It’s never too late to get straighter, healthier teeth. Today, braces for adults are becoming incredibly popular as more and more people realize the benefits of caring for their teeth. In fact, adult orthodontics has grown 40% in the past decade. The health of your gums, your teeth, and your supporting bone benefits immensely from good orthodontic care. Did you know that orthodontic treatments have come a long way in recent years? At Davis Orthodontics in San Diego, CA, we treat many adults who want to improve their smiles.
7 Common Reasons for Considering Adult Orthodontics
1. Braces and Invisalign Can Correct a Lifetime of Misaligned Teeth
If you lived through your childhood and adolescence with crooked teeth, orthodontic care can finally improve your alignment. Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean your teeth are stuck in their positions forever. Proper orthodontic care can be just as effective in adults as it is in children and teenagers. Here are some issues it can solve:
- General misalignment
2. Adult Orthodontics Can Improve the Health of Your Teeth
Getting braces or Invisalign is about more than just showing straight teeth in photographs. It can promote better hygiene, reduce health problems, and prevent issues before they develop.
It’s easier to brush teeth that are straight. When you don’t have teeth that overlap, you can access all of the areas that need to be cleaned more easily. We all know how important it is to brush our teeth regularly. It is the primary way to remove plaque, which can lead to gum disease and cavities if it is allowed to build up. Good brushing can also improve your breath, which makes interacting in social situations much more comfortable.
Fewer Health Problems
Being able to clean your teeth thoroughly is enough to improve the condition of your mouth, but the health benefits of having straighter teeth go even further. If you experience frequent headaches or earaches, misaligned teeth could be the culprit.
Straightening your teeth can help prevent problems with bone loss in the future. If you have missing teeth, better alignment can make restoring them easier and less complicated. In general, opting for orthodontic treatments can help you improve any conditions you already have and prevent others from developing in the future.
Better Tooth Functionality
Straighter teeth perform better on a mechanical level. Some people find themselves frequently biting their cheeks or struggling with speech impediments because of their orthodontic issues. Additionally, protruding teeth can cause difficulty chewing food and even injury to the inside of your mouth. Orthodontic care can solve any problems you might currently experience with chewing or speaking.
3. You Can Look Forward to Many Years of Great Teeth
People are living longer and longer these days, and it’s important for your teeth to last a lifetime. Taking care of your teeth now will help you avoid extractions and complicated dental work later in life. Even if you are already an adult, it’s not too late to safeguard the health of your teeth in your later years. When you think about the fact that orthodontic treatment lengths range from just one to three years, it doesn’t seem like much time to invest for a lifetime of straight teeth.
4. Straight Teeth Are Attractive
There’s no denying it: straight teeth look good. Many people opt for adult orthodontics for aesthetic reasons, and we’re all for it. In the case of teeth, a beautifully straight smile is a sign of your commitment to caring for your health and hygiene. It can also give you confidence in professional situations and social settings. Imagine waking up every morning to a smile that you love. Here are some of the scenarios that could be more comfortable for you if you had straight teeth to show the world:
- Job interviews
- Meeting people for the first time
- Posing for photographs
- Special occasions such as weddings
- Making public appearances
- Client-facing positions
Every day, we all pay a lot of attention to our appearance. We go to the gym, select clothing that is appropriate for our activities, and care for our hair. Straight teeth can be part of your professional, adult look. Everyone deserves to feel attractive and composed as an adult, and no one should feel like they have to hide their teeth. Having straight teeth can be an empowering source of confidence and pride, no matter where your life takes you.
5. Shifts in Your Teeth Can Occur When You Are an Adult
Even if you didn’t need braces as an adolescent, your alignment is subject to change as you get older. Your teeth could shift out of position and require care that wasn’t necessary before. Sometimes, injuries that happen to you as an adult can also create problems that orthodontic care can solve.
6. There Is No Stigma Against Adults Who Get Braces
More than a decade ago, it was uncommon for adults to wear braces. Many people were afraid of showing “metal mouths” and wearing unattractive headgear. Thankfully, all that has changed. Nationally, one in 5 people who get braces these days is over 21. In our practice, about a third of our patients are adults. Fun fact: celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Nicolas Cage, and Tom Cruise have made braces part of their runway look.
Braces are smaller now, so they have less of a visual impact on your appearance. You can even get clear braces or systems that attach to the back of your teeth. For people who want a completely alternative approach to straightening their teeth, Invisalign provides clear aligners that fit over the teeth and are practically invisible.
7. Adults Have Great Options for Orthodontic Care
Let’s get into the specifics of all these modern approaches to straightening teeth. As an adult, you can make choices. Maybe you want to prioritize the speed of your treatment or the look of your teeth while you are having your care done. Maybe you have a complicated situation that requires a versatile system. Whatever your priorities, we can offer you a solution that will correct your misalignment and fit into your life. Here are some of the options:
They sound cute, and they are incredibly effective. Traditional metal braces have long been one of the best ways to achieve straighter teeth. They give orthodontists a high level of control, allowing shifts to be planned for the most challenging cases of misalignment. The system involves brackets that are attached to the teeth with dental glue, archwires, and bands.
Today’s mini braces take this time-tested approach and make it more comfortable by reducing the size of the brackets. You will feel less metal, and your braces will be less noticeable. Best of all, treatment times are fast, and the results are excellent.
One of the most exciting developments in the field of adult orthodontics is self-ligating braces. “Ligature” refers to the rubber bands that hold the archwires to the brackets. Self-ligating braces do away with the bands and use clips instead. This allows for faster treatment times.
In order for teeth to move into their correct positions, they need to slide along the archwires in response to pressure. In traditional braces, the rubber bands create friction that inhibits the teeth from sliding. By using clips instead, self-ligating braces reduce friction by up to 99%. You can enjoy all the effectiveness of traditional braces and finish your treatment more quickly.
Clear Ceramic Braces
If you want incredibly subtle, stealth-straightening, then ceramic braces could be a good option for you. They use clear brackets that are barely noticeable. Many people opt for clear braces on their top teeth and metal braces on the bottom.
One of the most talked-about advances in adult orthodontics is Invisalign. This system involves a series of clear aligners that you wear over your teeth. Every two weeks, you trade your old set of aligners for a new one. Each set of aligners will encourage your teeth into a straighter position until you achieve the desired results. At the end of the treatment, you will receive a retainer to maintain your results.
Invisalign is a revolutionary system because it allows you to straighten your teeth without any metal. Therefore, it has no significant impact on your appearance. It is an especially good solution for adults who want to avoid the look of braces. Additionally, you can take them out when you eat, so there are no food restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is There a Cut-Off Age for Getting Braces?
A: No! In fact, some patients as old as 70 have opted for orthodontic care.
Q: What Is the Best Type of Treatment for Adults?
A: That depends on your individual teeth, your preferences, and your budget. Self-ligating braces offer the most advanced treatment for difficult cases and people who want a fast treatment time. Ceramic braces are a good option for people who want to be subtle. They are more fragile than metal braces, but adults are usually responsible enough to take care of them. Invisalign is a great solution for people with mild-to-moderate orthodontic needs. It will straighten your teeth without braces altogether.
When we meet you in person, we can learn more about your unique case and make a personalized recommendation for your treatment. With all the available options, we will be able to provide a solution that is perfect for you.
Q: How Will I Pay for My Orthodontic Care?
A: We understand the importance of maintaining a budget as an adult. At our practice, we believe that healthy teeth should be affordable for everyone. We accept all major credit cards and insurance plans. If in doubt, you can call our office to ask if your insurance is accepted. Alternatively, there is a new credit card that is specifically designed to make braces affordable by offering low payments over an extended period of time. It is called CareCredit, and we can help you apply if it is right for you.
Q: Which Treatment Will Fit in Best With My Busy Schedule?
A: Getting orthodontic care shouldn’t put a big stress on your routine. When you opt for braces, we will only need about two hours to apply them and a quick, 30-minute appointment to adjust them every four to six weeks.
The best solution for busy people is Invisalign. After we use a 3D scanner to take a virtual impression of your mouth, you will receive all of your aligners in a box to take home. You can change your aligners by just throwing out the old pair and replacing it with the next in the sequence. We will just need to see you a few times during your treatment for a brief check-up.
Q: What if My Case Is Too Severe for Braces?
A: For most adults, braces will solve all orthodontic issues. In every age group, however, certain complications can make additional treatments a good idea. If that is the case for you, we can work with an oral surgeon to get you all the care you need.
Q: How Should I Care for My Braces?
A: Caring for your braces is pretty straightforward, and we will sit down with you to discuss everything you need to know. Regular brushing is a must, and certain foods should be avoided unless you opt for Invisalign. These include taffy and hard, uncooked vegetables. If you have Invisalign, you should take your aligners out for brushing and eating. Please remember to put them back in right away. The aligners need to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day to be effective.
Q: How Can I Maintain My Results?
A: After you finish your treatment, it’s important that your straight smile lasts a lifetime. Usually, the only thing you need to do to maintain it is wear a retainer for approximately one year and come in for your regular cleanings. We will give you a retainer that is specially customized for your teeth. In the case of Invisalign, it will be made from the same plastic material used in the aligners.
Schedule a Consultation
The best way to learn more about your orthodontic options as an adult is by coming in for a consultation. We can assess the current condition of your teeth and discuss any concerns you might have about the process. We will thoroughly explain all of the treatment options and help you identify the one that is best for you. All of our care is highly individualized and aimed at providing you with the best dental health.
Get Straight, Healthy Teeth for Life
You’ve probably spent years wishing you had straighter teeth. Now is a great time to make the smile of your dreams a reality. Many adults are benefiting from the fast treatment times, subtle appearance, and excellent results of adult orthodontics today. From clear braces to Invisalign, the new orthodontic options have eliminated old concerns and cleared the field of excuses. You no longer have to worry about feeling self-conscious about wearing braces.
It’s time to make a positive commitment to your health by getting the right orthodontic care. Contact Davis Orthodontics in San Diego, CA for more information about adult orthodontics. We look forward to giving you straight teeth and excellent dental health that will make you smile for life.