La Grange, IL – When you hear the word “braces,” you might think this is solely for pre-teens or teenagers when they go through their awkward rite of passage to a straight adult smile. But what happens when you’re out of your teens and your teeth aren’t aligned properly?
Luckily, there’s absolutely no age limit for braces. An increasing number of adults are opting to straighten their teeth, turning to all manner of orthodontic treatments for adults, including metal braces or Invisalign.
You’re in Good Company
According to the American Association of Orthodontics, adults are choosing braces at a higher level than ever before! Compared to 1994, with 680,000 adults getting orthodontic treatment, there was a 58% increase, with 1.1 million adults in 2010 choosing braces.
Additionally, if you’re concerned about the aesthetic appeal, know that Invisalign is always an option. Since it’s a virtually invisible treatment, most people won’t know you’re even wearing them.
And let’s not forget many adult celebrities who have had braces. Singers Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé, and Faith Hill all opted for metal braces, as did actors Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage, as well as model Cindy Crawford. Others, like Miley Cyrus, Oprah Winfrey, Heidi Klum, and Katherine Heigl, all chose Invisalign for adults as their preferred straightening treatment.
Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist
Since it may have been a while since you or your children have had braces, or if you’ve never experienced braces at all, here are some questions you might want to ask before you choose your treatment:
- What type of aligners should I use: metal, ceramic, or clear? Which one would be best for me, and would I wear this type on top teeth, bottom teeth, or both?
- Will I need more invasive procedures like tooth extractions or jaw surgery?
- How long will the entire treatment take?
- How many office visits will be required during the course of treatment?
- What is the total cost for my care, and what options do I have for payment?
The Next Steps
Typically, your orthodontist will set up a customized care plan for you that includes:
- Initial x-rays to establish your baseline mouth anatomy.
- Molds of your teeth for the appliances you will wear.
- A consultation to develop your treatment plan with you.
- Prerequisite treatments can include everything from a brushing and flossing plan to filling cavities and extracting any teeth that would impede your alignment.
- The braces will be put on after all prior steps are completed. Depending on what type of treatment you and your orthodontist chose, this can include gluing on metal brackets and attaching the wires or simply putting in your new Invisalign mouthpieces.
- You will need to attend follow-up appointments for adjustments to your alignment device, and so your orthodontist can measure your progress and check it against your ultimate goals.
- When alignment is complete, the braces will be removed, or Invisalign will be discontinued, and you’ll likely need to wear a retainer to maintain your newly-straightened smile.
All in all, while it can be scary thinking about getting braces as an adult, keep the outcome in mind: You’ll have straighter, healthier teeth and will hopefully feel better about your overall appearance as well!
To learn more about getting braces at any age, schedule a complimentary consultation with the experienced orthodontists at Battistoni and Beam Orthodontics or call 708.352.4500 in La Grange or 708.848.5900 in Oak Park.
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