Do you believe that only kids and teens wear braces? One in five orthodontic patients is an adult, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. The organization reported that nearly 1.5 million adults were treated by its member orthodontists in 2014.

Why do adults choose to straighten their teeth? Appearance is, of course, a big factor. Everyone wants an attractive smile! But there is more to it than just aesthetic appeal. Braces not only straighten teeth, they also improve jaw position. When the teeth and jaw are misaligned, it can cause headaches and issues with chewing, biting and speaking. Such problems can show up later in life if jaw misalignment and overbite are not corrected in childhood. Another incentive is to preserve the teeth. Teeth that are crooked or overcrowded can be difficult to clean, leading to cavities and tooth loss.

The braces of today are smaller, lighter and more comfortable than in years past, and treatment is faster. Patients who wish to have a more subtle appearance have many options. There are clear braces, ceramic braces that mimic the color of the teeth, as well as lingual braces that are placed on the back of the teeth.

And the introduction of Invisalign in the late 90s was a game-changer. These clear aligners are barely noticeable and therefore ideal for adults who might feel self-conscious with braces. Adults also love the convenience of being able to remove them for eating and brushing their teeth.

” These clear aligners are barely noticeable and therefore ideal for adults who
might feel self-conscious with braces.”

In general, orthodontists often recommend traditional braces for younger children, whereas Invisalign is popular with adults and teens. Invisalign treatment requires a degree of personal responsibility. Because the aligners are removable, they can get lost or patients may forget to wear them. Patients with traditional braces, on the other hand, cannot remove them on their own so they have no choice but to finish the treatment.

So are orthodontic procedures different for adults than for kids?  Adults are more likely than kids to have tooth loss and gum disease. They also are more likely to have had prior dental work done. All of these factors make adult cases more complicated to treat. Older people also have denser bone tissue, therefore treatment could take a bit longer. Not all treatment options work for everyone, so recommendations vary on a case-by-case basis regardless of age.

Enamel Dental is proud to be your neighborhood Invisalign practice. Please contact us for an appointment and consultation to see if this treatment is a good option for you. It is never too late to fix your smile!