If you ask people what they think of when they hear the term orthodontics, it will almost always be a tween or teen in metal braces. This isn’t surprising since it’s the image we see most often in popular culture! Here at Williams & Hamman Orthodontics, we frequently hear from adults who would love the chance to straighten their smile but worry that they’re too old for braces or aligners. Fortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
While a large percentage of our patients are adolescents, more adults than ever are exploring orthodontic treatment as a way to improve their oral health. In fact, over 20% of current orthodontic patients are age 18 or over! If you’ve spent years feeling self-conscious about the way your teeth look and feel, there’s never been a better time to learn more about how orthodontics can transform your smile. Let’s take a closer look at all the ins and outs of adult orthodontic treatment below!
Why are more adults looking into orthodontic treatment?
If you’re an adult who is considering orthodontic treatment, you’ve probably already thought about the cosmetic benefits of straightening your smile. These shouldn’t be underestimated! Numerous studies have shown that having a healthy smile you love can increase your self-confidence and improve many aspects of your life. The benefits of orthodontic care can extend beyond an improved appearance, however!
Crooked teeth, improper jaw positioning, and a misaligned bite can lead to a number of problems that may worsen as you age. Our teeth also tend to shift as we grow older, and the natural growth of the jaw can cause positioning issues. There are a number of health issues that can arise from these orthodontic problems if they’re left untreated, including:
- an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease
- difficulties with chewing, speaking, or biting
- jaw pain
- increased incidence of periodontal disease
- gum and bone erosion
- irregular wear of the tooth enamel
- pain in the face, neck, or jaw
- temporomandibular joint disorders or TMD (which is often incorrectly referred to as TMJ)
When you see the long list of health risks that can come with orthodontic issues, it’s easy to see why treatment is a valuable long-term investment in your oral and total body health. Braces and aligners can straighten your teeth, reduce or eliminate symptoms, and leave you with a smile that looks and feels fantastic!
That’s not all—correcting orthodontic issues now decreases the likelihood of developing serious oral health problems in the future. That can equal major financial savings! Besides improving your overall oral health and saving you money in the long run, braces and aligners can also help you overcome or avoid problems like teeth grinding, sleep apnea, and temporomandibular joint disorder.
What treatment options are available for adults?
One reason we’re seeing so many adults exploring orthodontic treatment now is because there are so many options available! If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of traditional metal braces, there are other designs and styles to choose from that are far less obvious. At Williams & Hamman Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer the following treatments to our adult patients.
Today’s metal braces look nothing like their predecessors! The brackets are much smaller and no longer wrap around the entire tooth. Thinner archwires are used to move the teeth with more comfort and speed. You can even put a pop of personality into your treatment journey by choosing fun colors for your elastic bands! Metal braces are usually the most economical treatment option and are ideal for patients who have more serious or complex cases.
Clear braces are the same shape and size as metal braces but use clear or tooth-colored brackets to blend in with your natural smile. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics, they provide a very subtle way to straighten your teeth! While the ceramic brackets are durable, they are more prone to breakage than metal brackets. For this reason, we usually only recommend them for our teen and adult patients. Clear braces can be an excellent option for adults who want the benefits of traditional metal braces without the noticeable look of them.
Clear aligner system
Instead of brackets and wires, these systems use a series of clear removable aligners to gently move the teeth over time. These are made from a special thermoplastic resin and customized to fit over your teeth firmly but comfortably. Because they’re removable, they provide adult patients with a bit more freedom and flexibility than braces, and allow you to brush, floss, and eat as you normally would. Clear aligners tend to work best for mild to moderate cases of the most common orthodontic issues and can be just as effective as braces when worn as directed.
Take your smile to the next level with expert care from Williams & Hamman Orthodontics
It’s never been easier or more convenient to achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted! With so many affordable treatment options to choose from, you’re sure to find the best fit for your unique smile, lifestyle, and goals here at Williams & Hamman Orthodontics.
Orthodontic treatments can build your self-esteem, boost your self-confidence, and nurture good oral health. You deserve a smile you can be proud of! If you’re in the Southaven, Hernando, or Olive Branch communities and want to learn more about our adult orthodontic options, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation. We’re here to help you take the first step towards the healthy, happy smile you deserve.