It's Never Too Late for a Confident Smile
We're seeing more and more adult orthodontic patients these days, and it's not hard to figure out why! Appliances that are barely noticeable have been developed to give adults more discreet choices when it comes to transforming their smiles.
Investing in a smile makeover can have significant benefits, socially and professionally. Straightening teeth can be an important part of that confidence-boosting makeover process!
What to Expect Post-Treatment
Wearing a retainer after orthodontic treatment is crucial, no matter which type of appliance you choose and what age you are. Teeth that are not held in place by a retainer long enough for new supporting bone to develop around them can drift back to their original positions, and that's certainly not something we - or you - want to see happen.
Dr. Moffett and Dr. Walley will make sure to instruct you on how to retain your new, more beautiful smile so that it continues to make you look and feel great for years to come.
Types of Appliances for Adults
All orthodontic appliances essentially work the same way: by employing light, constant force to move teeth into proper alignment. But how we apply these forces can vary, as numerous innovations have become available in recent years. Less visible orthodontic appliances have been designed to blend more easily into an adult's personal and professional lifestyle. Types of orthodontic appliances include:
Traditional Metal Braces - This is probably what you think of when you picture someone wearing braces: small metal brackets bonded to the front of the teeth. A thin wire runs through the brackets and is attached on either end to metal bands that go around a back molar.
Clear Braces - Instead of highly noticeable metal brackets, you can have clear ones made of ceramic, plastic or a combination of both. They are hardly visible, except for the thin wire running through, but they are more susceptible to breakage than metal braces.
Clear Aligners - As an alternative to the fixed type of orthodontic appliances mentioned above, clear aligners are removable. They are actually a series of clear plastic "trays" that fit over your teeth exactly. Each tray is part of a series of trays that move your teeth a little bit at a time until they are in the proper position. Your trays are designed with the help of specialized computer software that generates a virtual model of your bite.
Differences of Orthodontics for Adults
Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there's no such thing as being too old for braces. However, orthodontic treatment for adults is different in two important respects: For one thing, the growth and development of the jaws is complete in adults, so changes in actual jaw structure can't be accomplished with orthodontic appliances the same way they can with a growing child.
Secondly, periodontal (gum) disease is more prevalent in adults than in children. While you are wearing your orthodontic appliances, gentle forces will be applied to your teeth so they can move through their surrounding bone. Periodontal health plays a key role in all of this; if the gum tissues are not healthy during orthodontics, bone loss can result and weaken the long-term prognosis of your teeth.
For this reason, any gum disease must be brought under control before orthodontic treatment begins. And to maintain your periodontal health, you will need to make sure to have regular professional cleanings during the orthodontics while maintaining good oral hygiene at home.
FAQs About Adult Orthodontics
Start your journey towards a healthy new smile today and schedule your free consultation with Moffett & Walley Orthodontics.
Let's talk about your orthodontic options and develop a treatment plan that's customized to your needs and smile goals!