Many adults desire a straighter smile but are concerned that they’re too old to wear braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in four orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. So, even if you didn’t undergo orthodontic treatment when you were younger, you can still attain a beautiful, healthy smile today. We offer several options for adult braces at our Las Vegas, NV practice. Dr. Beth Yamashiro has a decade of orthodontic experience and is committed to helping patients of all ages achieve and maintain healthy smiles that can last a lifetime.
Why Consider Braces as an Adult?
Adult braces can undoubtedly enhance the aesthetics of a smile. But did you know that orthodontic treatment can help improve oral health as well? Straight teeth are healthy teeth. Proper alignment makes it much easier to clean hard-to-reach areas. Better hygiene helps reduce the risk for tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. When you choose adult braces, you’re investing in your long-term oral health.
Am I Eligible for Adult Braces?
You may have heard that braces work best in younger patients when the facial bones are still growing. While it’s true that the jawbone becomes denser over time, orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age. Adult braces can correct a wide range of issues, including:
Crowded or overlapped teeth
Gaps or spaces between the teeth
Virtually anyone who desires a straighter smile is eligible for adult braces. However, candidates must be in good oral health, free from periodontal disease and extensive decay. If these issues are present, restorative procedures may be recommended before orthodontic treatment. During a comprehensive assessment at our practice, Dr. Beth can help determine if adult braces are a solution for you.
Adult Braces Options at Our Practice
When it comes to braces for adults, there are several treatment options available. In the sections below, we’ll discuss each one so you can be well-informed about your choices.
Traditional Metal Braces
Likely what you imagine when you think of braces, these traditional appliances gradually shift the teeth using metal brackets, bands and wires. Today’s metal braces are sleeker and more comfortable than their conventional counterparts.
Similar to metal braces by design, clear braces also move the teeth using brackets and wires. However, instead of stainless steel, the brackets are crafted from tooth-colored ceramic. In addition, the archwire is frosted so that it blends in with your smile. Many of our adult patients choose clear braces since they are less noticeable than traditional options.
Those seeking a more discreet option can choose lingual braces for adults. In contrast to traditional braces, these appliances are bonded to the back surfaces of the teeth. As a result, they are much less noticeable.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign® straightens the teeth using a series of clear, custom thermoplastic trays. Each set of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks, then switched out for the next pair in the series. The subtle differences in the aligners help shift the teeth into their desired positions over time. In addition to being virtually invisible, Invisalign trays are also removable. Therefore, patients who choose this option won’t have any dietary restrictions during treatment.
Braces for Adults: How Long Will My Treatment Last?
Because no two patients are the same, the length of treatment can vary significantly. Your adult braces timeline will depend on a few factors, including the:
Severity of the misalignment
Complexity of your case
Treatment option you choose
During your initial consultation at our Las Vegas, NV practice, Dr. Beth can give you an approximate timeline. On average, adult braces treatment can be completed in about 18 to 24 months.
What to Expect Following Treatment
Once treatment is over, you’ll want to protect your investment. Wearing a retainer is essential following adult braces. Retention prevents the teeth from shifting back into their old positions. There are several types of retainers available. Dr. Beth can help you choose one that fits your lifestyle and preferences.
Learn More about Adult Braces
Considering braces as an adult? Orthodontic treatment offers a wide range of oral health benefits and gives you the confidence to take on the world. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation at our Las Vegas practice, contact us.