Dental News

It’s Never Too Late to Improve Your Smile with Orthodontics

March 26, 2014

Adult orthodontics delivers significant benefits on a personal and professional level

never too late for orthodonticsBraces are often associated with those awkward early teenage years, but in fact orthodontic treatment can be used by individuals of almost any age. Adult orthodontics in particular has seen an uptick in popularity recently. According to the president of the American Association of Orthodontists, “record numbers” of adults are getting treated, and it’s never too late to move healthy teeth.

Benefits of Adult Orthodontics

From an oral health perspective, orthodontic treatment can be very beneficial because it improves patients’ ability to clean their teeth, thereby reducing tooth decay and gum disease. According to the results of a recent survey of adult orthodontic patients, treatment can also deliver personal and professional benefits. After treatment, 75 percent of the adults in the survey reported that their professional and/or personal relationships improved as a result of the renewed self-confidence that they drew from their new smiles.

Often, adults are hesitant to get braces out of fear of how they will look to others. The survey supported this idea–before treatment, 71 percent of the adults surveyed were plagued by self-doubt and questions like “How will I look with braces?” or “What will people think?” or “Am I too old for braces?” However, once treatment began, the vast majority of patients reported that they no longer worried about their appearance and 92 percent of the patients said they would recommend that any adult with smile issues get orthodontic treatment.

Treatment Options

Depending on the current state of your teeth and your goals for your new smile, you may be able to choose to straighten your teeth using traditional braces or Invisalign.

Traditional Braces: Traditional braces can be used to correct a wide variety of tooth alignment and bite issues, including cases where the teeth are at different heights, significantly rotated, or severely overcrowded. These braces don’t have to be entirely made of metal—clear options are also available to help reduce the appearance of “metal mouth” that concerns many adults.

Invisalign: Invisalign works best on teeth that have relatively minor misalignment issues, but in the hands of a skilled Invisalign provider amazing transformations are definitely possible. The clear plastic trays used to move teeth in this orthodontic treatment offer several advantages, including improved treatment privacy and the ability to keep teeth cleaner during treatment. However, Invisalign is typically more expensive than traditional braces.

With either type of orthodontic treatment, a retainer will probably required for lifetime maintenance of your new smile.

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