At Carolina Oaks Orthodontics, we believe everyone deserves a smile they love regardless of age. Many people think that braces and Invisalign are just for kids and teens, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone of any age can get a straighter smile with orthodontic treatment. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists reports that one in four orthodontic patients is an adult!
We see this firsthand at our Upstate South Carolina orthodontist offices. Many of our patients are adults and they’re proving that you’re never too old to start treatment. So if you think it’s too late for you to get braces or Invisalign, think again! Here, we’re busting all the things you thought you knew about adult orthodontics.
MYTH #1: I’m Too Old for Braces or Invisalign
Many of our adult orthodontic patients come in thinking they’ve missed the chance to straighten their teeth. They’ve been told that treatment doesn’t work as well for adults or they’ve read that it will take longer than if they’d started when they were younger. These are orthodontic myths that are simply not true. While it’s better to start treatment during childhood, it’s never too late for braces or Invisalign. You can get all the benefits of orthodontic treatment and a smile you’re proud of at any age.
MYTH #2: Treatment Doesn’t Work as Well for Adults
Speaking of which, it’s time to bust the myth that braces or Invisalign isn’t as effective for adults. While early intervention can help to prevent issues in adulthood, that doesn’t mean you can’t correct your smile with orthodontic treatment as an adult. The process for adult braces is exactly the same as it is for younger patients, so it doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 50 — orthodontics can transform your smile.
In most cases, you’ll be able to straighten your teeth with Invisalign or braces alone. Thanks to innovative new orthodontic technologies, this holds true for even complex cases, such as crowding, spacing, overbite, deep bite or protruding front teeth. For more extreme issues like severe underbite, a combination of jaw surgery and orthodontic treatment can help you achieve your smile goals.
MYTH #3: Adult Braces or Invisalign Takes a Long Time
The theory goes that since children’s teeth are still developing, they’re easier to move with Invisalign or braces. On the flipside, adult teeth are more stubborn because they’re already set in their ways. Well, like we mentioned earlier, the mechanism for moving the teeth with orthodontics is the same whether you’re a child, teen, adult or senior. Therefore, your treatment will not take longer based on your age alone.
That said, certain factors can contribute to longer treatment time, like the severity of your issue and your overall goals for treatment. In general, orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign takes six months to two years, but we can work with you to find a treatment plan that works for your lifestyle and goals.
MYTH #4: Orthodontic Treatment is Expensive
The cost of Invisalign or braces for adults is comparable to the cost of orthodontic treatment for kids. What you pay for adult braces will depend on the length of your treatment and your specific case. At Carolina Oaks, we’re happy to accept most insurance plans and we offer flexible financing options so you can pay for your treatment in a way that works for your budget. We don’t want price to get in the way of getting your dream smile, so let’s talk.
MYTH #5: The Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment are Only Cosmetic
You might be thinking that getting braces as an adult is purely in vain. In reality, there are many health benefits of orthodontic treatment, including improved oral health, better confidence, clearer speech and so much more. And even if you do want braces solely for aesthetic reasons, all the power to you!
Here are just some of the benefits of a straighter smile for adults:
- Decrease your risk of tooth decay. If you have crowded, overlapping or overly spaced out teeth, it creates plenty of little nooks and crannies for bacteria and plaque to hide. By moving your teeth into proper alignment, orthodontic treatment makes it easier to brush and floss your teeth effectively, keeping all that build-up at bay.
- Improve your gum — and overall — health. Just like plaque build-up can cause tooth decay, it can also lead to gum disease. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss and is linked to a number of other health concerns, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Straightening your teeth with braces or Invisalign reduces plaque and bacteria, thereby decreasing your risk of developing gum disease.
- Improve your speech. Did you know that your teeth play a major role in how you speak? Together with the tongue, the teeth control the airflow we need to produce certain sounds. Certain orthodontic issues, such as over- or underbite, are associated with speech impediments. So if you want clearer speech, orthodontic treatment could be the solution you’re looking for.
- Prevent injury to protruding teeth. If your front teeth stick out, they’re at a much higher risk for injury. Orthodontic treatment can guide protruding teeth into a better position, keeping your teeth, gums and jaw safe from physical damage.
- Increase your confidence and success. Having a straight set of teeth that you’re proud of makes you more likely to show off your smile. And studies show that people who smile more often are more confident. Not only that: people with straighter teeth are perceived as more successful and smarter, which makes them more likely to land a job. Unfortunate? Yes, but it goes to show that a straight smile can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life.
The next time someone tells you that you’re too old for braces or Invisalign, we hope you keep the truth behind these myths in mind. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it a hundred times over: it’s never too late to start orthodontic treatment. Ready to learn more about getting braces as an adult? Contact Carolina Oaks Orthodontics to book a complimentary consultation.