Not that long ago almost everyone used to think about orthodontic treatment and automatically imagine awkward teenagers.
It’s taken as a rite of passage for teenagers, that braces just come with the territory of high school and feeling out of place.
They think about the bad yearbook photos and sipping soup through a straw as an alternative to food.
The interesting part is that these days teenagers want to get braces like it is a fashion accessory.
They look forward to adding the extra bling to their teeth, and relish the fact that you can even add colours at their choice to create cool look to their teeth.
Teenagers even get excited about getting braces so they can be cool like their friends.
In comparison when adults choose to have braces for aesthetics and health reasons, adults knowingly choose them for themselves with a sense of, yes I am finally doing this for myself.
Braces are made so aesthetically these days that you can barely see them, so the general stigma that comes with braces as an adult is very much alleviated.
Adults choose to invest in orthodontic treatment for many reasons.
For some, it’s because they didn’t see the value in them as teenagers.
For others, it’s because with growth comes change, and change can often mean teeth move in the mouth and the bite changes.
Then there are those that just want the perfect, bright white smile with straight teeth to boot.
How Long Is Orthodontic Treatment For Adults?
For adolescents, treatment can last anywhere from a few months as a first phase of treatment to a few years for more extreme cases that require additional appliances as well as braces.
Adults on the other hand usually seek to get their front teeth fixed and not worry too much around the back.
The improvements that adults seek to make are cosmetic, and they’re mostly for aesthetics
This can take a few months to complete, and a sit down with an orthodontist can explain how much or little this will correct your smile and give you the choice of only aesthetic treatment or to include functional treatment.
The orthodontist can explain how long these different options will take when they have assessed you.
How Are Adult Braces Different from Adolescent Braces?
The braces for adults and teens are no different in how they are applied, what the braces options are and how the actual orthodontic adjustment are made.
But from the approach to orthodontics by the orthodontist bonding the metal to your teeth, to the actual braces, there is a lot to consider when treating a child compared to an adult.
“The improvements that adults seek to make are cosmetic, and they’re mostly for aesthetics.”
Children are still growing, still losing milk teeth and cutting their adult teeth, meaning their dentition is more malleable, their skeletal growth is not complete so movement of the palate or arch is much easier compared to an adult who has completed growth and the skeletal structure is set in place.
Correcting the bite in a child can take a little less time because the jaw is still growing and is more flexible in movement.
Adults, on the other hand, are fully formed.
There may alternate challenges in some cases, for example, gum disease, bone loss, mobile teeth or tooth loss.
The experiences can vary between adults and children with braces, mainly on how they feel and what attitude the individual has about braces.
Adult teeth may have more wear and tear which can create a different orthodontic experience to children and adolescents.
Adults may be exposed to the same social stigmas when it comes to braces as adolescents, but it’s different due to the person’s attitude and reasoning behind why an adult choses to have orthodontic treatment.
Adults may be more curious as to why other adults choose to wear braces, but they understand the need for aesthetics compared to children who do not have the maturity to deal with differences in people and like to point out anything different about themselves as well.
Why Get Braces as an Adult?
Adolescents often get braces because they need them for a variety of orthodontic reasons.
Adults, however, have many reasons to get braces fitted.
Not only do they help to correct aesthetic and functional orthodontic challenges that only come with time, braces bring that beautiful smile that adults are seeking.
So if there is any way to boost confidence grown ups embrace it!
When You Should See An Orthodontist
Adults can get looked over at any point as their jaws have stopped growing by now.
So, it really all depends on what changes they want and how much correction they are looking for or what restoration is required.
Any regular dentist can refer an adult for orthodontic treatment, so you only need to ask, and in some case you may not even need a referral just call and book a consultation.
Adults and children may both get treatment for their teeth with the same reasons behind them, but there are differences.
Adults may have more to consider, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an option.