When most people think of braces, they think of teenagers sporting a mouth full of metal and colorful rubber bands. Orthodontics is not just for children and teens. In fact, 1 in every 5 patients in orthodontic treatment is an adult. No one is too old for orthodontic treatment. In reality, modern orthodontic appliances come in a variety of styles and are used to treat patients of all ages.
Adults seek orthodontic treatment for many of the same reasons as children. Some adults had orthodontic problems as children but were unable to correct them until now. Others, who had treatment as children, may need further treatment as adults due to relapse or limitations in the initial treatment.
If you are considering seeking adult braces or other orthodontic treatment options, the trusted team at Northeast Orthodontic Specialists can assist you on your journey to a straighter smile. Here’s what you need to know before scheduling your consultation with Dr. Stadiem to learn more about how adult orthodontic treatment could benefit you.
What Does Adult Orthodontic Treatment Involve?
When it comes to correcting your orthodontic concerns, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Dr. Stadiem provides personalized care to every patient he treats and customizes treatment plans accordingly. Northeast Orthodontic Specialists are proud to offer many different orthodontic appliances, including:
- Metal Braces: These consist of metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and are held together with a wire that runs through them. They are worn around the clock until your treatment is complete, and are very effective at correcting complex orthodontic issues. If you have metal braces, Dr. Stadiem will adjust your wires every 6 weeks until your teeth have more to the desire location.
- Ceramic Braces: Like their metal counterparts, these are made up of brackets and wires that are adjusted over time until your teeth are straight. The primary difference between the two is that ceramic brackets are clear and are therefore more discreet than metal ones, which many adult patients appreciate.
- Invisalign: These BPA-free plastic aligners are loved for their convenience and discretion. Because they’re clear, they’re virtually invisible and can be taken out to eat and clean. However, it’s important that they’re worn at least 22 hours a day. If you have Invisalign, you will receive new aligner trays every 1 to 2 weeks to move your teeth slowly over time.
How Long Do Adults Wear Orthodontics?
The length of time that any patient, adult or adolescent, will wear their orthodontic appliance will depend on the particular needs of their mouth. Most patients can expect to wear their orthodontic appliances for about two years. Of course, this will vary based on the condition of the patient’s mouth and how well they care for their teeth while wearing braces.
Do Braces Take Longer for Adults?
It’s generally true that children and teenagers will wear braces for less time than adults. This is because the teeth and jaws of young people are still growing and can be manipulated easily. Furthermore, adults tend to have more significant dental concerns that must be addressed before getting braces, such as gum disease. With that being said, at Northeast Orthodontic Specialists, we know that each patient will present an entirely unique set of circumstances, no matter what their age may be. We are committed to providing quality care to each of our patients to help them achieve a more perfect smile as quickly and comfortably as possible.
Benefits of Adult Orthodontics
Undergoing orthodontic treatment as an adult is about so much more than improving the appearance of your smile (although that’s a great reason to seek treatment). Other benefits of having braces as an adult include:
- Align the teeth to create a more aesthetic and beautiful smile
- Correct relapse after previous orthodontic treatment due to lack of long-term retainer wear
- Improve the ability to brush and floss, especially for crowded or overlapping lower front teeth
- Create a better or more comfortable bite and the ability to chew
- Close spaces between the teeth
- Reduce excessive wear on the teeth due to grinding or poor bite
- Jaw surgery to correct discrepancies between the upper and lower jaws.
- Relieving mouth and jaw pain
- Preventing bone erosion
- Making speaking and eating easier
- Improving self-esteem
Orthodontic treatment is no more uncomfortable for adults than children. Adults undergoing orthodontic treatment report the same level of soreness as children (although adults are more willing to tell us about the soreness).
Typically, the teeth are most uncomfortable 12-24 hours after an orthodontic adjustment and will disappear within 3 to 5 days. Modern appliances are smaller and more comfortable to wear. Modern techniques, with the new titanium technology, put less pressure on the teeth to cause discomfort while moving the teeth more rapidly and efficiently. It also decreases the time required between adjustments to every 8 – 10 weeks. Adult orthodontic treatment time, on average, is completed in 15-18 months.
The fee for adult braces and other adult orthodontic treatment is determined the same way as child or adolescent treatment. It is based on the severity of the problem, the complexity of the correction, the appliances used, and the length of time to correct.
Dr. Alan Weber has treated individuals in their 50’s, 60’s and even their 70’s. It is never too late to gain the smile you have always wanted.
Visit us For Your Orthodontic Treatment
Age should never be a deterrent from you seeking a healthier, more attractive smile. Contact the friendly team at Northeast Orthodontic Specialists to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Stadiem and learn more about how undergoing orthodontic treatment as an adult can improve your quality of life for years to come!