Adult Orthodontics San Antonio, TX
Orthodontics is not just for adolescents. Adults are now showing up in the orthodontist’s chair to not only get a straighter smile but also address several other oral health issues. If you are hesitant because you had braces in the past, do not worry. Today’s orthodontic options are more comfortable and less noticeable than ever before.
From clear aligners for adults to ceramic braces, you can find an appliance to fit your lifestyle. Adult orthodontics are available at UC Smiles Orthodontics in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Call us at (210) 672-1054 if you are interested in discussing your orthodontic options.
The Health Benefits of Orthodontics
One of the obvious benefits of adult orthodontics is a straighter smile. However, they can also fix many oral health issues. Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to clean and leave several places for bacteria to hide. This can lead to bad breath and, even worse, tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease is linked to serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
When your bite is off, other oral health problems often follow. The simple act of chewing can be more difficult and even painful. Orthodontics can correct your bite and make chewing easier, which may improve your digestion. Additionally, properly aligning the teeth can alleviate symptoms of a condition called TMJ, decrease headaches, and eliminate clicking or popping sounds stemming from the jaw.
“Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to clean and leave several places for bacteria to hide.”
Overcoming Concerns About Adult Orthodontics
Many adults are afraid to pursue orthodontics because of perceived social implications. Maybe you had an awful experience with braces as a teen. Whatever reason is holding you back, it is important to know you will not be the only adult with braces or another appliance. These days, one in four orthodontics patients is an adult.
If you are worried about looks, the good news is that some orthodontic options are practically invisible. If you think you are too old, think again. Orthodontics can be successful at any age, and the treatment plan can be tailored to fit a busy lifestyle. We will help the patient learn methods and techniques to continue keeping their teeth healthy too.
“How can I overcome concerns about adult orthodontics?”
Pros and Cons of Adult Braces
When exploring your treatment options, you will want to consider adult braces. Today, traditional metal braces are smaller, more comfortable, and look nicer than what you remember. While they are a more cost-effective option, they are the most noticeable of all the types of braces.
Ceramic braces are also popular. They are made of a translucent material, which is considerably less noticeable. Some even come with tooth-colored wires. This type is less visible than metal braces and moves teeth faster than clear aligners. However, they are not as durable as their metal counterparts.
Lingual braces look like traditional metal braces, but the wires and brackets are applied to the back of the teeth. This makes them invisible from the front. However, they are difficult to maintain, are not a good choice for serious cases, and are difficult to adjust to over time.
Adult braces do require some dedication to oral hygiene. You will need to follow any flossing and brushing instructions in order to prevent food and plaque from getting stuck between your gums and teeth. You will also need to adjust your diet and limit the amount of hard, sticky, and sugary foods you eat.
“When exploring your treatment options, you will want to consider braces.”
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Pros and Cons of Clear Aligners for Adults
Clear aligners for adults are another popular option for orthodontic treatment. However, they are not recommended for severe cases such as a misaligned jaw. With this treatment option, a series of clear plastic trays are created and switched out every 1-2 weeks to gently move the teeth into position.
They are comfortable to wear, virtually invisible, and easy to remove to eat, to drink, and for special occasions. Since you can take them out, there are no dietary restrictions. Typically there are fewer office visits as well.
However, clear aligners have some downsides. Clear aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day to be effective. Since they are removable, it is tempting to leave them out for a few hours here and there. In the end, you will only be extending the overall treatment time. Once they are out, clear aligners are also easier to lose and damage.
Your oral hygiene routine will also get more frequent. Patients with clear aligners must brush their teeth after eating and drinking before putting the aligners back in. Failing to do this can trap food and plaque in the grooves of the teeth, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
“Clear aligners for adults are another popular option for orthodontic treatment.”
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Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist
Unlike adolescents, an adult will arrive at the orthodontist office with a significant dental health history. This can include fillings, missing teeth, or gum disease. You will want to ask certain questions regarding oral health when meeting with an orthodontist.
If you are being treated for gum disease, you will want to ask if you can even start orthodontic treatment. If the supporting structures of your teeth are unstable, braces and clear aligners can actually cause more damage. The orthodontist will determine if your gums are healthy enough for orthodontics.
Since adults have typically suffered some type of bone loss, you will want to ask the orthodontist if there are any age-related considerations to take into account when deciding on the right treatment. You will also want to ask if you are at higher risk for root resorption, which is the gradual loss of tooth structure. Orthodontic treatment can increase the risk of this dental condition.
“Unlike adolescents, an adult will arrive at the orthodontist with a significant dental health history.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Orthodontics
Q. Am I too old for orthodontics?
A. You are never too old for orthodontic treatment. Adult treatment may take a little longer, but your age does not prevent your teeth from moving. Thanks to advancements in treatment options, there are plenty of orthodontic devices available to fit your lifestyle needs.
Q. What questions should I ask my orthodontist?
A. Compared to their teenage counterparts, adults will arrive at the orthodontist with a longer dental health history that will have to be taken into consideration. You will want to ask about gum disease and bone loss and whether or not you are at higher risk for root resorption.
Q. What are the pros and cons of braces?
A. Traditional metal braces have improved through the years. While they are smaller, more comfortable, and cost-effective, they are still the most noticeable option. Ceramic braces are one option for adults who want something more natural-looking. The downside to braces is that they do require more brushing and flossing, as well as diet changes.
Q. What are the pros and cons of clear aligners?
A. Clear aligners are growing in popularity due to the fact they are virtually invisible and can be removed to eat and drink, so there are no food restrictions. The downside is you must wear them for at least 22 hours a day. They are also more likely to be lost or damaged.
Quality Orthodontic Services Can Transform Smiles
By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need.
Definition of Orthodontic Terminology
- An archwire in orthodontics is a thin wire that runs through all the brackets in a set of braces and is used for anchorage in correcting teeth alignment irregularities.
- Gum Disease
- The early stage of periodontal disease in which the gums are infected and risk the possibility of damaging any underlying bone.
- Oral Health
- Oral health encompasses the health of the lips, teeth, gums, and oral-facial system that facilitates smiling, speaking, and eating.
- Teeth Crowding
- Teeth crowding is a lack of space in the mouth for all of the teeth to grow properly, leading to the need to extract some of the teeth.
Learn More About Adult Orthodontics
If you are suffering from crooked teeth or jaw pain, it is time to explore adult orthodontics. Do not let your concerns hold you back from achieving a healthy, pain-free smile. To learn more about adult orthodontics, call us at 210-672-1054 to speak to our staff.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2021
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