more and more adults seeking orthodontic because they want to improve the appearance of their smile and the health of their teeth. Are these changes you are looking to make, as well? You’ve come to the right place.
Why Do Adults Want Orthodontics?
Adults are seeking orthodontic care for several reasons, including:
• A desire to fix a bad bite (malocclusion) that causes the jaws to come together incorrectly
• Concern about tooth decay or gum disease caused by crowded or widely spaced teeth
• Hope for relief of pain or pressure caused by crooked teeth
• The wish for a healthy mouth and a confident, attractive smile
Which Options Are Available?
If you’re shaking your head at the thought of metal braces, we’ve got some good news for you. Thanks to improvements in orthodontic technology and techniques, we have plenty of options available to you that don’t include metal brackets and wires!
When you schedule your consultation with us, we’ll consider all your options, including:
• Clear or ceramic braces that blend in with your teeth
• Self-ligating braces that don’t require metal or elastic ties
• Lingual braces, which are placed behind the tooth so they aren’t visible from the front
• Invisalign, the famous “invisible” aligner option
Depending on your needs, traditional metal braces may still be the right option, and we’ll discuss whether or not they are right for you. Even if you don’t like the idea now, you may be convinced once you learn what we can accomplish!
Is Adult Orthodontic Treatment Different Than Orthodontic Treatment for Teens?
For the most part, treatment is similar. The biggest difference is that when we’re treating children and teens, their jaws are still developing, which gives us a little more freedom. As an adult, your jaw is fully developed and isn’t growing any more. In some cases, this may mean that we need to perform jaw alignment surgery (called orthognathic surgery) to achieve the best results.
Other differences between adult mouths and younger mouths are:
• The possible presence of bone or gum loss due to periodontal disease – The CDC estimates that about half of all adults in the U.S. have periodontal disease, and even mild disease can cause gum recession or bone loss.
• Worn down or missing teeth – As you age, your teeth will eventually begin to show the effects, wearing down and even sometimes shifting positions. If you are missing teeth, then your other teeth are likely to shift and tilt, which not only causes problems with your bite but also increases your likelihood of developing gum disease.
• Incomplete orthodontic care – Many adults wore braces or had some other type of orthodontic treatment as a teenager but, for whatever reason, didn’t complete their treatment.
We understand and respect the evolving needs of our older patients, and we’ll take the time to make sure that you receive the attention and care that you deserve. We’ll be with you at each step, making sure that your treatment is appropriate and effective and that your needs are being met with respect, understanding, and our full commitment.
Most people have the desire to see a beautiful smile filled with straight teeth beaming back at them from the mirror, but orthodontics can accomplish even more than that:
• Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss. When your teeth are cleaner, they stay healthier.
• When you look good, you feel good. Improving your appearance can give you the self-confidence you need, which in turn improves your quality of life.
• You can avoid costly long-term problems. Choosing orthodontic treatment now can help you dodge a long-term health issue, which could lead to pain and considerable expense in the future.
Are you ready to learn more about adult orthodontics and how we can fit treatment into your busy life?
Call our Phoenix office at (602) 242-3289, or if you live in Scottsdale call (480) 451-3088 today, to schedule an appointment at a time that’s convenient.
We can’t wait to meet you and create a plan that’s right for you!