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‘I’m too old for orthodontics.’ ‘I’ve lived with this for so long.’ ‘getting orthodontics as an adult is weired.’ Are these lines that you have heard yourself or a loved one tell you about their teeth? Perhaps your parents didn’t have the financial capacity or feel the need to get you into the orthodontist’s chair as an adolescent; however, most orthodontists agree that it is never too late to start. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) proclaims that one-third of current orthodontic patients are adults.
Today there are numerous treatments available to get you smiling with confidence, whether you are 15 or 55. Read on to discover the answers to some common questions about getting orthodontics as an adult.
Are adult orthodontics different from those given to children?
Adults are no longer growing, which can make the orthodontic treatment take a bit longer than that with children or teenagers, as adult bone density makes their jaws less mailable. Additionally, adults are more likely to have worn teeth, dental disease, gum decay, fillings, and missing teeth that can make treatment more challenging. Habits that adults may have picked up, such as smoking or clenching teeth, can add to poor dental health as well.
Are braces the only option?
Gone are the days that metal braces are the only option available for orthodontic treatment. Indeed, traditional braces are still a standard treatment option; however, depending on your budget and the misalignment of your teeth, there are various other options that may be considered more cosmetically pleasing.
Clear or ceramic braces are more likely to be used for adult patients as they are less visible, but they do require additional attention regarding oral hygiene. Clear aligners like Invisalign are removable, invisible trays made out of acrylic that work similar to braces but can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing, flossing, or social occasions. Lingual braces are hidden on the back of your teeth, so they can’t be seen by others when you talk or smile. Speak to your local orthodontic clinic about what form of treatment is best for your particular case.
Can I afford orthodontic treatment?
Traditional orthodontic treatment has gone down in price in recent decades as new technologies come in place. In addition, many orthodontists’ offices offer affordable payment plans. Clinics such as Orthodontic Care Georgia can also assist with insurance claims and provide a guideline of how much your dental care will likely cost and the expected timeline based on the various treatment options.
How long will I need to have orthodontic treatment?
The average for an adult to wear braces in between 18-26 months; however, numerous factors impact the timeline, including the type of braces you use and how much work you need to be done. During the treatment phase, you will need to schedule appointments approximately every six to eight weeks. Remember that you will have a fantastic smile and better functioning of your teeth and jaw for biting and chewing once it is all done.
It’s never too late to prioritize your health and self-confidence. If you have ever held back a smile from not wanting someone to see your teeth, or if you hear a clicking in your jaw when you bite, then consider booking an appointment with a certified orthodontist to see how they can help.