Is it worth getting braces as an adult?

Girl with braces smiling into camera

Everything You Need to Know About Adult Orthodontics

We all have things we wish we had done when we were younger: learned to play an instrument, tried out for that play or sports team, or gotten braces. The good news is it’s never too late to get a black belt in karate and it’s never too late for braces. The truth is, 25% of orthodontic patients are adults and recent advances in treatment make getting adult braces more convenient than ever.

Differences in Adult Braces

Adults experience all of the same common orthodontic issues as kids but with the added wear and tear of a few extra years of using their teeth. Whatever your orthodontic concern, your dental care team can design a treatment plan for you. However, the orthodontic experience may be a little different in adulthood than it would have been earlier.

As you age, your teeth and jaw become a little less willing to move around. Consequently, adult orthodontic treatment can take a little longer to achieve the desired result. Moreover, adults are more likely than children to exhibit certain behaviors like clenching teeth, grinding teeth, tongue thrusting (pressing your tongue against the back of your teeth) and smoking, all of which can complicate and affect outcomes.

Finally, adults are more likely to have long-standing dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay which may need to be addressed before orthodontic treatment can begin. Your orthodontist at Families First Pediatrics can work seamlessly with dentists, dental specialists, and oral surgeons to design a comprehensive care plan tailored to your needs.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment in Adults

Many adults live with crowded teeth or other malocclusions which make eating and speaking challenging. Even if you’ve found ways to work around your dental architecture, existing problems can become worse over time. In addition, misaligned teeth can put pressure on the gums and the jaw leading to significant damage down the line. The best time to get braces may have been when you were a teenager, but the second best time is right now.

Teeth also continue to shift throughout your lifetime, such that people who had relatively straight teeth in youth may develop malocclusions later in life. Whether a totally new situation has cropped up in your mouth or you’ve finally had enough of a lifelong misalignment, orthodontic treatment can provide a wide range of medical and aesthetic benefits—including making it easier to keep your teeth clean!

Sophisticated Braces Options for Adult Patients

Of course, you could always get conventional braces with shiny metal brackets, arch wire, and colorful elastics. They are the standard options for a reason: they are effective and affordable. They do,

however, come with some downsides. Conventional braces are often associated subconsciously with youth. While that’s certainly not a bad thing, obvious metal braces may not align with the image you want to present in some professional adult spaces.

While we firmly believe there is no shame (in fact, quite the opposite) in taking control of your healthcare in adulthood, we also understand the reality patients need to live in. With that in mind, we do offer a selection of subtler and more convenient orthodontic treatment options for both adults and children. Clarity Advanced Clear Braces rely on the same principles as conventional braces but are designed to blend in with your teeth. They begin with small ceramic braces that match your natural tooth color, paired with transparent elastics. While the arch wire is usually still visible, much more of your natural smile shines through.

If you’re looking for an even stealthier orthodontic option, ask your doctor about Clarity Aligners. Ditch the brackets, elastics, and wires altogether in favor of custom-made aligners which snap over your teeth. Throughout your treatment plan, a series of slightly modified aligners apply gentle pressure, the same way an arch wire would, to move your teeth into their new position. Aligners are almost invisible when worn and, best of all, you take them out to eat, brush, and floss.

Adult orthodontics is more effective and more convenient than ever, and there’s no better time to start down the path to a straighter adult smile than right now.

Micah Mortensen, DDS, MSD

Micah Mortensen, DDS, MSD

Micah practices orthodontics in our Stansbury Park Pediatric Dental office.

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