In short, no, you are not too old for orthodontic care. When you think of braces, you might think of Darla from Finding Nemo, teenagers, and young adults. Orthodontic care only being for a specific age group is a myth! If you are unhappy with your smile, you should consider treatment! It does not matter if you are eighteen or seventy; you can be an orthodontic patient.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the treatment of irregularities in the teeth and jaw. Orthodontic care goes beyond the cosmetics of a straight smile. Treatment includes, but isn’t limited to, TMJ soothing, jaw alignment, sleep apnea relief, and bite correction!
How does orthodontic care help me?
Improved Oral and Digestive Health
Crooked teeth can make it hard to keep the entire mouth clean, prompting a build-up of plaque and bacteria that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Aligned teeth make flossing, brushing, and overall oral hygiene easier by eliminating difficult-to-reach-and-see nooks and crannies! A mouth that is effortless to clean reduces the possibility of smelly breath and painful infections.
Your teeth are the body’s step in consuming essential nutrients and vitamins! The smaller the food is chewed, the easier it is for your stomach and intestines to absorb necessary nutrients. Misaligned teeth, gum disease, and tooth decay can make eating and drinking painful, causing you to swallow inadequately chewed food. Correctly aligned teeth make their job of breaking down food less challenging. Chewing also activates your saliva, which helps food stick together to decrease choking hazards and primes your throat and stomach for swallowing. Large pieces of food stuck in the colon can cause constipation, bloating, indigestion, and intestinal gas. They can also be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Boost in Confidence
Overcrowded teeth can make it hard to communicate. Gaps in teeth can make some people spit or have a lisp when speaking. Some people are so embarrassed at their difficulties talking that they avoid conversing to prevent judgment. We at Rio Grande Orthodontics believe you should not be ashamed of yourself before, during, or after treatment, but we can provide care to help grow your self-assurance.
Lack of self-confidence in appearance and communication can lead to isolation and other mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Orthodontically treated teeth can improve a patient’s confidence, encouraging them to share their true self with the world! You’re never too old to deserve to feel good about yourself!
Minimize Pain and Wear on Teeth
Misaligned teeth can wear down enamel and create neck, jaw, and head pain!
Enamel is your teeth’s built-in defense against cavities and protects the surface from damage when you chew. However, mispositioned teeth can rub against each other and cause premature wear and tear, potentially eroding your enamel. Unfortunately, any damage done to your teeth’s enamel is permanent. Eroded enamel has many causes, but a straighter smile can help minimize one reason.
The strain your teeth put on one another can also be the source of pain. Uneven pressure on your jaw leads to headaches, migraines, and TMJ, an uncomfortable, sometimes painful, condition that develops when the jaw is unable to function properly.
Why should I get treatment as an adult?
Orthodontic care is an investment in yourself. Whether you started treatment as a kid and did not finish, couldn’t afford it until now, or didn’t realize the benefits — it’s never too late to start, and no reason is too small or trivial. You deserve the self-confidence and healthy smile of your dreams!
What treatment options are available for adult patients?
Because adult bones are much harder than in children, treatment might take a little longer than you expect — but it’s not impossible! There are still plenty of treatment options available for adult patients, each with its own unique benefits and purposes! At Rio Grande Orthodontics, we offer the following:
- Traditional Metal Braces — These require metal brackets, wires, and ligatures (colorful rubber bands) to straighten teeth over a period of time. These braces are durable, effective, and can treat even the most complicated issues! When people think of straightening teeth, they likely think of this treatment – and for good reason!
- Clear Braces — Clear, or ceramic, braces are tooth-colored braces that straighten teeth the same as traditional metal braces. While not as durable as their metal counterpart, many adult patients prefer clear braces because of their more natural look.
- Invisalign — Invisalign creates custom, clear trays that align the teeth over time. Clear aligners are the most aesthetically discreet treatment option, as most people won’t even know you’re wearing them! Many patients find them the most comfortable treatment because each tray is uniquely designed for them. However, Invisalign might not be the best option for those with more complex issues.
It is important to note that every patient’s needs and goals are different, and adult treatment might be a little more complex than for younger patients.
Start your orthodontic journey with Rio Grande Orthodontics!
We know dental and orthodontic work can be intimidating and stressful, and there are many reasons why you could just be getting started! We believe there should not be any stigma or shame around anyone’s orthodontic journey, and we strive to create welcoming and comfortable offices that encourage you to begin your treatment.
Quality care begins with quality information. Contact our experienced team to schedule an appointment with Rio Grande Orthodontics at one of our nine convenient locations to discuss the best treatment options for you! We look forward to meeting you soon!