Getting Braces as an Adult: Expectations vs. Reality
Have you always wanted a straighter smile but, for one reason or another, kept putting off orthodontic treatment? Or maybe you had braces as a teen but forgot to wear your retainer so your teeth aren’t as straight anymore? Whatever your reason for pursuing braces as an adult, you probably have some expectations about how orthodontic treatment works for older patients. After all, most braces patients are kids and teens, right? Not exactly! In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontics, over a quarter of orthodontic patients in Canada and the United States are 18 years old and up.
At Shine Orthodontics, we have many adult braces patients who have made the life-changing decision to get the smile of their dreams, but we’ve noticed that they often have some misguided beliefs about braces for adults. Here, Dr. Brandon Scheer and his team break down what people expect from adult orthodontic treatment and what it’s really like to have braces as an adult. Read on!
Expectation: I’ll Have to Wear Metal Braces as an Adult
Reality: There are Many Different Types of Braces to Choose From
If you’re thinking about getting braces as an adult, you might have an image in your head of the chunky metal braces your classmates wore back when you were in high school. And if that’s what you’re expecting from braces, we understand why you might be wary of starting treatment! Most of our adult braces patients are looking for a more discreet way to straighten their teeth, not front-and-center hardware that’s impossible to ignore.
Fortunately, there are so many different braces options available these days — including clear braces, lingual braces and Invisalign — so you can choose the type of orthodontic treatment that’s best for you and your lifestyle. Even metal braces nowadays are much more discreet than they used to be, meaning you can get all the benefits of traditional braces without compromising on aesthetics. At Shine Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer the following types of alternative braces:
- Clear Braces: This is one of the most popular types of braces for our adult patients. Also called ceramic braces, clear braces work similarly to metal braces in that they use a series of brackets and wires to straighten your teeth. However, instead of metal, these braces are made from a clear, ceramic material that blends in with your teeth. This makes the braces less noticeable, helping patients smile more confidently all throughout their treatment.
- Lingual Braces: If you want the straightening power of braces without having visible brackets glued to the front of your teeth, we’ve got you covered. At Shine Orthodontics, we offer InBrace® lingual braces in Thornton, CO. These hidden braces are custom-made and bonded to the back of your teeth, making them completely invisible.
- Invisalign: Invisalign is one of the best alternative orthodontic treatments to braces for good reason. This state-of-the-art system uses a series of clear plastic aligners to gradually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Dr. Brandon Scheer also completed the Invisalign Advanced Orthodontic Masters Program, which is only available to a select few orthodontists, so you know you’re getting the best Invisalign in Thornton, CO.
Expectation: Braces for Adults Aren’t Effective
Reality: It’s Never Too Late for Orthodontic Treatment
When adult patients come to us, one of the first questions they ask us is, “Am I too old for braces?” For some reason, there’s a common myth that unless you have braces as a kid or teen, you can’t get beautiful results from orthodontic treatment. But the Shine Orthodontics team wants to spread the word that this couldn’t be further from the truth!
You really can achieve your smile goals at any age. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 50 — braces and Invisalign function in the exact same way on every set of teeth. Whichever treatment you choose, your appliance will apply gentle pressure to your teeth, slowly moving them into a more optimal position over time. While there are certain benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment when your jaw is still developing, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get incredible results from braces as an adult.
Expectation: The Benefits of Straight Teeth are Only Cosmetic
Reality: Having Straight Teeth is Beneficial to Your Oral and Overall Health
It’s true that having straight teeth will improve your appearance and give you a beautiful smile. But the benefits of straight teeth don’t stop there. On top of the many positive impacts on your oral health, a straight smile is also proven to boost your confidence and can even improve your outlook for success. Yes, really — studies show that people with straight teeth are perceived to be smarter and more successful. Bizarre, right?
If you’re looking for a reason to get braces as an adult that goes beyond aesthetic purposes, here are some of the many benefits of straight teeth:
- Lowers your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease
- Reduces risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature labor in pregnant women
- Supports proper chewing
- Helps with clearer speech
- Reduces abnormal wear on teeth
- Can help alleviate headaches and pain in the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ
- Prevents injury to protruding teeth
- And so much more!
If you’ve been considering getting braces or Invisalign as an adult, we hope we’ve provided some clarity on what to expect from treatment. Still have questions or concerns about what it’s like to have orthodontic treatment as an adult? Contact Shine Orthodontics today to book a complimentary consultation!