When most people think about orthodontic treatment, they tend to think of adolescents wearing metal braces. While young teens make up a majority of orthodontic patients, they are not the only ones. Orthodontics can also benefit older teens and adults. If crooked teeth are affecting your smile, and your oral health, Eastside Orthodontics can provide you with the orthodontic treatment you need.
Why Should an Adult Undergo Orthodontic Treatment?
Crooked teeth affect young adolescents the same way they can affect adults. Crooked teeth have a significant impact on the quality of your smile. They also significantly affect your oral health, leaving you more vulnerable to issues such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth damage. Your bite pressures are unevenly distributed, which can result in uneven tooth wear, bruxism, TMJ disorder, and even neck, shoulder, and back pain.
Is Orthodontics Different for Adults?
In general, orthodontic treatment for adults is the same as treatment for younger patients. There are a few differences, however. As an adult, your jaws are done growing and developing. They are much more rigid than the jaws of an adolescent. Because of this, it can take longer to move the teeth into proper alignment. Because of this, treatment for adults typically takes longer than treatment for younger patients. On average, orthodontic treatment for adults ranges from 18 months to 3 years.
Treatment Options for Adults
There are several options available for adults when it comes to orthodontic treatment. These options include:
- Metal braces. Metal braces are the traditional orthodontic treatment. This treatment uses metal brackets and wires to correct the alignment of your teeth. The brackets are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth with dental cement. A wire that spans your entire arch is attached to the brackets using elastic O-rings, or ligatures.
- Clear braces. Clear braces are similar to traditional metal braces in that they use brackets and wires to realign your teeth. The brackets, however, are made from either porcelain or clear material. The wire may be metal, or it may be white. Despite using brackets and wires, this treatment is much more discreet.
- Clear aligners. Clear aligners are the most discreet treatment available. Instead of brackets and wires, the treatment uses clear plastic aligners that fit over your teeth like a mouthguard or whitening trays. Treatment involves a series of removable aligners, which are changed every two weeks. Once placed over your teeth, the aligners disappear from view and no one will be able to tell that they are there.
Just because you are an adult does not mean you have to be stuck with crooked teeth for the rest of your life. For more information and to find out how orthodontics can benefit you, schedule a free consultation today!