Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

If you’ve spent most of your life feeling embarrassed by your smile, you may be resigned to the way it looks and feels. After all, you’ve gone this long with orthodontic issues—is there any point in correcting them now? Aren’t braces and aligners just for kids, anyway? 

The answer to that second question is a resounding no! Patients of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment, and we’re actually seeing more adults than ever before using orthodontics to straighten their smiles and improve their oral health. In fact, would it surprise you to learn that almost 1 in every 4 current patients are over the age of 18?  

Here at Shiney Smiles Orthodontics, we want to create a beautiful smile for you that exceeds your wildest expectations! Whatever your age, expert orthodontic care has never been so efficient and affordable. Keep reading below to learn more about adult orthodontic treatment and why so many adults are diving right in to it! 

Taking the first steps towards the smile you’ve always wanted

Whether you’re 7 or 70, the process to move teeth is basically the same. As long as you have healthy teeth, gums, and jawbones, we can successfully correct your orthodontic issues. That said, there are some differences when we’re treating adults versus treatment that’s initiated earlier in life when the mouth is still growing and developing. 

In general, we only need children and teens to have a complete set of permanent teeth before we fit them for their chosen appliance. Adults need to meet a few more requirements to achieve the same success! 

A healthy mouth is the best place to start 

When you schedule your free consultation with Dr. Sheinis, he’ll perform a thorough evaluation of your teeth, jaws, and gums. This will give him insight into the alignment and position of your teeth, along with an analysis of your bite. If there are any major structural issues, tooth decay, or gum disease present, they will need to be addressed and corrected before moving forward with braces or aligners.

Correcting adult misalignments may take a little more work

Because adult teeth and bone have stopped growing, it can be more difficult to correct severe or complicated misalignments. Some structural changes can’t be accomplished with orthodontic appliances alone, and the treatment plan may include oral surgery in order to achieve the desired results. This will vary from case to case, of course, and most adults will be able to straighten their smiles using braces or aligners only. 

We may coordinate treatment with your dentist

Some adult patients may have dental issues that need to be corrected before orthodontic treatment can proceed. This is why experienced orthodontists like Dr. Sheinis will work in conjunction with a patient’s general dentist! We may discover that you need fillings, a root canal, or other dental treatments in preparation for your braces or aligners. If any gum disease is present, you may be referred to a periodontist first. 

Once these requirements are met, correcting adult teeth with orthodontic treatment is often just as successful as correcting a younger patient’s teeth! Some of this can be attributed to the fact that adults tend to comply more readily with our recommendations and guidelines. As an adult, you’re also more likely to have an established oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth, gums, and appliance clean!

What are some of the benefits of adult orthodontic treatment? 

Aside from improving the cosmetic appearance of your smile, orthodontic treatment can also improve your overall oral health!  The obvious cosmetic benefit of orthodontic treatment, correcting orthodontic issues can also greatly improve your oral health! 

Teeth that are crooked or crowded can be difficult to brush and floss effectively. This increases the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. Misalignment can also cause issues, including excess wear and tear on the teeth and enamel. This may lead to headaches, jaw aches, and pain in the face and neck. Correcting these problems with braces or aligners will reduce or eliminate these symptoms, leaving you with a beautiful smile that feels good, too!

Orthodontic care now decreases the likelihood of serious issues with your oral health in the future, which can work out to major financial savings over time. This can help adults embrace orthodontics as the long-term investment in health and wellness that it truly is! Besides improving their overall oral health, braces and aligners can also help patients overcome or avoid frustrating problems like teeth grinding, sleep apnea, and temporomandibular joint disorder.

Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

What treatment options are available for adults?

Shiny Smiles Orthodontics is proud to offer a variety of affordable treatment options to our adult patients! We’ve outlined them for you below. 

Metal Braces 

Traditional metal braces are usually what people picture when they think of orthodontics. However, today’s braces look nothing like their predecessors! The brackets are much smaller and no longer wrap around the entire tooth. Thinner archwires are used to move the teeth with more comfort and speed. You can even put a pop of personality into your treatment journey by choosing fun colors for your elastic bands! Metal braces are usually the most economical treatment option and are ideal for patients who have more serious or complex cases. 

Clear Braces

Clear braces are the same shape and size as metal braces but use clear or tooth-colored brackets to blend in better with your natural smile. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics, they provide a very subtle way to straighten your teeth! While the ceramic brackets are durable, they are more prone to breakage than metal brackets. They also tend to be a bit more costly than metal braces. For this reason, we usually only recommend them for our teen and adult patients. Clear braces can be an excellent option for adults who want the benefits of traditional metal braces without being so noticeable. 

InBrace lingual braces

InBrace is the newest in orthodontic technology! Like traditional braces, these braces work by applying gentle yet continuous pressure on the teeth to help them slowly shift into the desired positions. However, InBrace uses just a few robotically bent wires behind the teeth to discreetly create a beautiful custom smile.

The process for lingual braces involves taking a digital impression of the teeth, which is then sent to a dental laboratory and used to create the customized wires. This generally takes about four weeks and, once complete, allows us to cement the braces onto the back surfaces of the teeth for a completely invisible treatment option. 

Invisalign clear aligner system

Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth. These are made from a special thermoplastic resin and customized to fit over your teeth firmly but comfortably. Because they’re removable, they provide adult patients with a bit more freedom and flexibility than braces, and allow you to brush, floss, and eat as you normally would. Invisalign works best for mild to moderate cases of the most common orthodontic issues and can be just as effective as braces when worn as directed.

Give your teeth some TLC with expert care from Shiney Smiles Orthodontics 

It’s never too late to take advantage of the many benefits orthodontics has to offer! Whatever your age, you deserve a healthy smile you can be proud of and our experienced team has what it takes to help you achieve just that. 

If you’re in Huntington, Woodbury, or the surrounding areas and want to learn more about transforming your smile with braces or aligners, get in touch today! We’d love to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Sheinis and work with you towards achieving improved oral health and a beautiful smile.