You may associate orthodontic treatment with awkward preteens and teenagers, but the truth is that adults can benefit from it just as much. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontics, 1 in 5 patients is an adult. There are many reasons why an adult might seek orthodontic treatment. Maybe your teeth were never straightened as a child and you’re finally ready to do something about it. Or maybe you had braces as a teenager but didn’t wear your retainer as prescribed, so your teeth have shifted out of place. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of adults who are candidates for orthodontic treatment. We will explore some of the benefits of orthodontic treatment for adults. From improved oral health to enhanced self-esteem, there are many good reasons to consider straightening your teeth as an adult. If you’re on the fence about whether or not orthodontic treatment is right for you, read on to learn more.
What Are the Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment?
While many people associate orthodontic treatment with children and teenagers, there are actually many benefits that adults can experience from undergoing treatment. Here are just a few of the ways that orthodontic treatment can improve your life as an adult:
1. Improved oral health: Orthodontic treatment can help to correct problems like misaligned teeth and jaws, which can lead to improved oral health.
2. Enhanced self-esteem: Straighter teeth can give you a boost of confidence, making you feel better about yourself in social and professional situations.
3. Better chewing function: If you have problems like crowding or gaps in your teeth, it can make it difficult to chew properly. Orthodontic treatment can help alleviate these issues, making it easier for you to enjoy your meals.
4. Reduced risk of injury: Crooked teeth are more vulnerable to injury, so straightening them out with orthodontic treatment can help reduce your risk of dental trauma.
5. Improved breathing: If you have a misaligned jaw, it can cause problems with your breathing. Orthodontic treatment can help correct this problem and improve your overall respiratory function.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Orthodontic treatment can be used to correct a wide variety of dental problems, including overcrowding, gaps between teeth, and misaligned bites. The goal of orthodontic treatment is to create a healthy, functional, and esthetically pleasing smile.
Braces are the most common type of orthodontic appliance and are used to move teeth into their proper position by applying gentle pressure. Braces consist of brackets that are bonded to the teeth and connected by wires. The bracket-wire system applies continuous pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them into alignment.
Invisalign is another type of orthodontic appliance that uses clear aligners to gradually move teeth into their proper position. Invisalign aligners are made from a smooth, comfortable plastic material that is virtually invisible when worn. They are removable for eating and brushing, making them more convenient than traditional braces.
Orthodontic treatment usually takes 12-24 months to complete, depending on the severity of the dental problem being treated. Most patients will need to wear braces or aligners for 20-22 hours each day in order to achieve optimal results. Regular checkups with the orthodontist are necessary during treatment in order to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments.
Different Types of Orthodontic Treatment
There are many different types of orthodontic treatment available to adults, and the type that is right for you will depend on your specific needs and goals. Here are some of the most common types of orthodontic treatment available to adults:
Braces: Traditional braces are still one of the most effective ways to straighten teeth and can be customized to fit your individual needs.
Invisalign: Invisalign is a clear aligner system that is virtually invisible when worn, making it a popular choice for adults who want to discreetly correct their smile.
Damon System: The Damon System uses self-ligating brackets and high-tech wires to help move teeth more quickly and efficiently, resulting in fewer office visits and shorter treatment times.
ClearCorrect: ClearCorrect is another clear aligner system that uses a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners to gradually straighten teeth.
Palatal Expanders: Palatal expanders are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic treatments to widen the palate (roof of the mouth), which can help improve dental function and reduce the risk of overcrowding in the future.
What Foods to Eat during Treatment?
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, what you eat can make a big difference in the success of your treatment and your overall oral health. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing what foods to eat during orthodontic treatment.
First, avoid hard and sticky foods. These can damage your braces or aligners and make them less effective. Hard foods can also break off pieces of your braces, which can be painful and require additional visits to your orthodontist. Stick to softer foods that are easy to chew.
Second, cut down on sugary snacks and drinks. Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay. It’s important to limit your intake while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. Choose water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugary drinks, and opt for healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables instead of candy or cake.
Finally, be sure to brush and floss regularly. This is important for all patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, as it helps remove food particles and plaque from around the brackets and wires. Brushing and flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth clean and healthy throughout treatment.
How Much Does Orthodontic Treatment Cost?
Orthodontic treatment can be a significant investment, but the cost varies depending on the severity of the misalignment and the type of treatment recommended. In general, traditional metal braces are the most affordable option, followed by ceramic braces and then clear aligners like Invisalign.
The average cost of orthodontic treatment is $3,000 to $6,000, but it can range from $1,500 to $10,000 or more depending on your individual case. Many insurance plans offer coverage for orthodontic treatment, so be sure to check with your provider to see if you have benefits that could help offset the cost.
There are a few things you can do to keep the cost of orthodontic treatment down. For example, some dental offices offer discounts for patients who pay for their treatment in full up front or who refer new patients to the practice. You may also be able to find financing options that allow you to spread out the cost of treatment over time.
If you’re considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, talk to your dentist or orthodontist about what options are available and how much they might cost. With careful planning and a bit of research, you can find a way to get the smile you’ve always wanted without breaking the bank.
How to Choose an Orthodontist
There are many things to consider when choosing an orthodontist. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right one for you:
1. Do your research. Read reviews and ask around for recommendations.
2. Schedule a consultation. This will give you a chance to meet the orthodontist and get a feel for their personality and approach to treatment.
3. Ask questions. Make sure you understand the treatment process and what to expect before making a decision.
4. Consider your budget. Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, so be sure to compare prices before making a final decision.
5. Trust your gut. Ultimately, you should choose the orthodontist that you feel most comfortable with and who you believe will provide the best care possible.
6. Ask about financing options. Many orthodontists offer financing plans to make treatment more affordable. Be sure to ask about this before making your final decision.