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Orthodontics for Children and Adults
Depending on your age and the unique alignment of your teeth, there are a number of factors to consider when it comes to getting braces. Here are the basics you need to know:
Popular Types of Braces
Traditional Braces — Tried and true, traditional orthodontic systems work well for all ages. The hypoallergenic stainless-steel brackets and wires allow your dentist or orthodontist to predictably move teeth into an appropriate location, regardless of the severity of your alignment issues. On average, these cases are completed within 12-24 months, depending on the individual.
Translucent, removable aligners like Invisalign is extremely popular with adults and teens. These systems move your teeth through progressively planned sets of trays that nudge the teeth into a more desirable location. Each set fits snuggly over your teeth and is removed during meals. Most people prefer them due to the convenience, easy maintenance, and the “invisible” look they can achieve. Aligners are popular with adult patients who may have worn braces at a younger age but experienced relapse at some point.
The only difference in ceramic braces and traditional designs is the type of materials they’re made from. This version utilizes tooth-colored ceramic brackets that “blend in” better with your teeth. Even the arch wires can sometimes be made out of white or translucent material. Ceramic orthodontics are best for adults who want a low-profile treatment and may not qualify for removable aligners.
For a completely “invisible” or hidden solution for your braces, lingual orthodontics involve bonding the appliances on the tongue-side surfaces of your teeth. Brackets and wires are tucked out of plain view, allowing you to access the benefits of a comprehensive treatment without other people seeing you in braces. Lingual braces are custom fitted to your teeth but can be a bit challenging to clean for some people.
Accelerated “Fast” Braces Systems
Short term (also referred to as “accelerated”) orthodontics are great for scenarios that involve minimal tooth movement that’s isolated to the front of your smile. These types of braces can be traditional bracket and wire systems or removable aligners. Instead of aligning your entire bite, only the front teeth are addressed. The typical treatment time is between 3-6 months.
Age Requirements for Braces
Orthodontic specialists highly recommend that all children get an evaluation by the age of 7. At this point in their oral development there is a mixed dentition of adult and baby teeth, allowing dental providers to predict possible complications in growth patterns. Significant orthognathic concerns can be intercepted with “phase I” braces, growth appliances, and other interceptive orthodontic devices, lessening the extent of their orthodontic needs in the future.
Traditional/Phase II Orthodontics
Conventional orthodontics are usually going to be used on adolescents. Since their mouths are still forming and approaching maturity, this timeframe allows for fine-tuning of their tooth alignment. If a child doesn’t require early intervention, then they’ll likely start traditional treatment once they’re around 12-14 years of age.
Adults — You’re never too old to enjoy the perks of straighter teeth. Don’t let your age be the determining factor of whether or not you look into getting braces. In fact, alignment trays like Invisalign were designed with adults in mind! Although a majority of aligner patients are in their 30s and 40s, it’s not uncommon to treat adults in their 70s and beyond.
Choosing an Orthodontic Provider
Not all dentists and orthodontists provide the same types of braces. You’ll want to communicate closely with your provider to discuss which types of orthodontic systems are available and best fit your smile needs.
Are Braces Covered by Insurance?
Depending on the type of dental insurance plan you carry, your benefits could cover up to a certain cost of orthodontic treatment. Even if you don’t have insurance coverage, your provider can offer an affordable month-to-month payment plan that makes it easy to finance your orthodontic therapy without breaking the bank. Your investment in a straighter smile could help you lower your risk of additional treatment needs in the future.
Retention After Treatment
Always be sure to follow your provider’s directions when it comes to wearing an orthodontic retainer. Since teeth tend to relapse without retention, you will want to choose between a fixed or removable retainer to keep on hand.
Take the Next Steps
Proper tooth alignment is aesthetically appealing, but there are health perks that go along with enjoying straighter teeth. By correcting your bite, you can statistically lower your chances of developing gum disease, cavities between teeth, and TMJ disorder. For more information on the best braces or aligners for your family, request an orthodontic consultation today.
Our multi-specialty practice offers adult, pediatric, and orthodontic dental services, with a main focus on your dental health and satisfaction. Convenience, quality care, decades of experience, and a top notch team are what sets the Waban Dental Group apart. Our knowledgeable staff is a trustworthy source for everything from routine cleanings to orthodontics. We look forward to caring for you.