Did you know that more adults than ever before are discovering the power of orthodontics? Today, nearly one in four orthodontic patients are over the age of 18. Whether you have never had treatment before, or if you had treatment as a child and have seen your smile shift, there is no time like the present to discover the way a new smile can change your life.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment in you and offers significant benefits. A straighter smile can help boost your self-image and help you greet the world with confidence. The power of orthodontic treatment goes far past just the cosmetic benefits.
Our Adult Orthodontist in Peabody & Newburyport Make Your Smile Healthier
A straighter smile often means a healthier smile, and a properly-aligned bite means healthier and stronger teeth. Crooked, crowded, and otherwise misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean. These issues can lead to an increased risk for cavities and gum disease. A poorly-aligned bite can place excessive wear and tear on the teeth due to the abnormal pressure being placed when biting down. This type of bite can lead to erosion of the enamel, chipping, cracking, and breaking.
There are more treatment options available than ever before, however, it is important to remember that treatment will differ for adult patients than for our adolescent patients. Teeth can be moved at any time, but adult patients will have issues that differ from our younger patients.
The Orthodontic Issue is Related to Improper Jaw
First, as an adult, you do not have the benefit of a jaw that is still growing. If your orthodontic issue is related to improper jaw development, your treatment may be more intensive.
Adults also have other dental issues that most adolescents do not. Periodontal disease is very common and affects nearly half of adults over the age of 30. While common, it can wreak havoc on a smile and make orthodontic treatment more difficult. Gum disease can cause loss of bone which can negatively affect long-term orthodontic results. Before orthodontic treatment can begin, periodontal disease will need to be treated and under control.
Adult patients benefit from the many advances in the orthodontic world, resulting in more treatment options than ever before. Today, you can choose from metal braces or clear aligners, and everything in between.
No matter what treatment option you choose, the mechanics of moving your teeth are the same. The appliance applies a constant, yet gentle, force to the teeth to guide them to their ideal locations. Innovations in the orthodontic world have led to a variety of methods to achieve these results. The treatment option that is right for you is as personal as your smile.
After The Active Phase of your Orthodontic Treatment
After the active phase of your orthodontic treatment is finished, you will enter the retention phase. You worked hard while in treatment, and we want to ensure that the hard work stays permanent. Retainer wear is the only way to guarantee that your smile will stay as straight and aligned as the day your braces are removed. It takes time for the bones, tissues, and ligaments of your mouth to adjust to all of the movement that was created during treatment.
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A retainer allows them to solidify in their new locations so they can better anchor the teeth in their new positions. Dr. Pavlo an experienced Newburyport Orthodontist will explain retainer wear at the end of your treatment – what retainer is recommended, how to care for it, and his recommendations for wearing your retainer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Orthodontics for adults is most similar to any other case of orthodontic treatment. The only additional considerations we need to keep in mind when an adult wishes to straighten their teeth relate to their periodontal health and the causes of their dental malalignment. Patients need healthy periodontal tissues to withstand the motions that characterize orthodontics, so make sure you continue to brush your teeth well before you start ortho with braces.
Braces aren’t necessarily any more painful for adults than they could be for patients in any other age category. One thing is certain, though. Adult patients no longer have growing bones or teeth; as such, their treatment plan needs to take a couple more things into consideration and may prove a bit slower than that of younger patients to avoid causing any damage to the patient’s teeth.
In comparison, adult orthodontic treatment will take a bit longer than the estimated average for teenagers. Still, each patient’s case is unique, comes with a specific set of challenges, and has to be adjusted by the orthodontist to reach personal goals. This leads to a unique estimated treatment length every time a new patient starts their treatment.
Some of the most immediate side effects include difficulty speaking and mild discomfort. Ultimately even your face shape might change a bit, which is one thing you should ask your orthodontist as soon as you visit them for the first time. Likewise, some patients report they even lose weight during their treatment with braces, as their dietary habits have to change and exclude some foods and drinks that can contribute to excess body weight.
On average, some adults will have to wear their braces for 18 to 36 months, but each case will vary depending on personal circumstances, individual goals, and other factors your orthodontist has to take into consideration. Ultimately, the only way to get a better estimate is to visit a board-certified orthodontist and have them review the status of your dental structures.
Adults are great patients because they are, on average, much more compliant than teenagers or younger kids. Adults are not in the business of wasting time or engaging in treatments that don’t prove to be efficient enough. As such, adults get to start with reliable treatment options, improve their oral health, and enjoy a few additional side effects.