When you think of braces and the type of person wearing them, you may initially picture someone in their teens. While many kids and teenagers wear braces, it’s never too late to straighten your smile as an adult. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the number of adults getting orthodontic care is at an all-time high, with one in five patients over the age of 21.
Braces do more than create an aesthetically pleasing smile — they promote optimal bite functioning and oral health. Many adults who might have needed braces when they were younger but didn’t get them learn about the benefits and decide it’s time to see an orthodontist. Even if you didn’t need braces as a youth, you may benefit from orthodontic care as an adult for other reasons.
What Can Orthodontic Treatment Correct for Adults?
Adults can benefit from seeing an orthodontist to prevent, diagnose and treat the following tooth and jaw issues:
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Gapped teeth (teeth spaced apart)
- A misaligned bite (malocclusion)
- Pain or pressure in the jaw
What Are the Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult?
Optimal Oral Health
Orthodontics can help you achieve straight, properly aligned teeth, which is important for more than just aesthetics. When your teeth are straight, brushing and flossing regularly can keep them clean. Conversely, if your teeth are crooked or otherwise out of alignment, bacteria can gather in hard-to-reach areas and form plaque that leads to various oral health concerns.
If left untreated, improper teeth alignment will worsen with time and can lead to serious long-term problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
A Boost in Confidence
While a healthy mouth is generally the main goal with orthodontics, an added benefit is a beautiful, more attractive smile and jaw structure. Issues like crooked or missing teeth can detract from your confidence and negatively affect your personal and professional life. After orthodontic care, most adults experience a boost in confidence that improves their quality of life.
Which Type of Braces Are Best for Adults?
Gone are the days when your only option for braces consisted of highly noticeable metal brackets and wires. Contemporary orthodontic treatment offers highly versatile, comfortable and inconspicuous oral appliances. The best type of braces for you will depend on various individual factors. During your personalized visit at Lozman Orthodontics, we can review all of your options to help you choose the best type of braces for your needs.
The types of braces we offer include:
- Clear braces
- Colored braces
- Ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces (using clips instead of elastic bands)
- Clear aligners (Invisalign)
- Traditional metal braces
What’s the Difference Between Orthodontics for Adults and Orthodontics for Youths?
The teeth and jawbones in children and teens are still growing and developing, which means they can generally be corrected more easily and with fewer interventions. On the other hand, adult teeth and jawbones have fully developed and are denser, making them more challenging to adjust. Because of this, adults need orthognathic (jaw) surgery more than children to align their jawbones properly.
Adults are also more likely to be affected by the following oral concerns:
Gum Disease (Periodontitis) and Bone Loss
Gum disease develops over time due to plaque buildup and inflamed gum tissue. In its mild form (gingivitis), you may notice sore and bleeding gums. In moderate to advanced cases, it can degrade the bone that supports the teeth.
If issues like crooked or overcrowded teeth are not corrected in younger patients, those patients are more likely to develop gum disease as adults.
Damaged or Missing Teeth
Adults are more likely than children to have their teeth damaged by smoking, teeth grinding and consuming acidic foods and drinks that can wear down tooth enamel. Missing permanent teeth, whether from decay or an injury, can cause the surrounding teeth to move out of place and increase your risk of gum disease and bone loss.
Incomplete Orthodontic Treatment
We often see adult patients who began orthodontic treatment in their youth but did not finish it. They may have had braces but did not wear their retainer for the required time after, and their teeth regressed to their original positions. They may have started treatment with clear aligners but did not wear them long enough each day, or perhaps they never got their next set when it was time.
Now that they’re adults, they understand the myriad of benefits of orthodontics and want to improve the health and appearance of their smile.
Orthodontic Care for Adults at Lozman Orthodontics
At Lozman Orthodontics, we recognize the different needs of adult and child patients and are devoted to helping you achieve your goals. To learn more about orthodontics for adults, contact us today!