Improving your smile with healthy, aligned teeth isn’t just for teenage patients — orthodontic treatment for adults is growing in popularity. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics estimates that across the nation, one in four orthodontic patients is an adult. With flexible, innovative treatment options, orthodontic treatment is now much easier and more accessible for adults.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Generally speaking, when it comes to treatment, adult orthodontic patients are more concerned with looks than younger patients. Thankfully, modern orthodontics has a wide variety of discreet options. Adults prefer treatment options that go behind their teeth, like lingual braces, or clear plastic aligners like Invisalign®. For adults getting more traditional treatment, ceramic braces may be used instead of standard metal braces.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces in that they use brackets and wires. Unlike traditional metal braces, though, lingual braces go behind the teeth and are usually “invisible” because of this.
Invisalign® is the most discreet treatment option available for adults. The treatment consists of different removable aligner trays, similar to retainers, made from clear plastic that fits over your teeth. Aligners are custom-made for your specific oral needs, and you’ll wear each tray for one to two weeks. The length of treatment is usually 12 to 16 months, though it varies from patient to patient.
If you want the best results from Invisalign® treatment, self-control is key. Aligners must be worn 22 hours a day, and you must make sure to follow the proper wearing order. Additionally, regular and consistent visits with your dentist is essential during treatment.
Depending on your situation, your teeth may require more serious treatment than you’d get from a procedure like Invisalign®. Aligners are better suited to patients with more mild needs, as they gently move and shift teeth.
Ceramic braces are most similar to traditional metal braces, as they use brackets and wires on the front of your teeth. However, ceramic braces match your teeth and are less noticeable than their metal counterpart. The brackets are made of a tooth-colored or clear ceramic. If your orthodontist thinks you have bite and alignment issues that Invisalign® cannot treat, ceramic braces are a solid, discreet option.
What is the Value of Adult Orthodontics?
The most prominent benefit of orthodontic treatment as an adult is the improvements you’ll see in your smile. Your newly straightened teeth and properly aligned jaw provide the healthy smile you’ve always wanted.
Getting braces as an adult also has many of the same long-term health impacts it does for children and teens. For example, braces fix issues like overbites, underbites, overcrowding and crooked teeth in children, teens and adults. Proper jaw and teeth alignment also reduces jaw pain and helps prevent cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
Potential Side Effects of Adult Orthodontics
If you’re considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, take time to research how to maximize your treatment. You must be proactive and put in your fair share of effort to make sure your orthodontic procedure works.
Getting braces or aligners as an adult means your oral health routine will have to change. Depending on what kind of treatment you get, you’ll have to be careful about eating crunchy, sticky, hard foods. Flossing and brushing will also require extra time each day. Brackets are difficult to clean around, and bacteria and plaque may build up. This leads to decay and risk of cavities.
Cost is also a limitation for some adult orthodontic treatments. Some options listed here, like lingual braces, may cost significantly more than traditional braces. This is because of the extra care required to apply and adjust them.
One thing that is unfortunately consistent among adult and teenage patients is the pain associated with braces. Whenever you get your braces adjusted by your orthodontist, be prepared for mild to moderate aches the following day. Eat softer foods and take pain relievers if need be.
Finally, regardless of which procedure you choose, you’ll need to follow a consistent plan of visiting your dentist and orthodontist. Your schedule must provide the flexibility needed for your appointments. For example, patients with Invisalign® need to see their dentist more regularly since they frequently change their aligner trays.
Searching for Adult Orthodontic Treatment Options Near You?
Eastgate Dental Excellence is proud to serve the oral health needs of our community. If you’re looking for orthodontic treatment in Cincinnati, Ohio, we offer both traditional metal braces and Invisalign® clear aligners.
We serve patients of all ages and provide top-notch, individualized care for your unique needs. Call our office today or fill out our appointment request form. A member of our team will be in touch, and we look forward to discussing your treatment options with you!