Curious About Orthodontic Care? Here are 5 Things You Should Know.
Orthodontic treatment is much needed dental care that has benefited the over 4 million children and adults currently wearing braces today. Despite braces being so common, orthodontic care is a complex area of dentistry and, as a patient, it can be tricky to separate fact from fiction.
To help debunk some common myths and answer some popular questions, here are 5 important facts about Invisalign and general orthodontic treatment we think every patient should know.
Fact #1: Orthodontic treatment is about much more than cosmetic concerns.
A common misconception about orthodontic treatment is the idea that straightening your teeth is a cosmetic procedure and all about the aesthetic side of things. You might be surprised to learn that orthodontic treatment is often just as much about function as appearance.
Malocclusion is a fancy name for misaligned teeth, such as an overbite, underbite, or even overcrowding. Only about 35% of adults have perfect bite alignment, which means misaligned teeth are actually a very common problem. By straightening misaligned teeth you’re not only going to have a more beautiful smile but also healthier teeth overall.
Straight teeth are easier to properly clean, which means you’ll reduce your risks of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Straight teeth and a properly aligned bite also mean your teeth are less likely to chip or break and you are much less likely to develop jaw-related issues such as temporomandibular joint disorder (often referred to by most people as TMJ).
Fact #2: There is no such thing as being too old to get Invisalign or even traditional braces.
A child getting braces is somewhat of a rite of passage for many families, but that doesn’t mean braces are just for kids. Adults have always been getting braces, but the popularity of adult braces has really grown in the last decade. In fact, now about 25% of orthodontic patients with braces are adults.
You’re never too old to straighten your teeth and experience the benefits that come with a new smile. Age isn’t a factor orthodontists consider when determining whether a patient is a candidate for orthodontic treatment. Factors that do matter are the health of your teeth and jaw, potential complications of severe misalignments, and any existing dental health issues like periodontal disease or untreated tooth decay.
Invisalign is a fantastic option for adults because of the subtle appearance of the clear aligners, but you’ll find that more adults than ever are rocking traditional braces with confidence. Depending on the severity or type of misalignment, metal braces might be the best option to get your most beautiful smile.
Fact #3: Invisalign is super effective, but it isn’t always the right choice for orthodontic treatment.
We love Invisalign as much as our patients do, but it’s important to understand that Invisalign can’t fix every problem. Despite Invisalign being a very effective form of orthodontic treatment, the aligner style does lead to some limitations.
Some instances in which Invisalign won’t work include:
- Very large gaps between teeth
- Rotated or inward/outward leaning teeth
- Short or rounded teeth
- Pre-existing dental work (i.e. a bridge)
At The Tooth Doc, we always look out for our patients’ best interests and that includes providing our patients with the most effective straightening option. A consultation with our orthodontist will help you discover whether Invisalign or traditional braces is the right choice.
The good news is if you do need to get traditional braces, our orthodontist offers self-ligating braces. Self-ligating braces don’t use elastic bands so while they are made of metal, they are generally preferred by adult patients over conventional braces.
Fact #4: Invisalign could help you see results faster (and more easily) than you might think.
Invisalign is usually preferred by patients because of its very obvious characteristic of being nearly invisible. However, there are actually a number of advantages of Invisalign that make it a great choice for adults and older teens.
For example, the average treatment time for Invisalign users is about 18 months. This means less time spent at orthodontist appointments and less time waiting for your new, beautiful smile.
Invisalign treatment tends to be an easier experience. Many patients find them to be quite comfortable to wear and don’t experience any changes in the way they speak. Since Invisalign aligners can be removed for about two hours every day, you can still eat the same foods you love and know your thoroughly cleaning your teeth when brushing or flossing.
If you have mild to moderate teeth alignment issues and are hesitant about orthodontic treatment because of the lifestyle changes and the length of treatment time, Invisalign is a fantastic option.
Fact #5: Orthodontic treatment doesn’t just change your smile—it can also bring positive changes to your life.
The obvious benefit of straightening your teeth is having a smile that you love, but have you thought about how that alone can positively impact your life? Plenty of research backs how important smiling is, but if you dive deeper you’ll discover studies that show a strong link between straight teeth and success in life.
The study mentioned found that individuals with straight teeth and a healthy, white smile are 45% more likely to get a job, 58% more likely to be wealthy, and 58% more likely to be successful in their careers. As far as relationships go, individuals with straight teeth are seen as more trustworthy, attractive, and healthy.
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