Orthodontic treatment revolves around the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of improperly aligned teeth or a misaligned bite. The primary goal of orthodontic treatment is to properly align the teeth and bite so that biting, chewing, and speaking functions are improved. Properly aligning the teeth and bite also eliminates gaps between the teeth and can improve the overall appearance of an individual’s smile. While many people assume that orthodontic treatment is just for teens, adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment, whether it is their first time or their teeth have shifted after previous orthodontic treatment. During orthodontic treatment, adults can choose from metal braces or Invisalign®. Traditional metal braces use metal brackets and a metal archwire to gradually reposition the teeth and bite, while Invisalign® uses clear aligners.
Did You Know?
Adult orthodontic treatment is becoming increasingly popular. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), around 1.5 million American adults underwent orthodontic treatment in 2014 alone.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for adult orthodontics?
You may be a candidate for adult orthodontic treatment if you:
- Have crowded, crooked, or protruding teeth
- Have gaps between your teeth
- Cannot close your lips comfortably
- Breathe through your mouth often
- Grind or clench your teeth
- Notice your jaw shifting or clicking
- Have an improperly shaped jaw or facial asymmetry
- Have trouble chewing or biting
- Want to improve the look of your smile
You may also be a candidate for adult orthodontics if you have already undergone orthodontic treatment at some point, but have had your teeth or bite shift over time. To determine if you are an ideal candidate for adult orthodontics, schedule a consultation with your Maxtown family dentist today.
Which orthodontic method should I choose?
At Maxtown Family Dental, we offer adult orthodontic treatment using both traditional metal braces and Invisalign®. Many adults prefer using Invisalign® since it offers a more discreet treatment option as compared to metal braces. However there are certain cases where traditional metal braces may be recommended over Invisalign® such as when the teeth are severely rotated, the teeth don’t fit in the aligners, or the midline is too uneven. During your orthodontic consultation, your dentist will describe what your orthodontic options are and provide you with their professional recommendation.
At a glance, here is some information about both orthodontic methods:
When using metal braces for orthodontic treatment, you can expect to have metal brackets cemented to your teeth. An arch wire is then passed through each bracket and held in place by colorful bands. Pressure is exerted on the teeth from the archwire, which causes them slowly to move into the proper alignment. Metal braces are a fixed appliance, meaning that they cannot be removed until treatment is over. This means that you will need to temporarily modify your diet and may be prone to minor soft tissue irritation until you have adapted.
When using Invisalign® for orthodontic treatment, you can expect to use clear aligner trays. While these trays are removable, they are only to be removed while brushing, flossing, and eating. Otherwise they need to remain in your mouth for at least 22 hours pers day to be effective. In some cases, additional orthodontic appliances may be used in coordination with your treatment plan.
How long does adult orthodontic treatment last?
The length of your treatment will depend upon the type and extent of the corrections that need to be made. In the case of Invisalign®, it will also be dependent on you wearing your aligners as directed. On average, orthodontic treatment takes about a year and a half, regardless of the appliance used.
After undergoing orthodontic treatment, you will need to wear a retainer to maintain your results regardless of the method used. There are two types of retainers that your dentist may recommend. The first is a Hawley retainer, which is made of plastic or acrylic and uses a metal framework to hold it in place. The second is the Vivera® retainer made by Invisalign®, which is a clear aligner. Retainers are generally worn full time for the first few months and then can be reduced to being worn at nighttime only.