At times, patients looking for adult orthodontics get overwhelmed by the fact they never had the chance or the initiative to get braces when they were younger. They might also get frustrated thinking braces are for kids and think, I am too old for this. Here, we encourage you to reset your mind and take this:
“Braces and Clear Aligners have no age restrictions.”
Great! You have refreshed opportunities to straighten your teeth now that you have new knowledge. Moreover, if you have crooked teeth or a facial asymmetry but have little understanding of the many benefits orthodontics brings to your life, we will tell you some of them right here:
- Orthodontics helps you have straight teeth that are easier to clean, favoring oral hygiene and health, which thus prevents tooth decay, cavities, and gums (periodontal) disease.
- A malocclusion is a bad or erroneous match of a bite. An improper bite can cause unwanted teeth to wear due to unbalanced contact, producing more friction in some parts of a tooth and less friction in others. Unwanted friction compromises a tooth o several teeth structures which might break and represent costly reparative treatments later.
- Some severe overbite or underbite problems might also reveal a facial asymmetry or disproportion that could affect the patient’s facial profile.
- From an overall health standpoint, fixing a malocclusion might help resolve problems such as sleep apnea and speech impediments; it also improves mastication, positively affecting nutrient absorption.
In summary, teeth alignment has several positive benefits for kids, teens, and adults. So, stay a bit longer and read this interesting article that will help you discuss with your orthodontist what it takes to have a beautiful and healthy smile.
What Is the Best Age for Orthodontic Treatment?
It’s common for people to assume that braces are only for teenagers. However, adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment as well. So, what is the best age for orthodontic treatment? According to the American Association of Orthodontists – AAO, children should have their first orthodontic consultation by age 7.
During this time, orthodontists can identify potential issues and provide necessary preventative care. Early Interceptive Treatment is a formidable approach for children with developing teeth to prevent more significant issues that may require invasive treatment later.
At this stage, an orthodontist paves the road for a more straightforward and less strenuous treatment in early adolescence. For instance, a specialist uses functional appliances like a palatal expander to grow the jaws or use techniques to guide teeth eruption.
With this consideration in mind, and heading back to the previous discussion, only an orthodontist can say what the best age for orthodontic treatment is, but the earlier the visit, the better the chances to have a clear perspective of the appropriateness of treatment and when it needs to be put in action.
So, the optimal age for braces or other orthodontic treatment varies depending on each individual’s needs. However, you can start with orthodontic treatment after consulting Dr. Balhoff.
Can Adults Get Braces?
Are you considering getting braces as an adult? Then, this is your lucky day. It doesn’t matter if you are in your thirties, forties, or fifties; you can get braces or clear aligners after passing one important but not impossible to achieve requisite, and that is clearing any cavities and having a periodontal check.
Unfortunately, chances of suffering from periodontal disease increase as we age, but don’t be discouraged by the statistics. Early stages of periodontal disease are treatable, and you can join the club of more and more adults taking the opportunity to improve their oral health and enhance their appearance with braces.
Even better, there are various options available to fit your unique needs and preferences, including clear ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign and traditional metal braces.
Is Periodontal Disease a Problem for Getting Braces?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can be a hindrance to adult orthodontic treatment. But before we jump to conclusions, early stages of periodontal disease are treatable, and progression might derive from a previous, less invasive stage named Gingivitis that produces symptoms that are easy to detect. Gingivitis symptoms include:
- Swollen, red, and puffy gums that are also tender at contact;
- Slight bleeding of the gums, especially when brushing your teeth;
- Episodes of bad breath;
- In some cases, you can note your gums receding.
If you notice having some or all of these symptoms, talk to your dentist; they will provide a solution that often involves practicing oral hygiene with a guided technique or being more careful about the importance of good hygiene habits.
Gingivitis should be an alert of a potential problem, so you must take it seriously because Gingivitis might develop into a periodontal disease that classifies according to the levels of damage it produces to the teeth support structure.
This is because periodontal disease causes bone loss and affects gum health, which is necessary to support the teeth and jaw during orthodontic treatment. If bone density is compromised due to gum disease, the teeth may shift or move during treatment, leading to a bad bite or further dental decay.
Furthermore, periodontal disease can also lead to heart disease, making it necessary to address it before undergoing any orthodontic treatment. It is essential to consult with a dentist before getting braces as they can assess your gum health and provide advice on necessary treatment.
How Long Do Braces Take To Straighten Teeth?
Let’s get back to the periodontal structure, in more detail, the periodontal ligaments. The periodontal ligament is a compact and tiny fibrous soft tissue between a tooth and the alveolar bone. It helps keep the tooth firm and, at the same time, provides some flexibility.
The periodontal ligaments regenerate easier when we are young, allowing for faster healing from braces strain. This means that having braces at a young age increases the chances of a speedier outcome.
Moving teeth is not impossible as we age, but it takes a bit longer. How much longer? It depends on your biophysical response to strain. Furthermore, we must also address the severity of malocclusion, such as how much an orthodontist must move your teeth safely.
So, summarizing how long braces take to straighten teeth depends heavily on your body’s response to strain and the severity of your malocclusion case. Therefore, it would be irresponsible for any orthodontist to approximate a timeline without thoroughly evaluating your case.
What Are the Teeth Straightening Options For Adults?
Now that we approach the final part of this article, we must say adults have a vast array of options to choose from, which must be encouraging for you. Indeed, if your choice is to pass inadvertently, you might be a candidate for Invisalign, lingual, or clear ceramic braces.
However, some severe malocclusion cases might require opting for traditional metal braces. Luckily for you, there are various treatments you might discuss with Dr. Balhoff that will heartedly help you have the one that fits your needs best. Here we briefly check on them as follows:
Traditional Metal Braces
These braces are the most common type and are effective for treating anything from crooked and misaligned teeth to fixing bad bites. Of course, you won’t pass inadvertently with them, but these braces are the most suitable option if you have severe malocclusion.
Self-ligating braces are stainless steel braces with a twist instead of using ligatures to hold the archwire in position and increase strain. Ligatures are uncomfortable and are also hard to clean. Instead, self-ligating braces, either with active, and passive mechanisms, allow for better control and comfort.
Self-ligating braces’ passive slide mechanism holds the archwire reducing friction and allowing more effortless teeth movement, potentially leading to faster treatment times and fewer appointments. Self-ligating braces can also be more comfortable as they reduce the need for adjustments and tightening.
Clear Ceramic Braces
Ceramic Braces are similar to traditional braces, but the brackets are made of a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of your teeth. Clear Braces Lafayette are an excellent option for their discreteness, but they tend to be less sturdy than their stainless steel counterparts, which could compromise treatment times.
Talking about discreteness, lingual braces are the most striking one. They are invisible because they are attached to the back of your teeth. However, oral hygiene with lingual braces is challenging, which might increase the potentiality of tooth decay or Gingivitis in adults.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Clear aligners are the most suitable option for adult patients seeking a discrete, comfortable, hygienic, and effective orthodontic treatment.
Make the Best Decision, Start Your Adult Life With Braces Lafayette
There is no better moment than this, and no better option for Braces Treatment for Adult Lafayette than Balhoff Orthodontics. Candidacy for braces or clear aligners has nothing to do with age but with stable oral health, and that is something attainable with the right care and professionalism. Schedule an appointment and stop dreaming; make having a healthy and beautiful smile a reality you feel proud of.