Adult Orthodontics: Breaking the Stigma Around Braces

22 May
adult orthodontics

Are you an adult seeking a solution for your misaligned teeth or bite issues, but think you’re too late for it? You’re not! Thanks to adult orthodontics – a gift of modern dentistry that has finally enabled adults to experience mind blowing smile transformations.

It’s 2024, and much of the things that were previously considered difficult (or impossible) in the field of dentistry have not only become possible but also very accessible to everyone now. Adult braces are one such thing.

However, despite the increasing popularity of adult dental braces, there’s still a bit of stigma around them that needs to be addressed. 

In this blog, we will address how adult braces have revolutionized the landscape of corrective dentistry, dispel some common myths about adult braces, and more.

The Evolution Of Orthodontics: Why Adults Couldn’t Get Braces In The Past?

Modern dentistry (specifically modern orthodontics) is built on the idea that a healthy and attractive smile is the right of every individual regardless of their age. In the past, however, this was not the case. Then, due to the limitations in scientific research and technology in that era, it was believed that only children’s bones were malleable enough to receive and respond to orthodontic treatment. The correction of malocclusions was a privilege that was only afforded by children and adolescents, not by adults. 

With the advancements in dental technology and research, we now know that braces are just as effective for adults as they’re for children. In fact, adult orthodontics has now emerged as a proper field in its own right, and has made corrective and aesthetic dentistry accessible to children and adults alike. 

How Common Are Adult Braces?

Perfectly aligned, beautiful teeth is something that people desire more than ever today, and getting braces is the best way of achieving it. This explains why the demand for dental braces is soaring all over the world. 

Let’s look at some statistics to have a clearer insight into this. According to statistics, one-third of the entire global population has worn braces at some point in their lives. Among this, approximately 1.6 million adults in the world are braces wearers, making up 20-25% of the total braces-wearing population!

This percentage is only expected to increase as more and more people now understand the importance of having straight teeth, not only because of their aesthetic appeal but also because of their health benefits. The improved oral health and physical attractiveness offered by braces have been shown to boost self-esteem and confidence in adults. According to a research carried out on 172 adults (ages ranging between 18-66 years) who underwent orthodontic treatment, there was a statistically significant increase in their self-esteem and quality of life after getting the treatment. This increase was due to the enhanced aesthetics and occlusal function given by the treatment.

Despite the growing recognition of braces’ effectiveness for adults and a considerable shift in societal attitudes towards adults getting braces, adult orthodontics is still surrounded by some myths and stereotypes. Some of these include:

Myth#1: Adult Braces Take Too Long To Show Results

This myth is rooted in the (false) belief that it’s very difficult to restructure the jawbone of an adult and cause their teeth to shift (because of the maturity of the jawbone), hence taking too long for braces to bring results in adults. This is nothing but a myth. The jawbone of adults is indeed more developed and less malleable than that of children, but that doesn’t make the duration of treatment ‘too’ long. Generally, the duration of the treatment depends on the complexity of your case, your overall dental health, and your commitment to follow your orthodontist’s guidelines throughout the treatment.

Myth#2: Adult Braces Are Overly Expensive 

This is, again, a myth. The same materials and equipment are used in adult braces as are used in braces for children (except if the case requires specialized techniques and the use of special equipment). Hence, there’s no reason for them to be overly expensive. Additionally, some people consider braces treatment (in general) as expensive. This isn’t entirely true either, as most braces treatments are affordable, and some dental practices also offer flexible payment plans for the affordability of patients.

Myth#3: Adult Braces Are Too Uncomfortable 

This is not true. Braces treatment may cause mild to moderate discomfort/pain in the initial stage (and this is applicable to both children and adult braces), but they’re not too uncomfortable or painful. In fact, advancements in orthodontic techniques have made braces treatments more comfortable for patients than ever before.

Braces Options For Adults

The best part about getting braces in the modern era is you have multiple options now – modern orthodontics has evolved far beyond the traditional braces, and there are many other options for you to choose from depending on your personal preferences and budget. Some common braces options for adults include:

Metal Braces

These are the traditional braces, the ones involving the bonding of metal brackets to the teeth surface, which are then connected by archwires and elastic bands. This system of brackets, wires and bands work together to exert consistent (but gentle) pressure on the teeth, guiding them to their desired position. These braces are used for the correction of various issues, including teeth overcrowding, misalignment and bite problems.

Clear Braces

Also known as aligners/invisible braces, these braces are specially designed for people who aren’t comfortable with the visibility of traditional braces. They work their magic by placing a series of removable trays, each of which gradually shifts the teeth to the desired position. They are custom-made for every patient and can be removed for eating and drinking as necessary. They’re used to treat minor to moderate issues like minor gap in teeth, slightly crooked teeth, slightly off bite, etc.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces, with the only difference being that they’re placed on the backside (known as the lingual side, hence the name) of the teeth rather than the front side. This makes them almost invisible from the front, giving them a discreet appearance. Like clear braces, lingual braces are also a great option for people who want to get their orthodontic corrections without the visibility of traditional braces.

Conclusion 

Adult braces are an amazing development of modern dentistry that has made orthodontics more inclusive, more comfortable and more beneficial than ever before. They have allowed adults to enjoy the increased aesthetic appeal and oral health benefits associated with a perfectly aligned smile – a privilege that was only allowed to children and adolescents in the past. 

Want more details on the types of adult braces, including their placement process, treatment duration, cost, etc? Book a FREE consultation with Ace Dental Center, a premium dental clinic based in Illinois, Chicago. Our team of braces experts will guide you through every query, paving your way to a perfectly straightened, healthy, and beautiful smile.

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