When you hear the word “orthodontics,” what’s the first thing you think of? If you’re like many people, it’s likely some combination of a teenager and braces. This stereotype has had serious staying power, and for that reason, you may not even be aware that orthodontic treatment can benefit patients anywhere from 7 to 70! While it’s true that we do treat many teens, orthodontics can actually be beneficial for all ages, including adults. In fact, there’s been a huge increase in the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in recent years. Currently, about 1 in every 5 orthodontic patients is over the age of 18!
If you’ve spent your life unhappy or self-conscious about how your teeth look and feel, we have great news – you’re never too old to improve your oral health! Champlain Orthodontics is proud to offer a variety of efficient and effective treatment options to successfully correct crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, and more. To learn more about what orthodontics really 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 that falls underneath it. An orthodontist is a dentist who has undergone years of additional education and hands-on training to identify and correct bite abnormalities, as well as successfully straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaws, and improve the overall function of the mouth.
An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Ryan or Dr. Eaton will work to diagnose, treat, and prevent dental and facial abnormalities. If issues such as these are left untreated, they can worsen 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 an uptick in the number of adults exploring orthodontic treatment. One reason for this is that we often begin to understand more about how oral health is linked to our total body health as we get older. For some people, this knowledge encourages them to take action by seeking out dental or orthodontic treatment that will assist them in taking better care of their teeth and gums.
We also see many adult patients who received orthodontic treatment earlier in life that was never completed, who now want to finish the process. Touch-up treatment is common, as well. Teeth that were straightened in a patient’s younger years may shift over time due to age, genetics, or improper retainer use. In these cases, we have multiple 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 leads to a boost in 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! Champlain Orthodontics offers the following treatments for a total smile makeover.
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are an orthodontic staple and for good reasons! Metal braces are 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 previous versions. The total treatment time also tends to be shorter than it used to be.
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. Ceramic braces can be an excellent choice for image-conscious patients, but because they are more delicate than metal braces, we tend to recommend them for older teens and adults.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
Instead of brackets and bands, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear, customized, removable aligners. These are custom-designed to fit snugly over the teeth, and gently move them into the desired positions over time. Aligners are made of a soft but strong thermoplastic resin and are replaced with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the shifting teeth.
All three of these options can be a great fit for busy adults! You can trust that Dr. Ryan and Dr. Eaton will only recommend the treatment they feel will work best for your smile, lifestyle, and goals.
Get the smile you’ve been waiting for with Champlain Orthodontics
We don’t believe in “one size fits all” treatment here at Champlain Orthodontics. Every smile is unique, and some treatment methods will be more suitable for some patients than for others. That’s why it’s so important to choose an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Ryan and Dr. Eaton! They will build a customized treatment plan for you based on your unique needs, giving you a positive orthodontic experience and superior results.
Our expert team is dedicated to providing the latest in orthodontic techniques and technology for patients of all ages in Williston, St. Albans, and the surrounding communities. It’s never too late to get the smile you’ve always wanted. You can take the first step today by calling us to schedule a free consultation with the doctors at Champlain Orthodontics!