As an adult, have you ever passed a mirror and thought about how different your smile could be if you’d only had orthodontic treatment when you were younger? You may not be able to travel back in time, but there’s nothing stopping you from improving your oral health now that you’re older! Although many people tend to think of teens in braces when orthodontics is mentioned, we’re actually able to treat patients of all ages. In fact, we’re seeing more adults than ever before exploring everything orthodontic treatment has to offer, thanks to a variety of treatment options and constantly evolving techniques.
Some of the patients we talk to here at Westfall Orthodontics worry that the chance for a healthier smile has passed them, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The same physiological process applies when it comes to moving the teeth through bone, whether you’re 17 or 70. Adults do have denser bone tissue than adolescents, so treatment can sometimes take a little longer, but your age won’t keep us from straightening your smile.
If you’ve spent a lifetime feeling insecure about the way your smile looks or feels, keep reading below to learn more about why you’re never too old for orthodontic treatment!
Why are more adults choosing orthodontic treatment?
We all have personal reasons for choosing the things we do, and orthodontic treatment is no exception. As we get older, we gain a better understanding of the ways our oral health and total body health are linked. This knowledge encourages many adults to seek out dental or orthodontic treatment that will help keep their teeth and gums healthy and in good shape as they age.
Several of our adult patients also get in touch because they received treatment earlier in life, but it was never completed. They want to finish that process, or even start from the beginning again to get the best results. Touch-up treatment is also common for older patients. Years of biting and chewing wears down our teeth, leaving them with some extra wiggle room. At the same time, our bone density decreases and causes the teeth to shift.
Teeth can shift for other reasons as well, including genetics and improper retainer use after orthodontic treatment has been completed. This movement is more noticeable in some people, and can usually be treated relatively easily. Dr. Westfall may choose to simply monitor the teeth over time, provide the patient with new retainers, or repeat treatment using braces or aligners.
We also treat a number of adult patients who simply wish to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. Multiple studies have shown that having straighter teeth can boost your self-esteem and have a positive impact on your life, so we certainly support this! Whatever your reason for exploring orthodontic treatment, we have a variety of affordable treatment options available to you.
What treatment options are available to adult orthodontic patients?
Recent advances in orthodontics have made it easier than ever to achieve a total smile makeover, even for image-conscious adult patients! Westfall Orthodontics offers the following treatment options.
Traditional metal braces
Metal braces are one of the most recognizable symbols of orthodontics and the most common type of treatment. Modern metal braces have gone through some design changes and are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be. They’re also customizable, thanks to a variety of fun colored bands to choose from! These braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more serious or complicated.
Metal braces also tend to be a slightly more affordable option, since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments might. The overall strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness of traditional braces keep them the top treatment for orthodontics, year after year.
Clear braces work the same way metal braces do but have the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. While ceramic braces are nearly the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re better able to blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more discreet straightening option.
Although ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made from is more prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can hold up to more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who have more severe corrections that need to be made. Ceramic brackets are often slightly more expensive than metal braces. For this reason, we typically recommend them for adult and older teen patients only.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
Invisalign is currently our most popular alternative to traditional braces. This exciting system uses a series of customized aligners to straighten the teeth instead of relying on brackets and wires. Like braces, they work by exerting gentle pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them into the desired positions. Invisalign aligners must be worn 20-22 hours per day throughout the treatment process to do their job properly. Patients are also responsible for switching out each aligner with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. While they do require a bit more dedication to succeed, our teen and adult patients love the freedom and flexibility that removable aligners offer.
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with Westfall Orthodontics
Not all types of braces are appropriate for every case. That’s why Dr. Westfall creates customized treatment plans built around each patient’s specific needs and goals. When you visit one of our three conveniently located offices, Dr. Westfall will examine your mouth then discuss the appropriate treatment options with you. This individualized approach means we get the best results possible in the least amount of time!
You still have the chance to achieve a confident smile, no matter how old you are. If you’d like to learn more about our adult treatment options and how they can transform your teeth, get in touch today! We’d love to schedule a FREE consultation for you with Dr. Westfall and help you take the first step towards the beautiful smile you deserve.