If you tend to think of a teen in braces when you hear the word orthodontics, you’re not alone. This stereotype has proven itself to have serious staying power over the years! Because of this, many people are left wondering, “am I too old for braces?” Brady Orthodontics is here to tell you that orthodontic treatment can actually benefit patients of all ages, including adults. In fact, we’ve recently seen a big uptick in the number of adults looking to straighten their smile and correct orthodontic issues they’ve struggled with for years.
With about 1 in every 5 orthodontic patients currently over the age of 18, there’s never been a better time to explore how Brady Orthodontics can transform your smile! If you’ve spent a lifetime feeling unhappy or self-conscious about how your teeth look or function, we offer a variety of treatment options to correct crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, and more. Let’s take a look at what orthodontics actually is and how it can help you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of!
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialty under the umbrella of dentistry. Therefore, an orthodontist is a dentist who has received additional years of education and training in:
- identifying and correcting bite abnormalities
- successfully straightening teeth
- correcting misaligned jaws
- and improving the overall function of the mouth.
Experienced orthodontists like Dr. Patrick Brady work to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial abnormalities. When these types of issues 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 your 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 now choosing orthodontic treatment?
There are a variety of reasons for more adults exploring orthodontic treatment in recent years. As we begin getting older, we often gain a better understanding of how our oral health is linked to our total body health. For some people, this knowledge encourages them to take action by seeking out dental or orthodontic treatment that will help them to better care for their teeth and gums.
Many adult patients have also received orthodontic treatment earlier in life that was never completed, and now they want to complete the process. Touch-up treatment is extremely common, as well. 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 have multiple ways to treat the patient, including monitoring the teeth, re-treating with braces or aligners, or providing new retainers.
Then there are the adults who have never had treatment before, and simply desire to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. This can boost their confidence and self-esteem, and may even have a positive impact on their personal and professional lives. We’re big fans of all the reasons adults seek treatment later in life!
What treatment options are available for adult patients?
Whatever your reason for pursuing orthodontic treatment as an adult, there are more treatment options available to you than ever before! Brady Orthodontics offers the following treatments for a total smile makeover.
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are an orthodontic staple 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 previous versions. The total treatment time also tends to be shorter than it used to be.
These function the same way as traditional braces, but they’re placed on the back of the teeth. This is a great option for patients who want a treatment option that’s both effective and discreet. The process involves an impression of the teeth that are used to create customized wires that Dr. Brady will cement to your teeth. From there, lingual braces will gently guide your teeth to their new positions.
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 image-conscious patients, but because they are more delicate than metal braces, we generally only 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 your 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.
Any of these options can be a great fit for busy adults! Dr. Brady will always take your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals into account before recommending the treatment method he feels would work best for your smile.
Get the smile you’ve always dreamed of with Brady Orthodontics
You won’t find any cookie-cutter treatments here at Brady Orthodontics. We know that every smile is unique and that some treatment methods will be more suitable than others for each patient. This is one reason it’s so important to choose an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Brady. He will create a one-of-a-kind treatment plan for you based on your specific needs, giving you a rewarding orthodontic experience and superior results that last.
Our talented team is committed to providing patients of all ages with the latest in orthodontic techniques and technology. Dr. Brady has been creating award-winning smiles in Winnetka and the surrounding communities for years and would love to do the same for you!