When most people think about orthodontics, the first thing that comes to mind is a teenager wearing metal braces. While it’s true that many patients we see here at Jennings Orthodontics are teens, treatment can be beneficial for people of all ages! If you’ve been wondering “am I too old for orthodontic treatment?” you should know that there’s been a huge increase in the number of adults seeking treatment in recent years. In fact, about 1 in every 5 orthodontic patients is over the age of 18!
If you’ve spent your life unhappy or self-conscious with how your teeth look or feel, orthodontic treatment could help you get the smile of your dreams! Jennings Orthodontics is proud to offer a variety of treatment options to successfully correct crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, and more. To learn more about what orthodontics actually is, and how it can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted, keep reading below!
What is orthodontics?
If you think of dentistry as an umbrella, orthodontics is a specialty underneath it. Therefore an orthodontist is a dentist who has received years of additional education and training in identifying and correcting bite abnormalities, as well as successfully straightening teeth, correcting misaligned jaws, and improving the overall function of the mouth.
An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Carrie Jennings is able to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial abnormalities. When issues such as these are left untreated, they can get worse over time, leading to premature wear and tear on the teeth, gum tissue, and bone. This may result in pain in the face and neck area, headaches, and even difficulties with chewing or speaking. Orthodontists are able to diagnose and treat these types of issues, which can improve both the function and appearance of your smile.
Why are more adults choosing orthodontic treatment?
There are many reasons we’ve seen more adults pursuing orthodontic treatment. Oftentimes, as we get older we often begin to understand more about how our oral health is linked to our total body health. For some people, this knowledge leads them to take action by seeking out dental or orthodontic treatment that will allow them to better care for their teeth and gums.
Touch-up treatment is another common reason for adult orthodontic treatment. We talk to many adult patients who received orthodontic treatment earlier in life that was never completed, who now want to finish the process. Teeth that were straightened in a patient’s younger years can shift over time due to age, genetics, or improper retainer use. In these cases, we offer several options, including monitoring the teeth, providing new retainers, or re-treating with braces or aligners.
Then there are the adults who have never had treatment before and are simply looking to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. This boosts their confidence and self-esteem and can even have a positive impact on their personal and professional lives.
What orthodontic options are available for adult patients?
Whatever your reason for seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult, there are more options than ever before! Jennings Orthodontics offers the following treatments for a total smile makeover.
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common orthodontic treatment and with good reason! This is one of our most efficient treatments, particularly for more severe or complicated cases. Modern braces use high-quality stainless steel, but innovations in the design mean they’re much more comfortable than ever before. The total treatment time also tends to be shorter than it was in the past.
These function in much the same way traditional braces do but use ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. The brackets can be clear, white, or tooth-colored, and for an almost invisible treatment option, can be used with elastics or ties that are also clear, white, or tooth-colored. Clear braces can be an excellent choice for patients who want a more subtle treatment option. However, since they are slightly more fragile than metal braces, we typically only recommend them for older teens and adults.
Clear aligner therapy
Clear aligner therapy uses a series of clear, removable aligners that are customized to fit comfortably over the teeth. Like braces, the aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day throughout the course of treatment and replacing them every 1-2 weeks for the next aligner in the system.
Clear aligners offer patients a bit of freedom and flexibility that traditional braces just can’t compare to! With clear aligners, there are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking. They also make it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy since you don’t have to work around wires and brackets, and can simply brush and floss the way you normally would.
Both of these options can be a great fit for busy adults! You can trust Dr. Jennings to only recommend the treatment method she feels will work best with your smile, lifestyle, and goals.
Get the smile you’ve been waiting for with Jennings Orthodontics
You’ll never find a cookie-cutter treatment here at Jennings Orthodontics. Every smile is unique and what works for one may not be the best fit for another. That’s why it’s so important to choose an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Jennings! She’ll create a one-of-a-kind treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals, giving you a positive orthodontic experience and long-lasting results.
Our expert team is dedicated to providing the latest in orthodontic treatments and techniques for patients of all ages in Louisville, Mt. Washington, and the surrounding communities. It’s never too late to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Start your smile transformation today by scheduling your FREE consultation with Jennings Orthodontics.