In the not-so-distant past, orthodontics tended to focus mainly on improving the smiles of children and adolescents. This is one reason why the stereotype of teens in traditional braces is so pervasive! It’s also why many people are surprised to learn that orthodontic treatment can benefit patients of all ages, including children, teens, and even adults. In fact, we’re seeing more adults than ever before explore how braces and aligners can help them achieve a smile that is healthy and confident, with as many as 1 in 4 current orthodontic patients over the age of 18. That’s why we’re debunking the most popular reasons for not getting adult braces!
If that sounds like you, there’s never been a better time to learn about everything orthodontics has to offer you, and Dillehay Orthodontics is the perfect place to start. Thanks to a range of innovative treatment options, we’re able to correct a variety of orthodontic issues. One such option is traditional braces, which are one of the most effective tools we have for straightening teeth. Today’s braces are more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing than any previous designs, but some adult patients are still on the fence about them. If you’re hesitant about using braces to improve your oral health, it’s probably down to what you think you know about them.
Keep reading below as we tackle some of the most common myths about braces for adults, and show you why they could be the perfect solution for your smile!
Myth #1: Braces are only for kids
While adolescents do make up a significant percentage of orthodontic patients, you’re never too old to get the healthy smile you deserve! There are many reasons for the increase in adult orthodontic patients. As we get older, many of us gain a better understanding of the ways oral health and total body health are linked. This can result in the desire to take better care of our teeth and gums, which may include specialized dental care or orthodontic treatment.
We also see adults who have crooked teeth, incorrect jaw positioning, and other issues that they’ve waited years to correct. Others are simply looking to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. Research has shown that an attractive, healthy smile can boost your self-esteem and benefit you both personally and professionally, so we fully support whatever reason you have for exploring orthodontic treatment in adulthood!
Myth #2: Braces stand out too much
If you’re uncomfortable with your smile, the last thing you want is to make it even more noticeable. Many adults worry that braces will make them stand out too much, but modern treatment options give you many different ways to achieve the smile you desire! Dillehay Orthodontics offers the following treatments for a major smile makeover.
Metal braces are one of the most recognizable symbols of orthodontics, and also the most common type of treatment. Thanks to a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals, the brackets are very durable and long-lasting.
Modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be, and they’re also customizable, thanks to a variety of fun colored bands to choose from! These braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.
Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do, metal braces also tend to be a slightly more affordable option. The overall strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness of traditional braces keep them the top treatment for orthodontics, year after year.
Ceramic braces function in much the same way metal braces do, with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. While ceramic braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re better able to blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly discreet way to straighten smiles!
Although ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Ceramic brackets are often slightly more costly than metal brackets, as well. Since they can be more expensive and are more prone to breakage, we believe ceramic braces are generally better suited to adults and older teens.
These innovative braces eliminate the need for elastics by using self-ligating brackets. This means it has a built-in door that holds the wire passively to the bracket, eliminating the need for additional attachments and decreasing the amount of force required to move the teeth. This can minimize the need for extractions of permanent teeth, headgear, or high force palatal expanders.
Self-ligating braces can be very precise and effective. In fact, they work so efficiently that fewer adjustments are often required! As a result, appointments tend to be faster and fewer in number. The unique design also moves teeth into their correct positions with less discomfort than traditional braces.
These are similar to traditional braces in several ways. For instance, both have brackets attached to the surface of the teeth, and both use wires and rubber bands to slowly move them into more desirable positions. However, the brackets used with lingual braces are placed on the back sides of the teeth facing the tongue, rather than the front of the teeth. This makes them virtually invisible, which can be especially attractive for image-conscious teens and adults!
Before lingual braces are placed, we will take a digital impression using a scan of the teeth to customize the brackets to fit each patient’s mouth perfectly. They are then placed onto each individual tooth with wires connecting them. These wires are also customized by a robot according to each patient’s specific needs. It’s essential to have the perfect fit from the very start when it comes to putting lingual braces on, so we use a customized tray that allows us to cement all the brackets to the teeth at the same time. Once the lingual braces are placed, they work in much the same way traditional braces do.
Myth #3: Braces are painful
Many patients worry that treatment will hurt, but modern braces move the teeth far more gently and effectively than ever before! That being said, the brackets and wires can sometimes irritate the sensitive tissue of your cheeks and gums. This can almost always be resolved with DIY methods at home. If you experience any tenderness after an adjustment appointment or in the early days of treatment, stick to soft food and use warm compresses for a day or two to help dissipate the soreness quickly.
Myth #4: Braces are too expensive
Orthodontic treatment of any kind is an investment in a healthier smile, with benefits that can last a lifetime! There are no hidden fees here at Dillehay Orthodontics. Once your free consultation is complete, we’ll go over the total cost of your personalized treatment plan. This will usually include:
- all appointments, including emergency visits
- braces or aligners
- post-treatment follow-up visits
The treatment fee is a reflection of our skill, expertise, and the high-quality products we use. We know that braces can be a big investment for patients, and our office will work with every budget to ensure patients receive the orthodontic care they need.
Get the smile you’ve always dreamed of with Dillehay Orthodontics
Whatever your age, braces can be an excellent option for straightening your teeth and improving your oral health. Dillehay Orthodontics has been creating beautiful smiles for families in the Wichita area for over 50 years, and our team will give you a rewarding experience from the first visit to the last. If you’d like to learn more about how our braces can totally transform your smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation!