It is never too late to begin orthodontic treatment. Patients can start as early as age 7, and there is no age limit for receiving treatment. Thanks to clear aligners, more adults are comfortable and confident getting orthodontic treatment, and about 1 in every 5 patients is an adult.
Adults seek orthodontic treatment for many of the same reasons as children. Some adults had orthodontic problems as children but were unable to correct them until now. Others, who had treatment as children, may need further treatment due to shifting teeth and not wearing a retainer.
Benefits of Adult Orthodontics
Adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment in many ways, including:
- Aligning teeth to create a more aesthetic and beautiful smile.
- Correct relapse after previous orthodontic treatment due to a lack of long-term retainer wear.
- Improve the ability to brush and floss, especially for crowded or overlapping lower front teeth.
- Create a better or more comfortable bite and ability to chew.
- Address missing teeth.
- Close spaces between the teeth.
- Reduce excessive wear on the teeth due to grinding or a poor bite.
- Jaw surgery to correct a discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws.
Appearance of Braces
Many adults are concerned with the appearance of braces. Often, Invisalign® (The invisible alternative to braces) can be used to treat adults. This technology involves clear, removable aligners, fabricated through advanced 3D imaging to align the teeth. For more severe problems, we have the option of clear, ceramic brackets instead of metal.
Soreness | Discomfort
Orthodontic treatment is neither more nor less uncomfortable for adults than it is for children. Oftentimes, the same levels of soreness are reported.
Typically, the teeth are most uncomfortable 12-24 hours after an orthodontic adjustment, and will disappear within 3 to 5 days. Modern appliances are smaller and more comfortable to wear. Modern techniques and technology put less pressure on the teeth, therefore causing less discomfort, while still moving the teeth more rapidly and efficiently. It also decreases the time required between adjustments to every 8-10 weeks. On average, treatment time is completed in 15-18 months.
The cost of treatment is determined by the severity of the problem, the complexity of the correction, the appliances used, and the length of time to correct. This is the same for children and adult patients.