Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. One of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. If you are an adult and considering orthodontics, you should know the following benefits to getting orthodontic work: straight teeth are healthy teeth and are easier to clean, and orthodontics gives you a beautiful smile. Don’t let your age discourage you from getting the smile you deserve! We offer great alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as clear brackets or Invisalign, to make you more confident during the orthodontic process.
We’re seeing more and more adult orthodontic patients these days and its not hard to figure out why. Appliances that are barely noticeable have been developed to give adults more discreet choices when it come to orthodontic treatment. Many adults realize that investing in a smile makeover can have significant benefits for their oral health and aesthetics. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there’s no such thing as being too old for braces.
It’s best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and when is the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.
First off, straight teeth contribute to a nicer smile. Many studies have shown that an attractive smile boosts self-esteem which is important at any age. For children, the development of a positive self-image can carry forward throughout life and contribute to future success. For adults, self-esteem is critically important in many professional settings and social situations.
As important as appearance can be, the benefit of braces goes beyond just esthetics. Straight teeth help an individual more effectively bite, chew, and even speak. It may come as a surprise that straight teeth contribute to healthy teeth and gums. Straighter teeth are easier to brush, clean, and floss! The ability to take better care of the teeth through oral hygiene also helps prevent future cavities and periodontal disease. This latter problem is of particular concern because over time it can lead to destruction of the bone that holds the teeth in place.
Properly aligned teeth and jaws may also alleviate unnecessary wear and grinding. It is known that malocclusion – or a “bad bite” – can lead to problems with the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and even ineffective chewing and digestion problems. In extreme cases, chronic headaches and back or neck pain can result.
Furthermore, straight teeth are less prone to injury. Protruding upper teeth are more likely to be broken or traumatized in an accident. Once repositioned and aligned, these teeth are at a decreased risk of being fractured. So in many ways, an attractive smile is a pleasant “side effect” of orthodontic treatment … although many patients actually view it as the primary benefit.
Orthodontics goes beyond just the mouth, however. Proper treatment can bring the teeth and lips into proportion with the jaws and face. Investing in orthodontics to correct a problem early in life is generally less costly than the restorative dental care required to treat more serious problems that can develop in later years.
The American Dental Association along with the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have a check-up no later than age seven. Although only a few orthodontic problems need to be corrected at that age, an early exam allows the orthodontist to offer advice and guidance as to when the appropriate age to start treatment would be.